Believe it or not, there really is a Worlds Biggest Liar Competition, and it is held right here in Santon Bridge every year in November. The Bridge Inn are the hosts of this unique annual spectacular event which sees contestants from all around the world competing for the illustrious title of World’s Biggest Liar.
How did it start?
Will Ritson (1808-1890), a local publican was well-known for his tall tales that enthralled locals and visitors alike. He insisted all his tales were true, even the wackiest and most ‘out there’ of them, including the extra large turnips that the locals farmed that was apparently so big, the local sheep could use them as sheds after the townsfolk had taken what they needed for their lunch. Ritson became a local legend, and so as well as the area having the deepest lake (Wast Water), the smallest church (Wasdale Head Church) and the highest mountain (Scafell Pike), they also had Auld Will, the Worlds Biggest Liar.
In honour of Will
In honour of Will and his tall tales, every year in November, people gather from all around the world in the sleepy little village of Santon Bridge, where, at the Bridge Inn, they get 5 minutes each to tell the tallest tales that they can come up with in the hopes of earning themselves the title of World’s Biggest Liar. A panel of judges then choose the lucky winner, so if you think you can tell a better tale than having lunch with Prince Charles then head to Santon Bridge next November!
Some of the lies have been very inventive and past winners include beloved TV presenter Sue Perkins, who won the title in 2006. There are not many rules, but lawyers and politicians are not allowed to enter as the organisers feel they are too ‘well versed’ in the art of the lie