Slide 1

Z/Yen Proudly Presents Its Caption Competition

Entries include:

2016 Caption Competitions

OK, they are going to be some changes around here from 2016 onwards. For 15 years now, Z/Yen people have periodically subjected their pictures to captions and the resulting ridicule. We have built up a surprisingly sizeable and loyal community of captionistas for our competition. Now it is your turn to submit pictures.

We are now asking you, the participants, also to submit suitable images for the competition. There are three important criteria to determine whether an image you submit is suitable:

    1. By submitting an image, you warrant that the image is your copyright (e.g. you took the photograph yourself) or you have the express permission of the copyright owner of the image to submit that image for Z/Yen to publish for this purpose;

    2. By submitting the image, you warrant that any and every living person recognisable in the image has given you their express permission for the image to be submitted to Z/Yen and published for this purpose;

    3. Z/Yen at its absolute discretion will decide whether or not to use your submitted image for the competition. Z/Yen will notify you as promptly as possible (normally within 28 days) whether the image has been accepted for the game or not. Z/Yen will not discuss reasons for acceptance (or non-acceptance) for the game. Z/Yen will not use images submitted for any purpose other than this caption competition.

On the above basis, please submit images to . Please do submit some images if you are able. No images – no contest. It’s that simple.

We are also changing the prizes and prize structure, recognising the fact that we have a community of players who tend to win the game multiple times over the months and years. From 2016 onwards, each individual player will receive:

  • First win, a signed copy of the best-selling novel Clean Business Cuisine by Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris;
  • Second win, a signed copy of the award-winning book The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions by Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris;
  • Third win, you will receive and get to keep the cup. How cool is that?

In order to get this brave new caption competition going, Ian has submitted one more silly photograph of himself; in the modern idiom, a selfie.

Suggestions so far:

  • Ian sings at the top of his voice, “all buy my selfie, don’t wanna be…”
  • Fish and chips in a Notting-Hill-stylee
  • It’s amazing how much shopping Ian can carry home in that new hat of his.

Please submit your suggestions for this magnificent selfie no later than 23:59 on 29th February.

To enter the competition please type your caption in the box below and press "Submit". You will need to be logged in to the site to enter. If you don't already have an account, please click here to register.

Your Entry:

Previous Winners


  • Christmas 2015 - "It's a year's supply of superglue," said Linda, as she tried in vain to hand over the packageFrom Valerie Falconer
  • Autum 2015 - Having seen off both Michael and Linda, Ian was aiming for a hat trick...From Adrian Bodkin
  • Summer 2015 - This months odd one out competition had everyone stumped.From Vicky Webb
  • Spring 2015 - Ian checks the Magna Carta to see when the staff at Z/Yen last had a pay rise. From David Devine
  • Winter 2014/5 - Linda finally finds the winner of the 1994 Z/Yen Hide and Seek Competition. From Ken Wilkinson


  • Autumn 2014 - Janie: "This paperback version of The Price of Fish will really help me with my economies of scale." From Tony Edwards
  • August/September 2014 - I've tried CPR and mouth to mouth, I'm afraid this Haggis is dead." From Mario Rabaiotti.
  • July 2014 - "Once again Z/Yen staff prove they are a dab hand at product plaicement." From Hazel Rea.
  • June 2014 - "After listening to the Racket all morning,Therese decided to bribe the Buskers to clear off." From Ken Wilkinson.
  • May 2014 - "Teaching double entry booking to the locals was always going to present a challenge to Janie, especially when it came to the trial balance...." From Adrian Brodkin.
  • April 2014 - "I thought you said that it is three stripes and you are out!" From Tony Edwards.
  • March 2014 - "Z/Yen deploys risk/reward management using a six-stage, general problem-solving tool to help clients make better decisions. As a backup, Ian reads the tea leaves." From Rowena Williams.
  • February 2014 - "Geraldine's smile was resolute. Chosen by the Monarch to be his No.7, she was gamely determined to play her part, for England, for Posterity, for King Hal." From Tracy Whiteley.
  • January 2014 - "Look darling, that's the EXACT colour I want you to paint the bathroom, Farrow and Ball Two Day Old Eel" From Tracy Whiteley.


