The Annual Boat race, that definitive clash of the learned rowing titans of Cambridge and Oxford will be given a makeover by broadcasters ITV this year.
For over fifty years, the race was held between the two Universities and broadcast by the BBC. The race commenced in trendy wine bar and tapas laden Putney and finished somewhere else that isn't as fashionable where working men drink lager. During its years of covering the race, the BBC saw little reason to change it. However, that will all now change.
This year, ITV will, for the first time, introduce celebrity cox's for each of the boats. The celebrity cox will be chosen from a field of 8 each for Cambridge and Oxford. Celebrity contenders are believed to include darts giant Andy Fordham, Dawn French, Tara Palmer-Tonkinson and Jeremy Clarkson. Each week, one will be eliminated by a telephone vote, following their demonstrations of various coxing skills including shouting "...innnnnnnnnnn..." and "...ouuuuttttttaaaa..." as well as giving wedgies to freshers and smuggling a chap into your rooms.
Even when the race begins, the fun and games will not be over. Halfway down the course, the crews and their celebrity coxs will be stopped by Ant and Dec, and asked to partake of the "Boat Race Trial" which will include tasks such as eating one of the oars, saying "huzzah!" in thirty different languages, or chugging a pint of Thames Water. Those that fail that task will be thrown into the river to much banter from the afore mentioned Ant and Dec; one lucky contestant however, will be saved by ITV2's spin off programme "Celebrity Helicopter Rescue" in which, a team led by Anneke Rice and George Galloway will practice life saving techniques from the air. Those that are left in the water will be abandoned, presumably to drown, although this has yet to be confirmed-their fate is also rumoured to be left to viewers who will ring in over the coming weeks to say who should be pulled out-or who should be left in-the freezing cold water.
The final task for the new depleted crews will be to sing a raunchy sea shanty in front of Simon Cowell and the ever sexy and popular Sharon Osbourne, a mere 100 metres before they cross the line. Simon and the utterly gorgeous Mrs Osbourne will then await the results of a telephone phone in, to be announced by Phillip Schofied, as to which, if any, of the teams can progress. Phillip, fresh from his success as host of "Dancing On Ice" returns to our screens in the summer with "Jumping Up And Down On Gravel".
The sumptious Sharon Osborne told fawning ITV minions yesterday that she was looking forward to the programme. "I've always wanted to do a light entertainment show based on the University Boat Race" she purred, "...now my dream has come true". And, it would seem,has that of the British viewing public as ITV raises the broadcasting bar to unforseen heights of rapture for us all.