It was a case of no-pancake-spared in Westminster this week as participants from the Parliament and Media Teams faced off for the first time in a pancake-tossing “bootcamp”, ahead of the 21st annual Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race.
The race will take place in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, on Shrove Tuesday, February 13 from 10am.
With both sides trying to out-psych the other with their fancy flipping manoeuvres, and the Media Team keen to ensure that MPs do not score a hat-trick following their successive victories in 2016 and 2017, the scene is set for a no-holds-barred scramble at this year’s event.
The bootcamp was carefully overseen by race veteran and this year’s Official Starter, ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart OBE. Representing the two teams in this year’s race bootcamp were Tonia Antoniazzi MP representing the Parliament Team and ITV News’ Lucrezia Millarini, representing the Media Team.
Alastair carefully instructed the team representatives on the Race Rules of Engagement which include pans not being used to make unseemly gestures and pancakes not being used as projectiles. Participants also cannot simply just “flip and run” – they must continue to toss the pancakes throughout their lap to a minimum height of three feet.
The relay race is one of London’s must-see annual attractions. It draws hundreds of Londoners and tourists who flock to see the runners dress up in pinnies and chefs’ hats to raise awareness of the important work carried out by the Rehab disability charity.
Rehab provides training, employment, health and social care services to more than 6,000 disabled people and those at a disadvantage in the labour market. Members of the public wishing to support the work of Rehab’s brain injury services across the UK can visit www.parliamentarypancakerace.co.uk to donate.
Alastair Stewart OBE said: “As a previous member of the Media Team, I have been jostled by peers, tripped by MPs and sledged by Parliamentary supporters. In fact, I have flirted with a coronary. So, this year I am relieved to be able to hang up my hat and apron to be the Race Official Starter. This way, I get the pride of place, prestige, and the power of high office without the aching lungs and sore feet. Of course, notwithstanding attempts by some of my colleagues to curry favour and tug on my media heart-strings, I can assure all participants of my total impartiality. I will broach no cheating from any quarter and will call out the bad while praising the good. Of course, while only one team can be awarded the Magnificent Tin Cup, there are no losers at the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race. It’s all just a bit of fun for the great cause which is Rehab.”
For the latest updates on the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, visit www.parliamentarypancakerace.co.uk, or follow on Facebook -www.facebook.com/RehabParliamentaryPancakeRace – and on Twitter www.twitter.com/Flip4Rehab. Hashtag is #RehabPancakeRace