HONESTLY, with a Kermit-type character called Ossie Frogspawn and the funniest Hercule Poirot this side of a dead body, you had to laugh!

County chairman Ed Dungait’s Gallic detective took the ‘Oscar’ for the best male performance of the night at this year’s Northumberland Young Farmers’ Entertainments Competition, and an equally deserving Joanna Harrison was anointed ‘best female’.

Joe Common and Jess Henderson, meanwhile, took the junior titles.

But, boy oh boy, Sunday afternoon at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall well and truly belonged to Stamfordham Young Farmers’ Club.

Where’s Me Teeth?, written by Philip Eggleston, and its sizeable cast – Stamfordham truly did Young Farmers proud with the number who got involved – are now on their way to the regional finals of the annual Entertainments Competition.

It all began with seasoned performers Graham Adamson and Joanna Harrison as the decrepit Sydney and Joyce, heading back to their nursing home. Sydney suddenly realises why he can’t speak properly.

Looks are deceiving and there’s more life left in this pair than appearance would suggest.

Flying under the radar of fearsome Nurse Pullit (Lucy Adamson), the residents are up to all sorts of high jinx – doing the jitterbug to Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, a Zumba class in the dead of night and, in what must be an all-time first anywhere, a dance with wheelbarrows.

Doctor Ben Dover (Jonny Lough) is exposed as a money-fleecing fraud, one member of the cast, Will Scott, did an impressive backflip, to a roar of approval from the audience, and the grand – joyful – finale was a rousing rendition of Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.

Worthy winners indeed, but truth be told, the Whitley Chapel and Tritlington with Coquetdale productions can’t have been that far behind in the eyes of the judges, David Taylor, Deb Walton and Stewie Weatherson.

Whitley Chapel complied the most with the mandate that the production shouldn’t be a play. They duly obliged, writing the show themselves.

‘Pass The’ began with the cleverest of devices. A ‘baby’ (Josh Heslop) crawled on stage and then sat with his iPad, supposedly changing through the channels to watch a plethora of children’s shows.

Cue: Bob the Builder, Teletubbies, Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Bill & Ben. The sketch in which Tinky Winky (Jess Henderson), Dipsy (Catherine Johnston), Laa-Laa (Gemma Common) and Po (Kate Richardson) did karaoke ... funny and, yes, entertaining. Tick.

But for laugh out loud fun, A Good Day to Pie Hard hit the nail on the head. Someone had done for Mr Tweedy too and put him through a chicken pie-making machine just for good measure.

Cue: a slew of renowned sleuths tasked with solving the case. “There’s been a murder,” Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart (Tara Tordoff) said helpfully. “He’s broon bread.”

Vera (Scott Young), complete with mac and hairy legs, dropped in too, swiftly followed by Shaggy and Scooby Do (Will Pearson and Michaela Benson). However, it was down to Poirot to solve the case.

His alter-ego, Ed Dungait, said of the Entertainments Competition: “Many hours have been spent behind the scenes in preparation and this is the day when all that hard work pays off.”

And it certainly did!