The grapes of broth

It was the day of the Souperchef finals. It was traditional that the final took place in an exotic location and this year it was "Live from Norway". The three finalists were working away. Filliting a combination of haddock and wolf fish for the Scandinavian fish soup challenge that the judges had set.

Phil A Gumbo was the head judge, known as Britain's finest soup chef, he was a housewife's choice with a rep as a bit of a lothario. "Embattled tv chef, Phil" the Sun had called him.

Why embattled?

It was a storm in a soup plate really.. His original wife , Sandra, had been discarded like a parsley stem or the lumpy end bit of a carrot when Phil had been caught inflagrante with the winner of series two of celebrity Souperchef, Kelly mulligatawny, a former Holioaks actress. He'd been as red handed as a man trying to recover his wedding ring from a tin of Heinz tomato.

And now the paparazzi were back,

The accusation was that in this year's competition he was showing favouritism to a young, attractive female contestant..who was flirting with him outrageously. Kelly was not talking to him because he was "too interested chasing in that cow's oxtail to remember my birthday!!!!!"

In leek and potato week, this contestant had exhorted him to " lick her spoon and experience her creamy broth" and only yesterday she had told him that her vegetable farikal would transport him on a wonderful journey through her fjords". The gutter press speculated that he had been playing "cock a leekie once again"

The producers had told him in no uncertain terms there was no way he could allow her to win.

However it wasn't his fault this time, this bloody woman was an absolute soup making genius. If anything, the other judges were marking her higher than him. Her minestrone had been a masterpiece worthy of Michelangelo and her Mexican bean a fiery fiesta of peppery perfection.

In short since she had turned up in a battered ford fiesta she had shown Phil that his own soupmaking talents were prosiaic and mundane in comparison.

Phil wanted to say that he was not having having a midlife crisis but one of self confidence in his own soup making abilities.

He was awakened from his worries by the shows ultra-annoying comedian/ presenter Richie Ramen shrieking in a falsetto that the contestants only had one minute left.

The signature soups were presented to the judges by the three contestants, two had back stories that would certainly jerk some tears with the general public. Welsh contestant, Catrin Cawl, had been blind from birth and yet could cut vegetables like a pro and Pierre Potage, had overcome horiffic injuries sustained in a kitchen mandolin incident to make the final.

Phil tasted the soups, Pierre's was pronounced a "triumph" and Catrin's "quite delicious" but there was no doubt in any of the judges mind that the soup cooked by the third contestant, the flirtatious Amelia Pho was the best soup anyone had ever tasted .

"Phil you might like to blow on it gently, like this" she said contorting her mouth in a way that suggested her creation could only be cooled by fellatio.

Phil wanted to keep his job, he wanted to keep his new girlfriend, he wanted to give the public a heartwarming story, the last thing he needed was a pushy soupmaking rival who was better than him, but he also wanted to stay true to the rules of judging impartiality and reward the best effort. Not to mention that the fact he fancied her something rotten.

His colleagues had both given 10s to ms Pho and 9s to the other contestants. Phil himself had given an 9 to m. potage and a 8 to Catrin Cawl.

And so, with only an 8 needed to deliver toureen making temptress a famous yet potentially dangerous victory, Phil prepared to deliver his Amelia rating.........