  • December 2013 - "Wizard: "I wish it could be Quidditch every day"" From Alan Green.
  • November 2013 - "Ian relentlessly pursued the trouser thief stopping only briefly to speak to another victim." From Rowena Williams.
  • October 2013 - "A back pocket full of change helped the scientists locate the core of the magnetic force they were looking for!" From Kim Styles.
  • September 2013 - "Wow! Look at those legs: I MUST draw them" - M.C. Escher.” From Roger Walter.
  • August 2013 - "And here is my newest variety of genetically modified chili pepper -you might want to remove the seeds!.” From Kim Styles.
  • July 2013 - "In the Z/Yen new year honours 2013, Jamie gets knighted for his services to cricket.” From Mario.
  • June 2013 - "Gary waits for Surreal Madrid to emerge for the third half.” From John Samson.
  • May 2013 - "Don't worry, it's just a fez he's going through.” From Rowena Williams.
  • April 2013 - "Duck: “Hi, my mum works for Z/Hen.” From Ken Wilkinson.
  • March 2013 - "And at Z/Yen’s yearly staff medical test, the extra-extra large waist measuring tape was ready for action." From Ken Wilkinson.
  • February 2013 - "In her haste, Janet had misread the job advertisement and taken along a plastic fish to impress the interview panel at Z/Yen the leading commercial fish tank company!" From Dianne Errington.
  • January 2013 - "Z/Yen's entry for the Turner Prize received a special accolade" From Audrey Cowper.


  • December 2012 - "The Z/Yen's Barbershop auditions were not going well!!" From Paul Rushton.
  • November 2012 - "You wouldn't believe they were Z/Yenturies apart." From Alan Hardy.
  • October 2012 - "The sequel to "Up" could have done with a bigger budget." From Audrey Cowper.
  • September 2012 - "The latest Olympic sport - the Yard-of-Sambuca - has its first champion." From Alan Green.
  • August 2012 - "On reflection, it had perhaps been a mistake to commission a conceptual artist to design Z/Yen's first ever Think Tank." From Adrian Brodkin.
  • July 2012 - "Even though she was no Mel Gibson, Lisa had decided to audition for the new Mad Macs movie." From Adrian Brodkin.
  • June 2012 - "There seemed to be no obvious reason to prohibit the carrying of giant bookmarks on this street, but you know what those elf'n'safety boys are like…" From Tracy Whiteley.
  • May 2012 - "The soles on Gullivers feet were giving him lots of pane!" From Ian Goodyear.
  • April 2012 - "The kids weren’t fooled by the sign, which translates as “Today, copies of ‘The Price of Fish’ will be signed by Ho Chi Minh himself”" From Clare.
  • March 2012 - "Mark and Ian baldly go where no man has gone before with their dance moves." From Tony Edwards.
  • February 2012 - "Michael just wanted to prove that he was flasher than the signs outside the cabaret club."From Tony Edwards.
  • January 2012 - "The Marketing guys had taken things a bit literally with a brief of: 'short and sweet with an obvious point.’"From Emma Greaves.


  • December 2011 - "Matthew was starting to regret offering to check the food and drink receipts for the Z/Yen office Christmas party.." From Tracy Whiteley.
  • November 2011 - "Even with such a large portion, Michael and Ian weren't expecting a bill this big." From Adrian Brodkin.
  • October 2011 - "Debt collection is added to Linda’s repertoire." From Brendan Floyde.
  • September 2011 - "Simon knew how to make the most of a fire drill." From Roger Walter.
  • August 2011 - "Years of secretly being the hand of Sooty had taken its toll on Linda" From Robert Kelly.
  • July 2011 - "This is not what everyone was expecting when the Z/Yen team said they had a new product to launch." From Claudia Cortez.
  • June 2011 - "I've always heard it said, 'When in Rome do as the Romans do'. Better hurry, the flight's at 2.30 p.m.!" From Helen Caldwell.
  • May 2011 - "Ian was sulking - he had been convinced he would be the only Bison Horn Maria at the May Bank Holiday fancy dress barbecue." From Rowena Williams.
  • April 2011 - "Yet another internet-of-things conspiracy between cooker and washing machine foiled by parking avatar." From Andrew Petrie.
  • March 2011 - "Another success story for" From Robert Kelly.
  • February 2011 - "Michael's lego habit was growing out of control." From Denise Marshall.
  • January 2011 - "The birdseed & champagne weight loss program had some worrying side effects." From Donna Wilkinson.


