A NEWSPAPER columnist who literally came under fire for her portrayal of Exmoor provided inspiration for entrants in this year's Dulverton Carnival.

As reported, Daily Mail reporter Liz Jones had a shotgun fired at her Brushford farmhouse mailbox on September 2 – just hours after the County Gazette revealed locals’ scathing reaction to her views on the area.

And locals Bern How and Terry Littlefair decided to use the 51-year-old's controversial prose as the theme for their float, Liz’s Coffee Morning.

Bern donned a wig and full slap to transform himself into a Liz Jones replica while Terry dressed as a toothless farmer – a light-hearted dig at Ms Jones comment about Westcountry folk and their lack of teeth.

Other topical props included:

* False teeth for sale to the over-40s – in response to her comment about Exmoor men not having their own teeth.

* Rats being fed by organic chickens – Liz told her readers she fed the rats in her barn organic muesli.

* A tin of Illy coffee – she wrote that local shop assistants all have learning difficulties and have never heard of Illy coffee.

* A damaged letterbox – Liz infamously had a shotgun fired at her mailbox in a suspected revenge attack for her comments.

* A horse overlooking a stable door – Liz Jones’ profile picture shows her smiling next to a horse.

* A gate to her ‘home’ containing a plaque reading Sea View – Liz claimed she could see the sea from her Brushford house despite living 20km from the coast.

Bern said: “We had a board reading Liz’s Coffee Morning – All her friends are here. And, of course, nobody was there!

“There is no offence meant, it’s just a popular topic, so we had to follow it up.

“Let’s be honest, there’s only one winner and it’s her. Nobody had heard of her locally before. Now she’s probably one of the most well known people in the town.”

Bern and Terry, dubbed the ‘two old fools’, won the cup for Best Comic.

------------------------------------------------------------ LIZ Jones proclaimed this week: “I wish I had never moved to Exmoor”.

The Daily Mail scribe made the wistful comment in this weekend’s Mail on Sunday.

Ms Jones, who has written that “if men have teeth in the Westcountry, it’s a bonus” and “anyone mobile enough not to need Meals on Wheels upped sticks long ago in search of work above the minimum wage” also revealed the new weapon which has tipped her over the edge – eggs.

Ms Jones said: “I wish I had never moved to Exmoor. I wish I had stayed in my centrally heated house and spent money in Prada rather than the feed merchant in my village.

“The roof of my car was covered with egg and bits of shell. I’m afraid this was the final straw.

“I had my wheels stolen from my car in London but that hadn’t been personal. This time, I felt attacked from every angle, defeated, alone.”

Tempers have gradually frayed over the journalist’s weekly column, which documents her integration into rural West Somerset following a move from London.

Ms Jones added: “I had thought that if I employed enough local people, got enough local students jobs and internships, spent £350 on a cashmere blanket in a Dulverton gift shop for my sister’s Christmas present, bought all my beauty products and candles in there too, that people would like me and accept me.”