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A Heath Robinson illustration in colour of men working on a production line at a Christmas cracker factory, inspiration for our cracking joke competition.

Think of a Cracking Joke

To celebrate our 40th Christmas, we are holding our biggest competition yet. We would like you to think of an original joke to go inside a Christmas cracker – something so dry and witty that it would have impressed Heath Robinson himself. The winner gets a limited-edition book worth £300.

Our idea for the competition was inspired by this Heath Robinson illustration of workers in a Christmas cracker factory working overtime to cope with demand as the festive season approaches. You can’t help but chuckle at the use of a huge guillotine to cut the crimped crackers. Your task is to think of a cracking joke that forces us to laugh out loud, evoking the same wit, absurdity and universal humour as Heath Robinson’s drawings.

The judges
The best joke will be chosen by our judges, Adam Hart-Davis and Heath Robinson’s great nephew Peter Higginson. The winner will receive a copy of the Super De Luxe Edition of Very Heath Robinson by Adam Hart-Davis, worth £300. This will be Number Three of the Limited Edition, with Number One belonging to the author and Number Two to Philip Pullman, who wrote the Foreword.

The prize
The Super De Luxe Edition comes in a polished walnut box, with a lock operated by a brass crank and cog wheels. When you turn the crank, the lid will open, revealing the book in the red-lined interior.

To enter
Fill out the entry form below and send it back to us either by post or as an email attachment. Alternatively, send your cracking joke and contact details in the body of an email to ku.oc1716772988.sser1716772988pekar1716772988dlehs1716772988@sser1716772988p1716772988.


Entries must be in by Saturday 30th November 2019. The winner will be announced by Sheldrake Press on Monday 16th December 2019.

The competition has closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. We have passed the jokes to the judges and will announce the winner on Monday 16th December.