FANTASTIC fibbers vied at a pub in England last week for the title of the world’s biggest liar.

Contestants had five minutes to impress the judges with a whopping but convincing lie. The contest was founded in honour of 19th-century Bridge Inn landlord Will Ritson, who was reportedly legendary for his lies.

Last year’s winner was Glen Boyland, for an improbable story about racing snails with Prince Charles.

Politicians and lawyers are barred from entry, as they are considered to have an unfair advantage. The event was sponsored by UK brewer Jennings, which has produced a World’s Biggest Liar ale to mark the event.

A study published in July in the journal Evolution & Human Behaviour found that nearly all lies are detectable through visible facial muscle reactions in the person telling a lie. “While interpersonal deception often is highly successful, signs of covert emotional states are communicated clearly to the informed observer,” the study concluded.

A bishop of Carlisle holds what may be the greatest lie of all time, simply stating, “I have never told a lie in my life.”

In 2003, Abrie Krueger of South Africa became the first non-Brit to win the competition. Ironically, he was accused by some of cheating. In 2006, comedian Sue Perkins became the first female to win, telling a tale about people riding camels to work as a result of climate change. – Sapa-AP