Video: Whitechapel lamb chop space mission lands man on wall of fame

The Tayyabs tandoori lamb chop attached to a GoPro camera in space

The Tayyabs tandoori lamb chop attached to a GoPro camera in space - Credit: Archant

It was one small step for lamb and one giant leap for a man who longed to see his face on a Whitechapel restaurant’s hall of fame.

(L-R) Wasim Tayyab, Nikesh Shukla, Sanjai Dave, Rob Lingham and Nick Hearne next to the wall of fame

(L-R) Wasim Tayyab, Nikesh Shukla, Sanjai Dave, Rob Lingham and Nick Hearne next to the wall of fame at Tayyabs restaurant in Whitechapel - Credit: Archant

A marketing stunt to send a tandoori lamb chop hurtling into the stratosphere ended just how novelist Nikesh Shukla had hoped.

He secured a spot on Tayyabs wall of fame on Sunday, joining the ranks alongside A-listers Tina Turner and Daniel Craig.

Nikesh, 34, has been visiting the popular Punjabi restaurant on Fieldgate Street for more than a decade.

He said: “When I’m queuing to go in I always wonder what do I need to do to get up on that wall?


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“I realised it would be funny to send a lamb chop up into space. So that’s what I did.”

This very literal stunt was an attempt at viral marketing to promote Nikesh’s new novel, Meatspace.

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However, parallels lie only in the play on words as he describes the book as “a social media satire about the frailties of living a life online.”

On June 14 the lamb chop set off on an adventure no other lamb chop has made, just a few hours after sizzling on the famous east London grill.

Nikesh was joined on the day by artist, Nick Hearne, and friends Sanjai Dave and Rob Lingham.

They attached the meat to a GoPro camera and used a helium weather balloon to send it 31km into space.

The group had to endure a five-month wait to retrieve the footage but finally got it back after it landed in a farmer’s field.

“When we got it back it was pretty unbelievable,” Nikesh said.

“It surpassed all my expectations of how it would go. It was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done but stupidly it was the thing I cared most about.

“Because people don’t read as much anymore I thought we need to do something stupid like launch a lamb chop into space to get attention for my book. And it’s worked.

“I chose Tayyabs because I used to hang around Brick Lane a lot when I was young and always thought it would be a great achievement to be up on that wall.

“I hope I never have to queue there again.”

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