  • December 2010 - "Mark Yeandle was the only one at Z/Yen who was able to grow a beard on his forehead as well as his chin!" From Tony Edwards.
  • November 2010 - "When I said that I wanted to take a close look at the Headline Inflation Figures..." From Syd Rawcliffe.
  • October 2010 - "During his keynote presentation, Ian's metaphor for "The United Kingdom's economic recovery (starting from a very low base) was inspired" From Roger Walter.
  • September 2010 - "You might have more make up, but I've got the bigger boots!" From Kevin Honey.
  • August 2010 - "Please note that Z/Yen's new postcode is NE14 10S." From David Hamm.
  • July 2010 - "One thing was certain, Steph was not going to give up her pencil sharpener without a fight." From Peter Merrett.
  • June 2010 - "Richard – office rocker!” “He certainly is!” From ValerieGanne.
  • May 2010 - "Although the proposed office move was still at the planning stage, boundary disputes were already beginning." From Roger Walter.
  • April 2010 - "Z/Yen staff were amazed when they were told Richard was still a Virgil." From Audrey Falconer.
  • March 2010 - "Perhaps the staff cruise down the Thames was not such a good idea." From Peter Merret.
  • February 2010 - "At Z/Yen parties, Ian's Thong and Dance routine always went down well." From Ken Wilkinson.
  • January 2010 - "Jez had expected the T-test to be a statistical analysis of risk ..." From Hazel Rea.


  • December 2009 - "Simon loved the Z/Yen website makeover - but felt the introduction of the Z/Yen uniform was ill advised." From Hazel Rea.
  • November 2009 - "Monique, I don't like to tell you this, but you've got the Y in the Z/Yen logo upside down." From Diana Cotter.
  • October 2009 - "Steph was the only one concerned that the drinks bill ran to several volumes." From Tracy Whiteley.
  • September 2009 - "Simon Cowell regrets not putting the Z/Yen twins singing act through on the X factor." From Audrey Cowper.
  • August 2009 - "'I think you'll find there are!' smirked Ben, before mincing in." From Kathy Ray.
  • July 2009 - "You think this is complicated? You should see my home life!" From Rosemary Walsh.
  • June 2009 - "In the end he just had to admit it - he'd misunderstood the term 'Silver Surfer'." From Susie Main.
  • May 2009 - "Would Z/Yen staff resist the urge to shout, 'It's behind you!'?" From Emma Bara
  • April 2009 - "When Michael asked his Guild for a return of great traditions, the placing of heads on spikes was not quite what he had in mind!" From Dudley Edmunds.
  • March 2009 - "Can you count that many zeros?" From Prof. O.S. O'Neill.
  • February 2009 - "The train company eventually comes clean about the cause of the price hikes." From Roy Williamson.
  • January 2009 - "The identity of the Z/Yen Secret Santa was revealed when Janie recognised the gift wrap." From Hazel Smithies.


  • December 2008 - "Next year's contestants line up for I'm a Z/Yenlebrity get me out of here!" From Audrey Cowper.
  • November 2008 - "Action stations as red hot Cook burns rubber after igniting burning issues with blazing ideas." From Alan Green
  • October 2008 - "Animainelli Farm: watch it on EweTube." From Alan Green.
  • September 2008 - "Proof that, even through beer goggles, the CAMRA never lies." From Alan Green.
  • August 2008 - "What Harris had actually said, when describing his holiday, was 'getting pissed by a fence in Epernay,' however, a windy day led to some confusion!" From Dudley Edmunds.
  • July 2008 - "'Ian, over here! Hey guuuys, I'm here, look up... Iaaaan!....Ian?' Despite sticking out like a sore thumb, 'Pretty in pink' Jez Horne became suddenly invisible to all other members of Z/Yen!" From Caroline Roy.
  • June 2008 - "The Z/Yen Risqué assessment was going very well." From David Devine.
  • May 2008 - "Although taking lessons, Paul's rendition of the 'Laughing Policeman' was just rubbish!" From Jilly Clark.
  • April 2008 - "Ian demonstrates why he's not allowed to eat using sharp items." From David Eagleberger.
  • March 2008 - "Jez was a whiz with numbers, but had yet to master the office guillotine." From James Pitcher.
  • February 2008 - "Linda was getting out her autograph book, as Wolf had always been her favourite Gladiator." From Ruth Snelling.
  • January 2008 - "Mark was really surprised to find that 'dress' was M&S and NOT S&M." From Jean Blewitt.


