A SCIENTIST is hoping to be named the world’s best porridge-maker during an international competition next month.

Dr Simon Rookyard, from Tyldesley, is set to compete in the 25th annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships in the Scottish Highlands on October 6.

The scientific consultant will be competing in his 10th championships, having previously claimed the golden spurtle in 2015.

Simon, a doctor of astrophysics, said: “It’s amazing just to be part of the competition.

"I first entered when I was a student when I happened across the competition’s website, and it had an entry form on it.

"As students do, I thought ‘I could go to Scotland and make porridge – how hard can it be?’

“When I went up there it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be – there is a lot that can go wrong with porridge. It’s a great weekend and they make a big thing of it – it’s a lovely part of the country where everyone’s friendly. I went up there thinking it’d be a fun thing to say I did once, but I kept going back.”

Held in Carrbridge, the championships attract dozens of professional and amateur chefs from across the world.

Cooks compete in two categories – making a traditional porridge with only oatmeal, water and salt as well as creating their own speciality porridge.

Simon will be competing in both disciplines, and will rustle up a spiced blackberry porridge as his speciality dish.

The 28-year-old added: “I’ve been in intensive training over the winter and taking home the golden spurtle would simply be the cherry on the cake – or should that be the salt in the porridge?

"One of the big talking points at the competition is whether to go savoury or sweet.

"In the past I’ve tried making cheesy bacon and leek porridge, Bakewell tart-flavoured porridge, pear and ginger porridge and a German spiced porridge.

“Since about March, I’ve been trying to decide on my recipe and polishing it up.

"This year I’m going with a spiced blackberry porridge served in a hollowed out apple.

"I’ve never won the speciality porridge before but maybe this year’s will work, and I’m hoping to get the golden spurtle again this year.”