Lord Buckethead

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Lord Buckethead
First appearance1984
Created byTodd Durham
Portrayed by
  • Robert Bloodworth (Hyperspace, 1984)
  • Mike Lee (1987, 1992)
  • Jonathan Harvey (2017)
  • David Hughes (2019)[1][2]
In-universe information
OccupationPolitical satirist
Political PartyGremloids (1987, 1992, 2017)
Official Monster Raving Loony Party (2019–present)
Based onHyperspace character

Lord Buckethead is a satirical political candidate who has stood in four British general elections since 1987, portrayed by several individuals.

The character, an intergalactic villain similar to the Star Wars character Darth Vader, was created by American filmmaker Todd Durham for his 1984 science fiction film Hyperspace. Without authorisation, British video distributor Mike Lee adopted Lord Buckethead to stand in the 1987 UK general election and again in the 1992 general election. The character went unused until comedian Jonathan Harvey stood as Lord Buckethead in the 2017 general election; his televised appearance standing next to prime minister Theresa May went viral, drawing media coverage and an online following.

After the 2017 election, Durham asserted his ownership of Lord Buckethead and displaced Harvey. With Durham's authorisation, Lord Buckethead returned in 2019, now played by David Hughes; he appeared at People's Vote rallies calling for a second Brexit referendum, and stood in the 2019 general election representing the Monster Raving Loony Party. Harvey also stood, using a new character, Count Binface.


1980s origins[edit]

Lord Buckethead was created by American filmmaker Todd Durham for his 1984 film Hyperspace, a low-budget parody of science fiction films such as Star Wars.[3] In the film, Lord Buckethead, a galactic villain similar to Star Wars character Darth Vader, was played by Robert Bloodworth.[3]

In the UK, Hyperspace was released as Gremloids by the video distributor VIPCO, owned by Mike Lee.[4] In the 1987 UK general election, Lee stood as Lord Buckethead, representing the Gremloids Party, against Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher in her constituency in Finchley, London. He campaigned to demolish Birmingham to make way for a spaceport.[5] He received 131 votes.[6] In the 1992 general election, he stood against Conservative prime minister John Major in Huntingdon,[4] winning 107 votes (0.1%).[7]

2017 return[edit]

In 2017, comedian Jonathan Harvey stood as Lord Buckethead against Theresa May in Maidenhead in the 2017 general election. Harvey decided to use Lord Buckethead after watching Gremloids and discovering that the character had been used in earlier elections. He received 249 (0.4%) votes, the highest yet for the character.[8][9]

Lord Buckethead's televised appearance standing next to May went viral.[10] In a tongue-in-cheek article, The Guardian gave Lord Buckethead a "Best Policy" award for a manifesto pledge to bring back Ceefax.[11] A few days after the election, Lord Buckethead appeared on the American talk show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, campaigning to lead the Brexit negotiations.[12] Harvey created a Twitter account for the character, drawing hundreds of thousands of followers.[10] The Guardian wrote that Lord Buckethead was part of a British tradition of frivolous political candidates such as the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.[13]

Lord Buckethead made a surprise appearance at Glastonbury Festival in June 2017, introducing the band Sleaford Mods.[14] That year, he released a Christmas single, "A Bucketful of Happiness", accompanied by a music video.[15]

Copyright dispute[edit]

After the 2017 election, Durham contacted Harvey and asserted his ownership of the Lord Buckethead character. According to Harvey, Durham instructed him to give him the password to the Twitter account; Harvey acquiesced as he could not afford a legal challenge.[10] Durham said he welcomed authorised applications to stand as the character in future British elections: "My Lord Buckethead character has always been the voice of the people, so my feeling is to let the people be his voice."[10]

The Twitter account became active again in 2019. That year, Lord Buckethead, now played by David Hughes,[2] appeared at People's Vote rallies calling for a second Brexit referendum.[10] In April, Buckethead crowdfunded £15,000 to stand against Nigel Farage for South East England MEP in the May 2019 European Parliament Elections. The bid was abandoned for fear it could take votes away from parties campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU.[10] Durham said the money was returned.[10]

For the general election in December 2019, Buckethead represented the Monster Raving Loony Party, standing against prime minister Boris Johnson in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Harvey also stood in that constituency, using a new character, Count Binface.[16]


Lord Buckethead's manifesto in the 2017 election promised "strong, not entirely stable leadership", a reference to the Conservatives' slogan "strong and stable".[17] The following promises were included:

  • The abolition of the House of Lords, with the exception of Lord Buckethead
  • Nuclear weapons: "A firm public commitment to build the 100-billion-pound renewal of Britain's Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm commitment, privately, not to build it. They're secret submarines, so no one will ever know. It's a win-win."[18]
  • Free bicycles for all to "combat obesity, traffic congestion, and bike theft".[18]
  • Reducing the voting age to 16 and restricting voting beyond the age of 80
  • Instead of Theresa May's commitment to bring back grammar schools,[18] Buckethead would build "gamma" schools founded on three principles: "One, better funding for teachers, to attract bright graduates. Two, increased facilities for children, especially playing fields. Three, if any child misbehaves three times, they are blasted into deep space, with the parents provided with a lovely fruit basket, by way of consolation or celebration, depending on the child. Discipline is key".[18]
  • A referendum on whether or not to have another Brexit referendum.[19]
  • Legalise the hunting of fox hunters[19]
  • Nationalise pop singer Adele[19]
  • Exile of right-wing columnist Katie Hopkins to the "Phantom Zone".[19]
  • Regeneration of Nicholson's Shopping Centre, Maidenhead.[19]
  • The cessation of arms sales to Saudi Arabia so that Britain can purchase laser weaponry from Lord Buckethead.[20]

