The one and only Chesney Hawkes

Chesney Hawkes
Chesney Hawkes

A STORM of controversy has erupted after 90s pop star Chesney Hawkes was deemed not famous enough to open Hastings ice rink and Christmas market.

The 41-year-old sparked a flurry of online protest after it was announced he would be in town this week to perform and carry out the opening duties.

One angry protester wrote on the Observer website: “Is this the best we can do? Why couldn’t we have Mick Jigger, Rod Stewart or even good old Cliff?”

Ahead of yesterday’s opening Chesney laughed off the criticism saying he would gladly go for a drink with his protagonists. The singer, who topped the charts in 1991 with The One and Only, sent out a tweet via Twitter prefixed ‘The Battle of Hastings.” He wrote: “I’ve been booked to open the ice rink in Hastings and it seems that someone’s complained that I’m not famous enough. Well I am now. Whoever started this, please get in touch. The least I can do is buy you a drink. Look forward to seeing you in Hastings.”

Chesney responded after the negative comments posted on the Observer’s website about him coming to 1066 Country caused massive national media coverage. Comments were mixed on our website. One read: “Christmas is for children really and I am sure they could have found someone more suitable than this Chesney person. How many young people will even know who he is or was? A big sad mistake here.” But another read: “Does it really matter who is opening it? Will all the kids, slowly getting excited because of Christmas care? No they won’t. There’s more to worry about than who’s opening the ice rink.”

Speaking to the Observer this week, Chesney said: “I have had nothing but really nice emails and tweets from all sorts of people, many from Hastings, very much on my side. To be honest I saw this as funny and a non-story. It was made out that the town was in revolt and the end of the world.”