The Big Eat, Channel 4

by | Aug 21, 2005 | All, Reviews


• The sheer delight experienced by Rob “Babyface” Burns, an unassuming and outwardly sane computer analyst from Wolverhampton, when he got the chance to represent the UK in the Hot Dog Eating Championships 2005 in Coney Island by coming top of the “four horsemen of the oesophagus” in a pork pie scoffing battle in Nottingham (19 down in 12 minutes).

• The coat of arms of the International Conference of Competitive Eating – two mythical beasts sharing a hotdog, armed with bottles of ketchup and mustard.

• The news that eating championships are on the decline in Japan after a schoolchild died while speed eating rice.


• George Shea from the International Conference of Competitive Eating moaning that “I’m the Gerry Adams of eating” because some people have attacked his despicable digestion extravaganzas.

• Rob’s unquestioning admiration for world record holder Takeru Kobayashi, who can eat 53.5 hot dogs in 12 minutes. “He is an amazing eater,” Rob enthused as he relished “the prospect of meeting him and him imparting his tricks.” Rob undertook a pilgrimage to Japan to see the master muncher at work, wowing in delight as he watched Kobayashi shovelling down various dishes (he doesn’t actually eat – he just pushes food into his mouth, down his throat and into his stomach that’s been stretched by years of exercising).

• George Shea’s equally unquestioning admiration – “Kobayashi is not only the greatest athlete living. He may be something that is more than an athlete, or more than a human.”

• George Shea’s delight when a competitor vomits up a slurry of what they’ve just consumed. “Elvis has left the building!” is George’s excited reaction every time.

• Rob’s failure to enter the big league of big eaters. In 12 minutes, he only managed to eat 10 hot dogs.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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