A MOTORBIKE-riding connoisseur of the Great British Banger is to add the Bidwells Norwich and Norfolk Food Festival to his round-Britain food adventure.

Best known as the Sausage King, Stephen Plume will ride into the The Forum, Norwich with his Triumph motorbike on Saturday 11 October to announce the winner of the ever popular Battle of the Bangers competition as part of the Bidwells Norwich and Norfolk Food Festival.

Stephen, who is also a Diss-based Secondary school teacher, runs the award winning website www.sausagefans.com and, supported by Norfolk Triumph, is currently on a quest to travel the UK and visit as many butchers and pig-farmers as possible.

He is seeking to raise the profile of the Great British Banger and to encourage the public to understand the issues affecting farmers.

He is keen to play a part in the Food Festival’s Battle of the Bangers and to encourage butchers to take part so that the public’s favourite sausage for 2008 can be selected.

“I think the Battle of the Bangers is a great event and is a real opportunity for local butchers to showcase their products as well as for Norfolk food-lovers to appreciate the many and varied sausages that are currently out there,” he said.

“Anything we can do to encourage people to visit their local butcher and to sample different kinds of sausages is a great thing and I’m delighted to have been asked to announce the winner on stage in The Forum.”

This year, the competition will not only see a vote for the preferred ‘public choice’ but will also see professional foodies making a judgement on their favoured banger.

For the past two years, the Battle of the Bangers contest has been won by Archers Butchers of Norwich. The company has recently secured a contract to supply the popular attraction Bewilderwood with 2000 sausages per week – an opportunity the business owners believe stems from their competition success.

Sarah de Chair of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, who co-ordinates the Bangers competition as part of the Bidwells Norwich and Norfolk Food Festival, said: “We are really looking forward to this year’s contest and feel sure it is going to be even bigger and better than before.

“Having a visit from the Sausage King is a special feature and we are confident he will attract a lot of attention when he roars up to The Forum on the day. His motivation to applaud the work of local butchers is something to be admired and we are very grateful that he is adding the Festival to his busy ‘round UK tour’ schedule.”

Back for the fourth year, the Bidwells Norwich & Norfolk Food Festival will take place between Wednesday 8th and Tuesday 14th October 2008.

This year, co-ordinators VisitNorwich are lining up a tempting programme of foodie events as part of the celebrations with more than 130 businesses expected to be involved in the programme.

As well as the Battle of the Bangers Competition, other confirmed events for the 2008 itinerary are the John Lewis Cookery Theatre and RNAA Food Fair at The Forum, the Great Norfolk Sunday Roast, The Moveable Feast and the Jellyvision Schools Challenge.

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