Dunking test that takes the biscuit

Blackpool Lights Switch On 2014.
Pictured are the illuminations.
29th August 2014
Blackpool Lights Switch On 2014. Pictured are the illuminations. 29th August 2014

There are many great questions which have puzzled scientists for millennia.

Is their life on other planets, where do we go when we die and, most importantly, what’s the best biscuit to dip in a hot brew?

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust research panel members Wendy Stevenson and May Griffiths, take part in the Biscuit Trial watched by members of the Trusts research team.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust research panel members Wendy Stevenson and May Griffiths, take part in the Biscuit Trial watched by members of the Trusts research team.

Luckily, while we’re all sat watching Judge Rinder or listening to the top 40 on the radio, the professionals are looking for an answer to the questions which have mystified us since the dawn of time.

And on Friday, to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, visitors to Blackpool Victoria Hospital were invited to help find the answer to at least one of them – the big biscuit dilemma.

Inspired by comedian Peter Kay’s legendary joke about the tasty teatime treats, and to celebrate the day, they dipped Rich Teas and Hobnobs to see which was better for dunking as part of a mock trial, with the results recorded by research team.

Bolton comic Kay, 42, famously quipped: “Hobnobs are like the marines. You dip a Hobnob and they go, ‘Again, again! I’m going nowhere, son, dip me! Is that all you’ve got? Come on!’”

In stark contrast, he branded Rich Teas ‘one dips’. “Rich Tea are bad for dipping,” he joked. “They should be called One Dips because that’s all you get. You’ve got be like lightning with Rich Tea.”

Michelle Stephens, head of research and development at the hospital, said: “I was looking to do a short, memorable trial to show people how easy it was to do research and when Peter Kay came up on TV with his biscuit sketch it gave me an idea.

“We could look at proving if his theory that the Hob Nob was the ‘marine of the biscuit world’ in relation to dunking so we compared them to Rich Teas in a trial scenario and the results were pretty convincing.

“I think it is safe to say that Hob Nobs are the biscuits of choice for dunkers.”

A stand was put up close to the hospital’s main entrance, while another was erected in the outpatients area of the cardiology department.

Staff also talked to visitors about their work, the different ways people can get involved, and opened up its Clinical Research Centre.

International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world to commemorate the first trial, on scurvy, led by James Lind in 1747.

Since then, medicine has grown and development thanks to breakthroughs in researched, while more than 12,500 patients have taken part in studies since 2008, with more than 100 clinical trials open at any time.

They take place in many hospital departments, with Michelle adding: “Each year we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, and it’s a great way to demonstrate to patients and members of public our work.”