Cress 2020

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-15-39-32In times of crisis the world needs to come together. We are divided by many things, language, race, religion, politics, gender…the list probably goes on but I’m already losing my thread. Anyway, the point is, in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic the one thing that can unite us all is cress.


Yes cress, that peppery little herb that we normally only ever experience in sandwiches with eggs or during some bizarre growing ritual in primary school (again with eggs, though almost inexplicably, on cotton wool in blown-out shells).

But how can cress unite us?

Easy, by taking part in the world’s only online international cress competition, now in its 4th incarnation (the Crystal Skull of the series if you will), you’ll be part of an international effort to raise money (stay with me here) for the Association of NHS Charities – NHS Together. Providing support for charities across the NHS, they also support the people on the front line caring for us, our loved ones and even the people we don’t really like (let’s not get political here), at huge personal risk to themselves. This will be like clapping on a Thursday night but without the hard work. You can donate here.

Also, you’ve literally got nothing else to do other than stand in long queues or pretend to jog around parks that you’d previously only been to with a stack of cans and a disposable barbecue.

 Okay great! How does it all work?

Like the previous competitions in 2011, 2013 and 2016 I’ll be doing all the heavy lifting here, sending cress to everyone taking part. In the past I’ve sent seeds all over the world. Gonna level with you straight away – given the current climate I’m not going into a Post Office to do this. There’s a letterbox about 20 metres from my front door and that’s as far as I’m going. If it can’t reach you by second-class post then it’s not coming. If you’re impacted by that, don’t worry, you can still take part and by the time I finish typing this I’m pretty sure I’ll have thought of a way how.

Previous entrants will be aware that there are a number of rules that must be strictly adhered to – they will be published on here as we go along.

Children and the elderly have been banned from previous tournaments for reasons that are obvious. I have decided to lift that ban (except in relation to children who, ultimately, lack the strength of character required).

An experienced panel of judges will monitor the competition. Ultimately their decision is final. The stakes are high. Not high enough to merit a prize, but high nonetheless. I’ll be revealing their identities over the next week.

If you are willing to take part, and are actually going to make the effort, you’ll need to supply your name, Twitter handle and an address to send the cress to. I will keep your real name secret (unless you do something really bad and the police ask as I am a massive squealer). The entry form will be online soon. is online HERE.

To be clear, there is no entry fee and you don’t have to donate. If you are in a position to, that would be amazing, but obviously a lot of people won’t be able to. That’s fine, just play along and be nice to each other.

Finally, as in previous years, major international celebrities will be taking part alongside you. Be kind, but obviously do your best to beat them.

I love you.


13th April 2020



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