The Fungus Awards is an annual European awards ceremony honouring fungus related achievements in the mould and putrefaction industry. Winners are awarded the coveted golden mushroom statuette. The awards, first presented in 1929 at the Grand Hotel Budapest are important as they represent recognition by fellow fungus geeks.
The Isle of Wight's efforts to achieve international decay status have been high profile and effective, with "leaked" photographs of The Krankies post performance medical foot conditions splashed across "Hello Scunthorpe" centrefolds and social media pages with photographs of Prince Edward's cheesy toenails taken after an IOW Aldi opening ceremony, getting millions of "likes". Now the tiny Island has been rewarded with the Fungal equivalent of five Michelin Stars.
The results took pundits completely by surprise: Outright Winner (Best Fungus 2014), Best Toadstool Athlete's Foot Runner Up award and Vaginal Thrush Special Category prize, justifiably reflecting the I.O.W's New International Fungal standing.
The fungus awards ceremony was first televised in 1951 and is now seen live in more than 204 countries. The 86th Mould Awards ceremony was held on November 24th, 2014, at the Psylocybe Theatre in Ventnor, later than usual so as to not clash with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Most mushrooms and toadstools (which are the visible fruiting bodies of the organisms known as as fungi) on the Isle of Wight usually appear in autumn, but athlete's foot is an all year round fungal experience. Quite a few species may be seen at other times of year. Fungi can be found everywhere, on human skin and even growing on discarded CDs! Old record shops and antique shops which abound on the island are the best places to go hunting for this type of fungi.
Woods are sometimes good places to look, as over 81% of fungi are associated with trees or plants. This type of association between fungi and the roots of plants such as trees, is known as a mycorrhiza and is better known as an antipasto normally eaten with a lightly chilled Chianti.