Organisers of the upcoming Ayrshire Food Festival were shocked this week by the promise of a £5000 bill should they use the phrase “Food Glorious Food” in their advertising campaign.

Alex Knox, MD festival promoters ABC, told the Scottish Sunday Mail how he found out about the charge for using the phrase, the title of a song by composer Lionel Bart that features in the musical Oliver.

“We wanted to open our STV advert with the words Food Glorious Food. However, STV advised us that there could be copyright implications.”

STV commercial producer Jill McArdle apparently explained: “If you wanted to say (not sing!) the words Food Glorious Food then you’d be charged £5000.”

During the 1960s, Bart signed over the Oliver rights to a US company for £15,000, only to lament the decision shortly before his death in 1999, when he calculated that the sale had cost him around £100m.

Knox maintains: “It’s ridiculous. Our entire advertising budget is £5000 […] I don’t see how three words can be claimed under copyright. […] It strikes me someone is trying to milk this.”

The advert will now display the words “Food Fabulous Food”.

To visit the website of the festival, click here.