Egton Gooseberry Show sees nailbiting finish with winning fruit just 0.02g heavier than its competitor

It's not only Tokyo that has seen nailbiting finishes to high-stakes competition this week.

The Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show in North Yorkshire saw a dead heat yesterday, with what is believed to be closest final result in the show’s history.

One of the only shows of its kind remaining in Britain, the 221-year-old contest is run by the Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society to find the heaviest example of the sour fruit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The winning gooseberry, expertly grown by Bryan Nellist, was declared victorious after tiny goldsmith’s scales were needed to prove it weighed 0.02g more than its competitor, grown by Paul Bennison.

Bryan Nellist, 85, is a former champion of the show and has been growing the fruit for 65 years having bought his first bushes in 1956.

Mr Nellist, 85, is a former champion of the show and has been growing the fruit for 65 years having bought his first bushes in 1956.

His berry came in at 26 drams and 18 grains, which although not setting a new world record, was enough to clinch him the coveted prize.

Mr Nellist said: “It’s just unbelievable really. I thought my winning days were over - I was hoping to get a prize, but certainly not the top one.

“It was a delight, absolutely.”

Tiny goldsmith’s scales were needed to prove it weighed 0.02g more than its competitor, grown by Paul Bennison. Photo: Richard Ponter

Chairman of the Society Graeme Watson said: "We had a great show, everyone was delighted and the weather was fantastic.

"There were two berries of the same weight, and the only way to split them was I had a pair of gold scales. They weigh to the hundredth of a gram, and the difference was two one-hundredths of a gram.

"I don't think we've ever had a dead heat. To my knowledge, it's the closest it's ever been. The judges couldn't see a difference - it was only those scales that could judge it."