“I dipped this dead hedgehog I’d found outside on the road into the cake mix, before I baked and iced it – my mum and the rest of the family never suspected it at the cause of their severe gastric infections,” chortles twenty four year old Dean Ellis, recalling the opening salvo in his campaign to triumph in this year’s Kings of Filth contest. “They spent three solid days puking and shitting their guts out – the toilet was full to the brim and the house stank! They never suspected me even though I spent most of the time rolling around on the floor in hysterics, clutching at my stomach! I laughed so much I crapped myself! Everybody just thought I had the squits too!” Indeed, Ellis only owned up after his eighty five year old Grandfather suffered a rectal prolapse and had to be rushed to hospital, bleeding from his anus. He later died. “Of course, they’d have found out eventually, as I had to secretly videotape everything for the contest,” says a grinning Ellis, who is apparently not worried by the prospect of a possible prosecution for manslaughter. “It’ll all be worth it if I win the title – I was a bit worried when the Crown Prosecution Service confiscated my videotapes as evidence. But they let me have copies back so that I could enter the competition!” Thankfully, Ellis’ efforts haven’t been in vain, and he has just been announced as one of the two finalists in the Kings of Filth competition, the annual filth fest founded by The Who drummer Keith Moon in 1972. “We were very impressed by the standard of Dean’s entry,” says Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, one of the panel of three judges for this year’s contest, which has been sponsored by lads’ mag Bollocks! and MTV. “Frankly, a lot of rank amateurs enter this competition, they just think that filming yourself doing something dirty, like crapping in the shower, is enough. Look, this isn’t bloody You’ve Been Framed, this is about finding Britain’s filthiest bastard! Dean has really scored by mounting a sustained and well-planned campaign which presents his filthiness to best advantage!” Ellis, the youngest of eight children, has built his campaign – which has included getting his hepatitis-B infected prostitute sister to spit into apple pies later donated to a village fete – around his culinary skills. “Everybody used to take the piss out of me, calling me a poofter because I was good at cooking, but this is a way for me to show them all it has a practical purpose and that you can make career out of it,” declares Dean, who lives in a mobile home just outside Harwich with his parents, three brothers and four sisters. “This could be my ticket out of this pig sty! I want to be able to live like those filthy rich you see in the papers – in a mansion so big that when you fill one room with black bin bags full of rubbish, you can just move to another one!”

However, working class trailer trash Ellis faces strong competition from his fellow finalist, Eton-educated toff Cliff Hughes. “I want to claim filth back for the upper-classes, for too long it has been the preserve of the lower orders,” says Hughes, who lives in his father Lord Horne’s crumbling mansion, which boasts over twenty rooms filled with nothing but rubbish. “Filth is our natural style – when you’ve got class, trivial stuff like hygiene and cleanliness are irrelevant!” Hughes’ antics, which have included having his sweaty genitals publicly licked clean by a black Labrador after a rugby match, has found favour with one of the judges; ethereal plummy-voiced art critic Brian Sewell. “There’s no doubt that Hughes’ body of filth brings a sense of artistry to the contest,” opines Sewell. “Just look at the composition of his ball-licking video, the exquisite contrast of his pasty white flesh with the glistening black coat of the dog! It is reminiscent of the best works of the Renaissance masters in the way it encapsulates the whole human condition through the deployment of a few simple images!” Nevertheless, Hughes isn’t adverse to straightforward full-on gross-out stunts, as his quarter-final entry showed. “I was very worried that green grocer chappie who was doing dreadful things with his produce before selling it might edge me out,” explains the posh boy City of London stockbroker. “So I had a brainstorming session in my local wine bar and after a couple of bottles of champagne, I came up with an absolute corker of a stunt!” Security camera footage shows Hughes, fresh from his drinking session, striding into his boss’s City office and, ignoring the fact that a high powered meeting is in progress, climbing on the conference table, dropping his trousers and taking an almighty dump. Unfortunately, Hughes was so drunk that he toppled over, extensively smearing himself with his own excreta. The office was subsequently shut for three months whilst sanitary engineers fumigated it. The table had to be humanely destroyed. “It is not simply shock for the sake of it,” insists Sewell. “His use of footage from security cameras – whose purpose is to deter such anti-social behaviour – to present this act of filth is a deeply ironic comment on modern society’s fundamental vicariousness!”

Fellow judge Moyles is unimpressed, continuing to champion Ellis’ brand of filth. “If you want artistry, just look at that hepatitis-B pie business – Dean turned a simple village fete into a lottery of death! Six villagers, including the vicar, still don’t know whether they’ve been infected,” he contends. “I also think that his latest stunt – although it was strictly speaking out of competition – was pure genius!” In a move which surprised most observers, Ellis apparently conceded defeat as soon as his fellow finalist was announced, inviting Hughes and his family to a celebratory dinner party. In reality, he was preparing his piece-de-resistance, with which he hoped to win the title through the unorthodox tactic of taking out his opponent before the actual final. Ellis prevailed upon his brother Wayne, a well-known rent boy, to whack-off into the baked Alaska mix, straight after servicing a client – gay porn star “Big” Ben Clapper. However, events didn’t run according to plan, with Hughes astounding his host by asking for a second helping of the dessert. Upon being told that there was no more, he strode outside, scooped up a piece of dog crap from the ground, spread it on a slice of wholemeal bread and ate it! “I know a lot of people think that by turning the tables like that, Hughes has already won the competition,” observes supercilious comic Jimmy Carr, who is chairing this year’s judging panel. “But it is the televised final, in which both contestants will have to perform live, which will decide the title. And remember, it will all be down to the public vote – whoever disgusts the nation most on the night will be the new King of Filth!” Viewing figures for the final – which is to be shown live on MTV – are expected to top those for last year’s final, broadcast by Living TV. “That one went right down to the wire,” recalls former Who roadie Flinty O’Clinker, who has been organising Kings of Filth since 1977, of the final which culminated in a tied public vote. “That live ‘shoot off’ between ‘Fish Knob’ Toby Jillings and Harold ‘Brownfinger’ Hollinbert for the title – where they jacked-off to see who could ejaculate the furthest – got even more viewers than that episode of Most Haunted where Yvette Fielding was groped by a medium allegedly possessed by the spirit of a medieval sex offender!”