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Nigel Barden to host The National Fish & Chip Awards 2016 for the second year

Article Date: 2015-12-04


Leading food expert and the voice of food and drink on BBC Radio 2’s popular Simon Mayo show is set to return with his signature charm to the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards.

Household favourite Nigel Barden will take centre stage to host the ‘Oscars’ of the fish and chip industry at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, where he will make or break the dreams of fish and chip operators from across the UK as they vie to be crowned the best in the business.

Feeling extremely ‘chipper’ about hosting the prestigious awards ceremony for a second year in a row, Nigel said that he couldn’t wait to return for some more fish and chips fun while celebrating the nation’s favourite takeaway.

Nigel added: "Hosting the 2015 awards ceremony was a fantastic experience, so much so I just had to get another ‘portion’ of the action! I love fish and chips and the great sense of tradition, history and familiarity the dish brings with it. It’s also been a privilege to meet some of the people behind our leading fish and chip businesses.

"Last year I visited Peterhead and Aberdeen with the finalists to gain valuable insight into how north east Scotland sources and distributes haddock and cod throughout the UK. As a lover of seafood from a very young age, it was marvellous to witness how the different facets of the business intertwine.

"The finalists announced in this year’s awards are a talented, passionate and focused group who are consistently adapting to the needs and demands of the modern customer. They embody the qualities required for succeeding in the fish and chip business – following in the footsteps of the incumbent champions, Frankie’s Fish & Chips from Brae in Shetland. I’m already looking forward to the thrill I know I’ll get as I bound on the stage in January to announce the 2016 winners.”

Organised by Seafish, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prestigious and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.

To reach the finals, fish and chip businesses undergo several judging stages including intense mystery shopper challenges and in-depth audits by industry experts. The awards ceremony in January marks the end of a seven month long judging process which sees fish and chip businesses from around the country ‘batter’ it out for national glory.

Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director of Seafish, said: "There is no doubt that we had to have Nigel back for 2016 - bringing fun and entertainment, he has a showman’s charisma and delivers the whole package for us.

"As a pedigree foodie, Nigel has been eulogising about the virtues of British food on the BBC since 1990 and is currently a chairman of the tasting panel for the Great Taste Awards. His passion and commitment for promoting our food and drink industry is undoubtable - we couldn’t get anyone better for the job.

"With the countdown to the awards well and truly underway, finalists in the flagship Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be starting to put together their final presentations for the industry judging panel. There’s a lot of pressure at this stage of the competition but with so much to be gained its evident why entry figures increase year on year for the awards. Good luck to everyone on the night, including Nigel!”

The awards represent a significant PR and marketing opportunity, offering businesses the ability to raise their customer and industry profile and increase turnover. The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business and previous winners have gone on to great success with reported sales increases of up to 100%.

For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit or follow @FishnChipAwards.


Fish Friers