  • December 2007 - "After their free bottle of bubbly from Z/Yen the girls found it difficult to get their leg over this slippy character." From Andrew Harrold.
  • November 2007 - "The prize of 'Driving a Roller for the day' had come up to expectations." From Alan Green.
  • October 2007 - "Unfortunately Monique misunderstood the 'get a detailed grip on the big picture' element of PropheZy." From William Rea.
  • September 2007 - "Luckily, Ian had told his blind date he'd be wearing a black cap - otherwise the confusion would be embarrassing when she arrived." From Ailsa Grant-Turton.
  • August 2007 - "Accompany you to the station, officer? But where’s your piano?" From Marc Falconer.
  • July 2007 - "That’s one small step for Michael, one great leap for Z/Yenkind." From Michael Parsons.
  • June 2007 - "If you’re a god, why do your feet smell?" From Rob Falconer.
  • May 2007- "Z/Yen’s resident rocket scientist proves he can dissect a dalek prompting speculation that he may be the next Doctor Who." From Jennie Austin."
  • April 2007- "Z/Yen think-tank wins Turner Prize." From Evelyn Johnston.
  • March 2007 - "What do you mean, if you listen closely you can hear Michael's lecture?" From Eric Smith.
  • February 2007 - "After Z/Yen's attainment of a 2006 gold award for charitable giving in the workplace, some staff ruminated that management's decision to give away their desks and chairs in pursuit of this year's award was perhaps, in hindsight, a little over-Z/EALOUS." From Richard Marshall.
  • January 2007 - "Obviously Z/Yen has no boundaries." From K C Mankell.


  • December 2006 - "The Z/Yen increased rainfall risk assessment was running into trouble" From David Devine.
  • November 2006 - "And this is a photo of Oscar's very first Control-Alt-Delete....." From Mike Young.
  • October 2006 - "Well, the last thing I can remember is that I was at a party on Michael Mainelli's sailing barge..." From Michael Marchant.
  • September 2006 - "Of course I climbed here all by myself, what gives u the idea I didn't" From Lisa Day.
  • August 2006 - "Lorna suddenly understood why it was important to read her e-mails when it came to the office move." From Stephen Morris.
  • July 2006 - "In cookie, Veritas." From Emma Weiss.
  • June 2006 - "Well someone put another 20p in to make it go!" From Liz Gregory.
  • May 2006 - "Giles was pleased because he thought he was being head-hunted." From Geoff Dagger.
  • April 2006 - "The mule, the bad and the ugly." From Harish Gohil.
  • March 2006 - "Lady Daphne's Naughty Little Sister." From Tim Hopkirk.
  • February 2006 - "‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married man in possession of four daughters must be in want of a husband.’ [And will go to any lengths to find at least one.] With apologies to Jane, Abigail, Eleanor, Stephanie and Josephine." From Paul Rochford.
  • January 2006 -"Listen, I am the doctor here so how long ago did you say you were abducted by aliens?" From Angie Williams.


  • December 2005 - "Jeremy modelling the undercover disguise for anonymous surveys." From Philip Foo.
  • November 2005 - "Unfortunately, our Change Management does not extend to nappies, Madam." From Robert Falconer.
  • October 2005 - "Pretty small for a T.A.R.D.I.S." From John Drummond.

  • September 2005 - "Bonfire of the Z/Yenities?" From Dudley Edmunds.

  • August 2005 - "All I said Giles, was to get me some hair conditioner." From Valérie Falconer.

  • July 2005 - "The blindfold slips, Ian realises that the gun is pointed at him." From Ray Wallhead.

  • June 2005 - "Michael was stunned when the lap dancer revealed herself to be Ian Harris in drag." From Brendan May.

  • May 2005 - "Although Z/Yen's consultancy on the script was appreciated, Spielberg eventually plumped for 'Phone home' instead of the more descriptive 'Remote accessing of host LAN with leveraged neural network hub routed via bio-tech palmtop node matrix.'" From Nicholas Johnston. The first time in Z/Yen history that a contestant has won two months in a row!
  • April 2005 - "Imagine viking up with that on the pillow next to you." From Nicholas Johnston.
  • March 2005 - "Although valiant, the emergency Heli-pad plan had its shortcomings..." From Sarah Routly.
  • February 2005 - "My dickie looks Z/Yen times better than yours!!" From Kate Affleck.
  • January 2005 - "Finding Nemo was going to be more difficult than first thought." From Geoff Dagger.


