Never mind the Olympics – the silverware everyone really wants to win was up for grabs this week at trendy London eatery La Brasserie.

The Tabasco Oyster Opening Championships saw the UK’s finest shellfish shuckers compete to see who could open up 30 of the in-demand invertebrates the fastest, with the winner set to progress to the International Championships in Galway later this year. Whether our cousins from across the Channel will be taking part is not yet known, although the ongoing crisis in the French oyster industry means they may be short of stocks to practise on.

Press reports this week controversially linked the shortage with the rise of genetically modified ‘triploid’ oysters, which have delicious extra chromosomes compared with the boring, natural kind that haven’t been in the lab.

Other factors such as a rise in seawater temperatures or a Gallic sense of existential ennui have also yet to be discounted. However, the best theory to date is that the offed oysters matured too fast due to abundant plankton (which they eat) and have wasted energy growing over-developed sex organs. How typically French.