A SOUTH Lakeland man was runner-up in the World’s Biggest Liar of 2019 competition.

Spartacus, aka John Rooney from Kendal, recalled the many jobs he has held, including full-time pick-pocket, bear wrestler and lion tamer.

He had the audience at The Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge, in fits of giggles throughout his entire tale.

Among other tall tales told were stories of providing the Queen with her “morning cuppa” before being bitten by her corgis, a mother’s arms being used in place of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in Predator, and Herdy the talking Herdwick who just wanted to live a human life.

But the one that truly had the wool pulled firmly over the judges’ eyes was Phillip Gate's account of where the term 'jam eater' came from, and how it should "go back to being a friendly term".

The crowd was enticed by his tale of underground "sugar seams" absorbing into hedges, creating every flavour of jam.

After explaining the science behind the phenomenon, and expressing his sadness that it was not a friendly term anymore, Phillip asked the crowd to turn to the person next to them, and make them smile by saying "jam scram" – and the rest is history.

Phillip, of Workington, was presented with the World’s Biggest Liar award by the BBC's The One Show presenter, AJ Odudu.

Last year's winner, Keekle's Mike Naylor, or Monkey Liar, took third place with his story of going for a hike up Yewbarrow, bumping into Frankenstein (who he knew "when he was just plain old 'Frank who played the mouth organ'") and the 'Beary Hikers' along the way.

The event is sponsored by Jennings Brewery and hosted by Charles Mawdling, who presented each winner with a gift of beer, along with eternal glory for being the best liars in the world.