A DARING new world champion was crowned in West Dorset this week.

Paul Collins, of Seaton, chomped his way through 56ft of the prickly leaves to win the annual World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship at the Bottle Inn, Marshwood.

This year the 46 contestants not only had to contend with swallowing the fiery plants - they also got a soaking from torrential rain.

First aiders stood by in case of incident but were not needed.

The women's competition was won by Sonia Fewkes of Poole who managed the leaves from 20ft of nettles.

*Full story in this week's Bridport News out THURSDAY.