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With 7 Days to Go, Channel 4's Cathy Newman is Unveiled as Official Starter of Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race 2016

- MPs' and Lords' Teams Aiming to Thwart Media's Attempts to Secure Two Back-to-Back Wins -

- Previous Official Starters, Sky News' Lorna Dunkley and ITV News' Charlene White, Offer Cathy Newman Some Insider Tips -

What: Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race 2016 Who: MPs, Lords and members of the media When: Shrove Tuesday, February 9 2016 from 10am Where: Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, SW1P 3JA Why: For the Fame and Glory—and to support the Rehab charity and its vital work with disabled people

Date of issue: Monday, February 1 2016

With just seven days' pancake-flipping practice to go, Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman, was today unveiled as the Official Starter of the annual Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, taking place beside the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. The race, in support of the disability charity, Rehab, and sponsored by Hudgell Solicitors, sees teams of MPs, Lords and the Media try every trick in the pancake race book, to flip one over on the opposition. Taking place on Shrove Tuesday, February 9 from 10am, among the participants this year are some fearless MPs and Lords, as well as high-profile media faces ITV News' Alistair Stewart, the BBC's Robbie Gibb, Sky News' Sophy Ridge and Channel 4's Gary Gibbon.

Over in less than the time it takes to boil an egg, the annual clash of pancake race titans sees hordes of tourists and international media descend on Westminster to see who will emerge victorious. Having won in 2015, the Media Team is hoping to secure two back-to-back wins, with the MPs not having won the race since 2013 and the Lords since 2014.

Ahead of the annual egg scramble, Cathy Newman today undertook an inspection of the race course and met with former Official Starters, Sky News' Lorna Dunkley and ITV News' Charlene White for advice on what to expect. Lorna and Charlene shared some tips on the perfect pancake flip, while also dishing the inside story on the pancake race shenanigans to watch out for.

When it comes to Starter's Orders, Cathy Newman is expecting the best, but preparing for the worst: 'From what I’ve heard from Lorna Dunkley and Charlene White today, I know I’m going to have my work cut out as Official Starter. I’ve heard tales of pancakes being tampered with, pans being greased, and some controversial pancake-flipping—it seems people will stop at nothing to win. But I warn the participants now—my job is to ensure fair play for the good eggs and to call time on any flipping tossers. If I see any un-Lordly or un-Ladylike behaviour, the offenders will be reported to the relevant regulatory authorities for investigation. Of course, this race is all about continuing a long-held tradition of support for the Rehab charity, and its work with disabled and other marginalised people. The participants are to be commended for not taking themselves too seriously, even if they do end up with egg on their faces!'

Steve Pound MP, captain of the MPs' team, is looking forward to giving the Media Team a good 'beating': 'Let's face it, the MPs' Team dropped the pancake in letting the Media Team win last year, but there's no point in crying over broken eggs. It was just ahead of the General Election, so we figured it was best to keep them sweet. This year, however, the aprons are off, and we will leave no pancake unturned in reclaiming the title that is rightfully ours. This year, there will be no flip-ups.'

Lord Redesdale, who is leading the Lords' Team, believes the Lords have a sovereign duty to reign on Pancake Race Day: 'It is only appropriate that as members of the House of Lords we reclaim our natural birthright as Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race champions—indeed, you could say it's our sovereign duty. Having temporarily loaned our position to the Media Team last year, we intend to show the other teams who really rules the roost around here. It's time to sort the flippers from the floppers!'

Neil Hudgell, managing director of personal injury and medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors, sponsors of the race, which has offices in London, Leeds and Hull, adds: 'We are delighted to be supporting this event, which brings great profile for Rehab and helps spread the word of its fantastic work for people across the UK.'

MPs' Team Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West David Burrowes, MP for Enfield, Southgate Robert Flello, MP for Stoke-on-Trent, South Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton Steve Pound, MP for Ealing North

Lords' Team Lord Addington Lord Kennedy of Southwark The Rt Hon. the Baroness Kramer Baroness Parminter Lord Porter of Spalding CBE Lord Redesdale Lord St John of Bletso

The Media Team Robbie Gibb, Editor BBC Daily Politics Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News Political Editor Sam Macrory, BBC Political Journalist Jane Merrick, Independent & Independent on Sunday Columnist Nigel Nelson, Sunday People Political Editor George Parker, Financial Times Political Editor Mia Reakes, Reuters TV reporter Sophy Ridge, Sky News Senior Political Correspondent Alastair Stewart OBE, ITV News presenter Caroline Wheeler, Sunday Express Political Editor

For more information on the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race, visit http://www.parliamentarypancakerace.co.uk, follow on facebook.com/RehabParliamentaryPancakeRace and on twitter @flip4rehab using the hashtag #RehabPancakeRace


Issued by: Don Delaney, d2 communications, tel.: 0749 319 8659 or email don@d2communications.uk.com

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