Jaws uses other talents to present statue to Garden

Gary Tiplady, as Jaws, and the Duchess of Northumberland behind the statue of the Percy lion.
Gary Tiplady, as Jaws, and the Duchess of Northumberland behind the statue of the Percy lion.

The Duchess of Northumberland came face to face with Bond villain Jaws in The Alnwick Garden last week.

Fortunately, it was Jaws lookalike Gary Tiplady and he came bearing gifts rather than any violent intentions.

Gary, who also works as a sculptor, has loaned the tourist attraction a mesh statue that he has made of the Percy lion.

It was presented to the Duchess at the Garden on Friday morning, before being moved into its new spot.

Gary explained that his passion for all things North East led him to develop a series of animals representing the area such as a Bedlington terrier and a magpie and a black cat in honour of Newcastle United and Sunderland respectively.

The statue, representing the lion that is the family emblem of the Duke of Northumberland, has now been positioned against a backdrop of greenery in the Garden’s cherry orchard, meaning it isn’t too far from the Percy lion on top of the Tenantry Column.

Gary, from Newcastle, orignally trained and worked as a chef.

He later gained experience working in the best hotels throughout the North East. He also worked at the famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.

He catered for royalty, showbiz stars, sports celebrities and political leaders.

And while working in the trade, he practised the art of lard modelling, examples of which graced the tables of many grand functions.

These sculptures have been exhibited nationally and became the subject of media interest, winning many accolades.

Gary, who has acromegaly, then turned his condition to his advantage and started working as a Jaws lookalike, again mixing with film stars, sporting celebrities, political leaders and royalty and also representing worldwide firms at trade fairs and conferences.

His work also involved meeting and working with original actors and actresses from the Bond films.

In more recent years, Gary has progressed from using lard to using wire to make his scultures.

For more information, see www.wire-sculptures.co.uk