Pie-eating champ crowned

A barman is revelling in the glory of winning the annual World Pie Eating Championships held in a bar in Greater Manchester after guzzling a meat and potato pie in one minute and 18 seconds.

After tackling the meaty morsel, Brendon Brockbank, 18, then entered and won the vegetarian pie eating competition, also held at the event known locally as "pie-noon" at Harry's Bar in Wigan.

In a BBC report, Brockbank, thought to be a rank outsider in the competition, said: "I am as astonished as you are that I won. I'm not really a big eater of pies. I didn't really have an eating strategy when I started but I worked out a system about half way through. I just chewed and swallowed as much as I could, as fast as I could."

In previous years the competition has been won based on the amount of pies eaten, rather than how quickly one pie could be devoured, but this year the rules changed to satisfy healthy eating campaigners.

Organisers said gravy was also banned after complaints it gave an "unfair lubricative advantage."

It was unlikely that the newly established vegetarian pie eating section would be repeated next year.

Competition spokesman, Ian McCauley said: "Quite frankly we came under pressure from the Vegetarian Society to introduce a meat-free pie and I am sorry to say we crumbled."

Heaton's in Wigan, was the official supplier of the meat and potato pies used in the competition and the beef used in the pies originally came from Penny's in Clayton-Le-Moors in Lancashire.