Coronavirus: Dorset knob-eating contest held online amid lockdown

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image copyrightDorset tea
image captionKate Scott (bottom left) said her win was down to "preparation" and local pride

Dorset's annual knob-eating competition has been held online for the first time.

The event - in which contestants vie to gobble more of the county's traditional biscuits than their rivals - usually draws huge crowds.

But this year 100 competitive eaters live-streamed their attempts to swallow the savoury spheres.

Kate Scott, from Shaftesbury, necked eight and a half of the thrice-baked treats to claim the crown.

Contestants across nine heats got a minute to finish off as many knobs as they could manage.

Festival chairman Ian Gregory said the bun-shaped confections were "quite dry" and competitors often used a mug to moisten them.

'Won't be beaten'

Top nosher Ms Scott said she was determined to see off non-Dorset competitors and "keep this local".

"It was all in the preparation - I had plenty of time to practise and focus," she said.

"Those knobs were going down - no-one else was going to beat me."

image copyrightDorset Tea
image captionWinner Kate Scott said she was determined there should be a Dorset victor

Her impressive score fell some way short of 2015's winner, who necked at least 13 knobs.

Mr Gregory said that "momentous performance" was believed to be a world record.

This year, due to lockdown regulations, each hopeful was sent a packet of regulation Moores Biscuits for their heats.

image copyrightHelen & Stephen Jones
image captionContestants are usually seen stuffing their faces in front of an appreciative crowd

Organisers said entries had come in from all corners of the UK, including Castle Donington, Ellesmere Port and Cockermouth.

In total, the knob eaters raised more than £1,200 for local charity Weldmar Hospicecare.

Sister event, the Dorset knob-throwing festival, has been postponed until 2021.

Entrants in that competition would normally gather in a field to toss the bun-shaped confections as far as possible.

The knob-throwing event started in 2008 and now incorporates a food festival, knob darts, and games including knob and spoon racing and pinning the knob on the Cerne Abbas giant.

image copyrightDorset Knob
image captionSackfuls of Dorset knobs are usually eaten with Blue Vinney cheese or honey and clotted cream - known as thunder and lightning

Dorset knob explainer

  • The biscuits have been made by Moores of Morecombelake for more than 150 years
  • Originally, they were made from leftover bread dough with added butter and sugar, hand-rolled and left to dry in the dying heat of the oven
  • It is thought their name comes from the hand-sewn Dorset knob buttons that were also made locally
  • They can be eaten with Blue Vinny cheese, dipped in tea or cider, or taken with honey and cream - known locally as thunder and lightning

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