Page last updated at 04:36 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

King Liar holds onto his crown

By Cory Allen
BBC News

Tips on how to tell the perfect lie

When you walk into the bar of the Bridge Inn in Santon Bridge in a remote corner of Cumbria, you're greeted by a man wearing false teeth who claims to be from the year 2098.

No, it's not an alternate universe, but a gathering of tall storytellers competing for the World's Biggest Liar accolade.

Liars from across the globe gather to impress each other and the judges with their tale tales, porky pies and downright lies.

The contest dates back to the 19th century, when Will Ritson (1808-1890), a Wasdale landlord, became well-known for his fibs.

One of his most famous was about turnips which were carved out by local people in the Lake District and then re-used as sheds to house sheep.

As Cumbria's original biggest liar, the competition is now held annually in "Auld Will's" memory.

Suspect story

Nowadays, people travel from all over the country in order to achieve the title, but none have been as successful as John 'Johnny Liar' Graham.

Johnny won on Thursday night, taking the crown for the seventh time.

John Graham aka Johnny Liar tells his championship-winning story

The local farmer managed to clinch the 2008 title after he impressed the eight judges with a suspect story of a magical ride to Scotland in a wheelie bin that went under the sea.

Johnny Liar will keep the trophy all year and return next time to defend his title. He also gets another tie with World's Biggest Liar stitched into it.

He says the trick to telling a perfect lie is "to base it on the truth" - the most convincing liars have to believe their own untruths.

David Russell is the man with the false teeth, although one of the rules is no props, so the teeth were for the bar area only.

He entered this year and shed some light on what motivates people to get up in front of a crowd in a pub and tell lies.

He says he's a "frustrated comedian really" and gets very nervous in the run-up to the competition.

But then again, can we believe him?

Print Sponsor

Biggest liar title up for grabs
20 Nov 08 |  Cumbria
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17 Nov 06 |  Cumbria
The king of tall tales
29 Nov 02 |  England

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