Top athletes get ready for Wigan's world-famous Pie Eating Championships
Wigan's famous World Pie Eating Championships descended into chaos this week as new rules were introduced just days before pie-off - competing athletes thrown into a state of confusion.
Championship hopefuls will this year compete for The Poulet Surprise after the Bradley Piggins Trophy was retired – and retained by three-times winner Martin Appleton-Clare.
But a controversial decision to appease a UN climate change report and recommendation, and address the growing issue of wind-breaking in international darts – which organisers fear could spread into related competitions such as pie-eating – means meat and potato pies will be ditched in favour of a chicken filling.
The 2018 showdown is at Pie Noon on December 18 at Harry’s Bar, Wallgate, leaving competitors little time to adjust. The new trophy is named The Poulet Surprise in a nod to its key new ingredient of chicken. The winner will also be inducted into the Academy of Pie Eating and don a mortarboard and gown.
“We’re mindful that our elite pie-eaters are role models for aspiring gastronomist athletes and people who like competing in food events. The surprise element for many pie purists is that we’re going chicken,” said organiser and Harry’s Bar owner Tony Callaghan (below).
“We’re steering things away from red meat content this year for two reasons: health considerations, and also to avoid the methane issue as highlighted by the United Nations and its warnings about greenhouse gasses from cattle, and the controversy involving farting at major darts tournaments which recently distracted players.
We need to move with the times and climate change. We’ll return to red meat when the Antarctic starts floating again.”