TV Star Signs up for Conger Cuddling at Lyme Lympics local entrants now also sought for Games
TV comedian Rory McGrath has asked to enter the conger cuddling contest at the Lyme Lympic Games on August 1st – which he wants to film for a new series of his much-watched show.
Mr McGrath’s producers have approached organisers of the madcap games with a request to film the host of Channel 5’s Champions Of The World taking part in the conger cuddling, which the Lympics are reviving after a seven-year ban on the popular local game.
Organisers of the Lympics are hoping that the combination of the crowd-pulling conger game and nationwide TV exposure will provide a life-saving boost to Lyme’s weather-battered economy.
Conger cuddling was a 30-year tradition in Lyme until it was last staged as part of Lifeboat Week in 2005, when it drew massive crowds reported at the time to be 3,000-strong.
The game was dropped after the RNLI HQ in Poole received what were described in the press at the time as ‘complaints from animal activists’.
However, an investigation by the Lympics committee has discovered that the RNLI received only one complaint, that it was anonymous and that it was sent by a woman from London who bought a second home in the town but who has now left Lyme Regis.
The game consists of a large dead eel – obtained by fishermen who accidentally net the fish – tied to a rope, which is swung from a lamp post to try knock over nine contestants standing like skittles on flowerpots.
The games has been described as ‘the most fun a person can have with a dead fish.’
A spokesman for the Lympic games, which will take place on Lyme’s main beach on Wednesday August 1st from 5.0 pm, said the aim of re-staging the event was to boost trade and visits to Lyme after the worst summer in living memory.
‘We have discussed the pros and cons of conger cuddling at length and have decided that as a popular TV star, the mayor’s office, various town councillors, many local traders and many more local people would like to see a conger comeback, that their vote matters more than that of one wealthy incomer who has now left town.
‘It’s a messy and smelly game and we are delighted that Rory McGrath wants to film and take part as we believe this will draw even bigger crowds to the event and further boost the local economy when the TV show airs next year.
‘And hopefully this will all help the Lympics raise money for the local RNLI and the Candles On the Cobb event.’
Lympics organisers are to meet Mr McGrath’s producer to discuss filming the conger game.
The 12 games of the Lyme Lympics will be held on the main beach from 5.0 pm on Wednesday August 1st – between Lifeboat Week and Lyme Carnival.
If you are staying in local Lyme Regis accommodation make sure that you don't miss this unique spectacle.
Due to the anticipated popularity of the Lympic games, the organisers are asking those who wish to take part in some of the events to sign up in advance.
All the games are free and entrants are requested to sign up for the following games by texting 07842 711 376 or mailing
Children’s tug of war – children up to the age of 11 tug of war on the sand.
Children’s spade and ball race – children up to the age of 6 balance a ball on a spade racing on the sand.
Waiters’ race – waiters from local hotels and restaurants run with a tray to fill a plastic cup with water from the sea and race back to the finish.
OAP buggy race – owners of disability scooters race along the Cart Road.
8-legged race [children and adults] – teams of four are attached to two skis and have to ‘run’ in co-ordination across the sand.
Published on 18/07/2012.