Millions of television viewers watched a documentary on Melton’s pie awards this week and it is hoped the town will now benefit from a boost in tourism as a result.
Life of Pies aired on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Monday with 2.5million people tuning in, which represented a whopping 15 per cent share of the TV audience at that time.
The programme told the story of the British Pie Awards and showcased the town’s pork pie industry.
One of the stars of the show was awards organiser, Matthew O’Callaghan.
He told the Melton Times: “The programme is really good news for Melton and already we’ve seen ticket sales increase for next month’s PieFest.
“Stories like this re-emphasises Melton’s connection with food and its claim as the Rural Capital of Food.
“We earn almost £80m a year from food tourism which for the 10th smallest borough, and a rural one at that, is a vital element of our economy.
“I am sure the programme will lead to an increase in tourists visiting over the summer, which will be good for the hotels, cafés, restaurants and shops and, in the long term, for us all.”
The documentary, which was part of the BBC1’s ‘Our Lives’ series, featured lots of scenes from the town centre, including St Mary’s Church, the venue for the awards, which were held in March.
It followed several pie-makers as they prepared to enter the competition, which one described as ‘like winning the FA Cup at Wembley’.
Stephen Hallam, managing director of Dickinson and Morris, featured heavily along with its Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Nottingham Street.
The programme showed footage of the judging and the jubilant scene as the winners were crowned.
This year’s award was a particularly special occasion as a vegan pie was crowned Supreme Champion by judges for the first time, from the 900 pies entered by 176 producers from across the nation.
If you haven’t watched the programme yet go online at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0006577/our-lives-series-3-life-of-pies to see it on the BBC iPlayer.