THE PEOPLE of South Woodford have hit back at an entry on a website which suggests their area suffers from a shortage of good-looking people.

A keen-eyed reader alerted the Guardian to a comment in the entry for South Woodford on Wikipedia, which includes a reference to a mysterious person named Piers Pereira.

In the 'Amenities' section, after listing all the usual attractions of the area, it says: “South Woodford is notable for its lack of good looking women.

“However, the average beauty of women is on a level par with men, as Piers Pereira brings down the average for men significantly.”

After extensive research, the Guardian managed to track down Piers Pereira, who was surprised that he was becoming the talk of the internet..

Mr Pereira, 26, of Elmhurst Drive in South Woodford, said: “It was one of my mates who set me up – his name's Sean Preston – and I know it's him because he's the only one of my friends who can spell.

"It's got on to Facebook now and it's got round everyone here at work too, so it's spread pretty quickly."

Mr Pereira, who attended Epping Forest College and now teaches Business at an international college in central London, said he was already plotting his revenge.

He said: “It's been going on for a few years. The last time he did anything like that, I put cards with his phone number and a picture of an attractive blond up in phoneboxes around London for two weeks he was getting some very dodgy phone calls.

"He had to change his number in the end.”

The comment was posted on Sunday February 14 – Valentine's Day – and was visible for around seven days, until a moderator removed it this weekend.

Anita Day, 44, runs Allsorts Modelling Agency in George Lane. She said: “I think its disgusting. After all, beauty is in the eye of beholder.

"Every place you go, there's nice-looking and not-so-nice-looking people. I think its rude and quite unfair.

“We've got some women on our books from South Woodford who are really quite stunning, in different age groups, from 18 or 19 through to a woman who's about 45.

“We're real people, we go from newborns to grandmas and grandpas. You might not be a size eight, but you can be quite stunning, especially when people's personalities come across.

“Whoever put that up might he's God's gift, but everyone looks and sees different things.”

Wikipedia is an 'open-source' website which means, theoretically, anyone can edit pages on existing topics or create their own entries. The entry was made by an anonymous individual and not a registered Wikipedia editor.

Adrian Banks, 24, works at The George pub in South Woodford High Road. He said he tended to see people from the area at their best, when they're dressed to the nines for a night out at the weekend.

He said: “It is a bit cheeky to say that, and pretty inaccurate to be fair.

“I've never heard anything like that before!”

But Yvette Bullman, 22, who works in the Slug and Lettuce in George Lane, had a different view.

She said: “All the people around here are very 'Essexy', you know – fake eyelashes and loads of make-up.

“And I suppose that's fine, if that's your bag.”

Jocelyn Kretschmer, who alerted the Guardian to the entry, said: “I was visiting my daughter who lives in Wanstead and was looking for information about houses in The Drive when I came across the Wikipedia entry.

“To say the least, I was surprised, amused and more than a little intrigued when I read the sentence.

“My first reaction was 'is it true'? Is South Woodford notable for its lack of good-looking women? That seemed a bit harsh to me!”