A CHALLENGE has gone out to would-be poets to write an ode to asparagus for this year’s Vale of Evesham asparagus festival.

Last year Trevor Harrison, who plays Eddie Grundy in The Archers, wrote an ode to the Vale’s most famous vegetable which he read when he visited the launch of the festival on St George’s Day.

Now anyone with a gift for verse is being invited to write their own ode and entries will be judged by Mr Harrison and his colleague Hedli Niklaus, who plays Kathy Perks in the long-running radio serial.

A selection of the winning odes will be read by the two judges at the launch of this year’s asparagus festival, which is taking place in Abbey Park, Evesham, on Friday, April 23.

The Archers Addicts, the official fan club of the programme, is offering five winners gold membership of the club.

The overall winner will also receive a pair of sought-after tickets to The Archers diamond jubilee celebrations on the second day of the Three Counties Show in Malvern on Saturday, June 19.

People wanting to enter the competition should e-mail their entries to info@archers-addicts.com or send them to Archers Addicts, PO Box 1951, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks, CV37 1YH by Tuesday, April 20, along with their contact details.

Hedli said: “I am really looking forward to reading the entries and then coming along to the launch to meet people and, best of all, to taste the asparagus.”

Meanwhile, Worcestershire people can help the Vale of Evesham asparagus festival win a national award.

The festival has been voted the regional winner in the Where Else But England awards – aimed at finding the most eccentric and unique events in the country.

Now people can help to make it the national winner by voting for it at the website enjoyengland.com/whereelse