Electoral history[edit]

General election 1987: Finchley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Margaret Thatcher 21,603 53.9 +2.8
Labour John Davies 12,690 31.7 +4.9
Liberal David Howarth 5,580 13.9 −7.3
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 131 0.3 N/A
Gold Party Michaelle St Vincent 59 0.2 N/A
Turnout 40,063 69.4 +0.4
General election 1992: Huntingdon[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Major 48,662 66.2 +2.6
Labour Hugh Seckleman 12,432 16.9 +3.0
Liberal Democrats Andrew Duff 9,386 12.8 −8.3
Liberal Paul Wiggin 1,045 1.4 N/A
Green Deborah Birkhead 846 1.2 −0.2
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 728 1.0 N/A
Conservative Thatcherite Michael Flanagan 231 0.3 N/A
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 107 0.1 N/A
Forward to Mars Party Charles S. Cockell 91 0.1 N/A
Natural Law David Shepherd 26 0.0 N/A
Turnout 73,554 79.2 +5.2
General election 2017: Maidenhead[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Theresa May 37,718 64.8 -1.0
Labour Pat McDonald 11,261 19.3 +7.4
Liberal Democrats Tony Hill 6,540 11.2 +1.3
Green Derek Wall 907 1.6 -2.0
UKIP Gerard Batten 871 1.5 -6.9
Animal Welfare Andrew Knight 282 0.5 N/A
Gremloids Lord Buckethead 249 0.4 N/A
Independent Grant Smith 152 0.3 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 119 0.2 N/A
CPA Edmonds Victor 69 0.1 N/A
The Just Political Party Julian Reid 52 0.1 N/A
Independent Yemi Hailemariam 16 0.0 N/A
Give Me Back Elmo Bobby Smith 3 0.0 N/A
Turnout 58,239 76.4 +3.8
General election 2019: Uxbridge and South Ruislip
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Boris Johnson 25,351 52.6 +1.8
Labour Ali Milani 18,141 37.6 -2.4
Liberal Democrats Joanne Humphreys 3,026 6.3 +2.3
Green Mark Keir 1,090 2.3 +0.4
UKIP Geoffrey Courtenay 283 0.6 -2.8
Monster Raving Loony Party Lord Buckethead 125 0.3 N/A
Independent Count Binface 69 0.1 N/A
Independent Alfie Utting 44 0.1 N/A
Independent Yace Yogenstein 23 0.0 N/A
Independent Norma Burke 22 0.0 N/A
Independent Bobby Elmo Smith 8 0.0 N/A
Independent William Tobin 5 0.0 N/A
Turnout 48,174 68.5 +1.7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Waterson, Jim (26 May 2019). "Double trouble: the fight to be the real Lord Buckethead". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 November 2019. 'People should know it’s not the same person,' said comedian Jon Harvey, confirming for the first time that he was the man in the plastic mask during the 2017 general election. 'It's being run by an American from Beverly Hills.'
  2. ^ a b "Election results 2019: Boris Johnson holds Uxbridge seat". YouTube. BBC News. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019. Hughes, David Steven, commonly known as Lord Buckethead
  3. ^ a b "The real Lord Buckethead: the cult sci-fi film that inspired Theresa May's election rival". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b reprobatemagazine (14 June 2017). "Lord Buckethead – The Whole Story". The Reprobate. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Lord Buckethead vs Theresa May – meet the UK's weirdest political parties". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  6. ^ Waterson, Jim. "A Person Called 'Lord Buckethead' Is Standing Against Theresa May in the Election". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  7. ^ Matthew Engel (23 October 2014). Engel's England: Thirty-nine counties, one capital and one man. Profile Books. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-84765-928-6.
  8. ^ "Maidenhead parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  9. ^ "The Latest: Costumed candidates in UK get moment of fame". Associated Press. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. She looked grim as her local victory was announced, even while sharing a stage with a man dressed as the Muppet character Elmo (he got three votes), Howling "Laud" Hope of the Monster Raving Loony Party (119 votes) and Lord Buckethead, a towering figure in black with a pail on his head (a resounding 249 votes).
  10. ^ a b c d e f g editor, Jim Waterson Media (26 May 2019). "Double trouble: the fight to be the real Lord Buckethead". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 December 2019. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  11. ^ Heritage, Stuart (8 June 2017). "The 2017 election awards: from best eating of a Pringle to biggest dolt". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Tomasz Frymorgen. "Lord Buckethead has agreed to lead Brexit negotiations". BBC Three. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  13. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (9 June 2017). "Lord Buckethead, Elmo and Mr Fishfinger: a very British election". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  14. ^ Smith, Patrick (23 June 2017). "Lord Buckethead makes surprise appearance at Glastonbury appearance to introduce Sleaford Mods". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  15. ^ Dracott, Edd (20 December 2017). "Lord Buckethead released a music video for Christmas and it's a must-watch". Irish Independent.
  16. ^ "Comedian Jon Harvey to take on Boris Johnson as Count Binface". British Comedy Guide. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  17. ^ Moseley, Tom (27 April 2017). "'Strong and stable' - had enough yet?". BBC News. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d "Meet Lord Buckethead, the U.K. election's intergalactic spacelord". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 June 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e Lion, Patrick (9 June 2017). "Theresa May's rival Lord Buckethead ran on Katie Hopkins and Adele policies". Daily Mirror.
  20. ^ "Buckethead4Maidenhead". buckethead4maidenhead.com.
  21. ^ "UK General Election results April 1992". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  22. ^ "Statement of persons nominated – Maidenhead". Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Retrieved 11 May 2017.

External links[edit]