  • December 2004 - "The latest technology software suite PropheZy helps by identifying adverse hat patterns and is proven to reduce fashion faux-pas' by over 85%." From Dave Whelbourn.
  • October-November 2004 - "And I would like to vehemently deny all accusations of money laundering." From Robert Falconer.
  • September 2004 - "Ian’s four hairdressers get their just rewards." From Ray Wallhead.
  • August 2004 - "First pictures of the newest Olympic event - Toad Balancing" From John Hockenhull.
  • July 2004 - "If your pet monkey does not let go of my finger this instant, I will have all four of you removed from the grounds!" From Nick Jones.
  • June 2004 - "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice pint of Boddington's." From Andrew Smith.
  • May 2004 - "Rodin has a re-Think." From Kevin Honey
  • April 2004 - "The winner?................ Well, it's a 'fir cone' conclusion!" From [email address supplied].
  • March 2004 - "And welcome to 'I'm a Z/Yen celebrity...Get me out of here!" From Clare Bloodworth.
  • February 2004 - "Michael say, 'Sound of one hand clapping causes mighty wind and tower, like equity market, collapses.'" From Dudley Edmunds.
  • January 2004 - "Linda's overZ/EALOUS souvenir shopping reached new heights." From Hazel Rea.


  • December 2003 - "Giles couldn't help an evil grin as he saw the light glint on the trip wire that he had put just before the finish line." From Angela Govus.
  • November 2003 - "All crammed in there, they look like battery Z/Yens." From James Bobbett.
  • October 2003 - "Can you play it Z/Yen Sam?" From Su Kent.
  • September 2003 - "Michael was shocked by how much the sails had shrunk during their annual dry cleaning." From Brendan May.
  • August 2003 - "Z/Yen staff prepare their protective clothing as a prelude to introducing principles of Change Management to a long established company." From Jon Sellers.
  • July 2003 - "The Z/Yen alcoholics anonymous meeting was not going too well." From Amy Stupple-Bagnall.
  • June 2003 - "Following a few months at Z/Yen, Laura demanded solitary confinement." From John White.
  • May 2003 - "Z/Yen and the Art of Crop Circle Maintenance." From Gail Skerritt.
  • April 2003 - "Return to Z/Yender." From Sandra Lemon.
  • March 2003 - "Michael decided that mean and moody  in the Stationary Cupboard was the look he was aiming for..." From Lindsay Price.
  • February 2003 - "Ken Dodd's clone escapes after night out in Diddyland." From Jeannette Clements.
  • January 2003 - "I do think corporate body bags is going too far." From Bob Clark.


  • December 2002 - "You're one of those, mate!" From Paul Newton.
  • November 2002 - "Michael's 'zest for enlightenment' wore him out and he ended up missing his station." From Janine Learner.
  • October 2002 - "The school's policy on headlice was very firm." From Barbara Seed.
  • September 2002 - "Listen guys it was left over after the Notting Hill carnival - I just haven't got the hang of playing it yet!" From Eric Jones.
  • August 2002 - TWO Winners! "Colleagues' stag night prank proves the old ones really are the best as groom drifts into North Sea." From Brendan May.


    "After two and a half years, the stag night prank was beginning to wear thin." From Andy Seed.

  • July 2002 - Baby Photos. From Britney Wilson.
  • June 2002 - "No, I asked if you had a MESSAGE that I can take back for President Bush!!" From M Salisbury.
  • May 2002 - "Stephen: Hey, where's your hand? Bear: Same place as yours." From Liz Gregory.
  • April 2002 - "I would have thought the Queen could have come up with a better Garden Party for her Jubilee." From Rob Falconer.
  • March 2002 - "First I'm forced to wear this jumper and now the telly's knackered.  Is my life really worth living?" From Melanie Gardiner.
  • February 2002 - "The hula hoop weight loss programme yields remarkable results after just eight months of continuous use." From Matthew Howes.
  • January 2002 - "Slowly, Michael began to realise the 'bulk purchase industrial strength deodorant' from Chechnya was not a good idea!" From Charles Bartlett.


  • December 2001 - "Do you have to stand on that box Michael?" From Harish Gohil.
  • November 2001 - "Kabul falls and Agent Harris abandons the burqa." From Colin MacMillan.