IT was a bit of a sticky situation when the World Gravy Wrestling Championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday at the Rose‘n Bowl pub in Stacksteads.

Deemed as one of the world’s craziest culinary competitions, the annual bout saw contestants wrestle around for two minutes in a pool full of Lancashire gravy, proudly supplied by the Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company .

With points to be won in order to crown a king and queen, judges scored competitors not for their wrestling abilities, but for fancy dress, comedy effect, and entertainment.

Roxy Afzal, who has won the ladies competition the last two years in a row, said it's more about making the crowd laugh than how good the wrestling is; and a win this year would see her entering the Guinness Book of Records.

Ms Afzal, from Manchester said: "I actually hold the joint record with another lady but she's not competing this year so if I win, I'll be the sole record holder.

"I've a few signature moves up my sleeve but the main thing is just to be entertaining and get stuck in. The game has been upped this year too as the gravy is a lot thicker so it's a bit harder."

Now in its 11th year, the gravy wrestling championships are held to help raise funds for the East Lancashire Hospice with each contestant collecting sponsorship money before the competition.

In total, 14 male and 16 female contestants battled it out for the title, in front of hundreds of eager spectators; and landlord of the Rose 'n Bowl, Jon Lowe, said it's the first time they've had more women than men competing.

Mr Lowe said: "It's great fun, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. We're expecting around a thousand people to come through the doors today, and the sun is shining, we couldn't ask for anything more really.

"All the money raised is going to the East Lancashire Hospice too which is great. And of course it couldn't be done without the guys from the Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company who provide us with the gravy, so massive thanks to them."

The fire brigade even made an appearance to lend a hose and wash down the wrestlers between bouts.

And with a collection of activities for the family, including a huge bouncy castle, face painting, craft beer stalls, and cake and tombola stands, as well as food and drink, the bank holiday spirits were high (organisers were keen to stress though, that the gravy used for the wrestling was not then used to put on the chips).