Celebrities get a real taste for onion fayre

FACE ACHE: Rory McGrath and Will Mellor munch the 7oz onions.

CROWDS: Thousands joined the fun at the Newent Onion Fayre.

First published in News

FAMOUS faces creased with horror under golden September sunlight at this year’s Newent Onion Fayre – an annual attraction which celebrates all things onion and more.

Television stars Rory McGrath and Will Mellor made hard work of their 7oz onions, during the celebrated Onion Eating Competition on the main stage last Saturday (September 8) and thousands of people were there to witness their eye-watering ordeal.

The presenters attended the event as part of their channel 5 programme Rory and Will Champions of the World, and they soon discovered that the strange local pastime is certainly no walk in the park.

Rory McGrath has appeared in They Think It’s All Over and Grumpy Old Men, while Will Mellor is best known as Gaz in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Newent Onion Fayre usually attracts around 15,000 people to the town, and this year was no exception, helped by warm late summer sunshine.

A new highlight was an English Civil War re-enactment.

Onion Fayre spokeswoman Charlotte Offord said: “The weather was fantastic – we couldn't have been luckier!

“I think this year was a fantastic showcase of just how far the fayre has advanced – every year it just seems to get better and better! The food festival was only in its second year and went down exceptionally well, with the added highlights of the food demonstrations. The cookery classes, which we introduced this year, were also received very well.”

She added: “The civil war reenactment added new entertainment to the fayre and the dog show just seems to come on in leaps and bounds.

“Feedback from the fayre is so positive and every year people seem to comment on how it is such a happy and lively place! It really is a fayre for everyone.”

The Newent Onion Fayre dates back in its present form to 1996, but the current event is a revival of a festival which dates back to the 12th century, and which was granted its royal charter by King Henry III.

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