Video & Photo Gallery: Norfolk farmer backs Carrot Whistle Olympics

They're tasty, versatile and packed with vitamins, but who knew the humble carrot could go from root vegetable to musical instrument in just a matter of minutes?

Take the time to drill a few holes and an ordinary carrot fished from the fridge could be your ticket to success in what has to be the year's quirkiest alternative to the London Olympics.

West Norfolk farmer Simon Pearce is among dozens of growers backing the Great British Carrot Whistle Olympics, designed to raise a smile and get more people crunching on what is already one of the nation's favourite vegetables.

It may sound strange, but carrot playing is not a new pastime or one restricted to rural parts.

Carrot whistles are already popular the world over and, with a top prize on offer, hundreds of people are expected to try their hand in the mad cap competition, launched by the British Carrot Growers' Association.

'I'm a carrot grower and I didn't even know about carrot whistles,' Mr Pearce, director of Alfred G Pearce, said. 'I thought it was a crack pot idea at first, but it really does work.

'All our staff found it hilarious. It's been great fun.'

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The family business, based in Setchey near King's Lynn, produces 70,000 tonnes of carrots a year and was a founder member of the BCGA.

'Research shows that many consumers are turned off by worthy healthy eating messages,' he added. 'Hopefully this will engage with consumers in a light-hearted way as well as getting across some great recipes and key health messages.

'We'll also be tapping into the huge audience that is interested in carrot whistles – just Google the words and 64m results come up!'

The top prize is a limited edition London 2012 set of gold coins made of 22 carat gold and worth �1,200.

To be in with a chance of winning, competitors need to submit a video of themselves playing a gold-themed song on a carrot whistle.

Different pitches can be created using different lengths of carrot and whistles can even be joined together to create carrot panpipes.

Song suggestions include 1980s hit Gold by Spandau Ballet, the Shirley Bassey's classic Bond theme Goldfinger, Golddigga by Kanye West or Girl With The Golden Touch by Razorlight.

The Carrot Whistle Olympics are open to everyone including musicians, bands and schools and a limited number of free carrot whistles are available. Find out more at www.britishcarrots.co.uk.

Videos need to be posted on www.facebook.com/greatbritishcarrots and 'liked' by as many visitors as possible.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Monday, August 13.

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