This man is the world's biggest liar

Kitty Knowles
Saturday 22 November 2014 10:40

A champion of lies?

Yes. George has been awarded the World’s Biggest Liar title. It’s not an accolade most publicans wish for, but it is the third time he has won an annual contest held at the Bridge Inn at Santon Bridge, Cumbria.

A matter of tradition, then?

The 200-year-old competition to tell the most extravagant and convincing fib in front of judges honours the legendary Will Ritson of Wasdale – a 19th-century landlord who once claimed the local turnips were so big that people had to “quarry” into them for their Sunday lunch, and they could then be used as sheds for sheep from the Lake District fells.

So what makes a winning flight of whimsy?

Mr Kemp, 58, of Maryport, told a five-minute tale about a wooden car, Henry the hoover and fracking for jam. Apparently, being funny helps. “I just find little jokes and then just cobble them into a story,” said Mr Kemp, who is also a local councillor. Previous holders of the title include comedian Sue Perkins, who won in 2006 with a tall story about riding to work on a camel.

Worth a visit?

Mr Kemp beat seven contestants including Solade Steinke, from Germany. But the competition has not always welcomed foreigners: there was a near-riot when a South African prevailed in 2003 as the first non-Cumbrian to take the title.

And the winner’s bounty?

£25 and a box of beer – which most would say is worth a few untruths.

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