Cheering, shouting, mouth-wiping and lots and lots of chewing was the order of the day when Big Easy in Canary Wharf held its annual Fourth of July Rib-Eating Contest.

It was the battle of the man-eaters with seven male competitors going tooth-to-tooth to try and chomp the most meat in 15 minutes.

A crowd gathered at the restaurant in Crossrail Place to cheer them on and offer helpful advice such as “keep going”.

The event- held to mark American Independence Day- saw challengers dished up a rack of giant ribs which had been smoked, slathered in Big Easy’s secret sauce and slow cooked.

They all made a gallant effort, chowing down until the bell rung and the judges counted up the discarded bones.

Bank IT worker Chris Gregory had only popped in for an after work drink with his colleagues but ended up strolled away with the grand prize.

“I didn’t even know the contest was taking place,” said the 39-year-old who ate his way through 11 ribs, “I just came along for a beer.

He bagged a £100 Big Easy voucher and trophy and said of his motivation: “Well, I only had a light lunch.

“This is the first and maybe last time I will do anything like this,” he added, “I feel a bit green.

“It was absolutely great to win though. I’ll spend the vouchers on the team. Happy days.”

The runners up each walked away with a £10 Express Lunch voucher.

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