A Scottish fish and chip shop has been crowned best in the UK at The National Fish & Chip Awards.

Frankie's Fish & Chips in Brae, Shetland, battered off stiff competition from nine other UK regional winners, all vying to take home the prize of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award.

The win coincided with the 48th birthday of John Gold, the manager of Frankie's Fish & Chips.

John, originally from Glasgow, said: "I honestly can't believe it. It's a dream come true for all of us. We have all worked night and day for the last nine months to make this happen. This is easily the best birthday I've ever had."

Valerie Johnson, owner of Frankie's Fish & Chips, added: "We now get to go home to Shetland and say that our fish and chips is the best in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales - without exception. How amazing is that.

"This is the highlight of my working life. I can't thank Seafish and my brilliant team enough. You're a credit to the seafood industry. 2015 is Frankie's year."

The shop was crowned by awards host and voice of food and drink reason on BBC Radio 2, Nigel Barden, during a prestigious ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.

To earn their spot at the top, Frankie's Fish & Chips went through a rigorous, multi-stage judging process during the last few months - culminating in a presentation to a panel of industry judges who had gathered in London yesterday. All top ten finalists, representing respective parts of the UK, went up against each other in a Dragon's Den style pitch as they fought to win.

The final 10 places were shortlisted during earlier judging rounds which included unannounced shop visits from industry judges. They were assessed on a wide variety of judging criteria including product quality, sustainable sourcing policies, marketing initiatives and customer service.

Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, commented: "Every year we see new and established talent vie for the top title, and the competition gets fiercer each year. This year was no exception and the judges were faced with a particularly tricky job in determining a winner.

"Frankie's Fish & Chips stood out throughout the judging process. Their passion and determination has to be admired. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations and wish them the best success in the future.

"The standards of entrants across all award categories improves year on year. They're a credit to our industry."

In addition to winning the top prize, Frankie's cleaned up by taking home the Good Catch - The Sustainable Seafood Award. Sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), this category recognises fish and chip businesses that are leading the way in the sourcing and promotion of sustainable fish and shellfish, working to protect supplies so they are available for future generations to enjoy.