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The Boat Race. Do you care?

Eddie Mair | 12:24 UK time, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

ITV won't be showing it after next year. We'll talk on the programme tonight to the great Barry Davies. I was wondering how you rate the race. Never miss or never bother?

Jack and Vera yesterday.


  • 1. At 12:56pm on 09 Dec 2008, ValeryP wrote:

    Gosh they're still getting out and about then - Jack and Vera? Making themselves useful at the boat race too?

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  • 2. At 1:05pm on 09 Dec 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Well, I do care a bit, being someone who's lived in or around Oxford for some 22 years, I always like the Dark Blues winning whenever there's a varsity match like this week or at the BR. Still, I can see how televising it may not be to everyone's taste. Roll on the day when all the TV signals have gone digital, and sports evenets can be shown on a separate channel/red button service, so that everyone can enjoy watching what they want.

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  • 3. At 1:11pm on 09 Dec 2008, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    The bloke with the headsets and the camera thing looks like he maybe a unidexter.

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  • 4. At 1:19pm on 09 Dec 2008, whisky-joe wrote:

    At least the going is always soft.

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  • 5. At 1:30pm on 09 Dec 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    I won't be watching unless they bring back John Snagge and promise to have both the boats sink.

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  • 6. At 1:42pm on 09 Dec 2008, Fifi wrote:


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  • 7. At 1:51pm on 09 Dec 2008, jonnie wrote:

    What a shame.

    So ITV get the rights and then don't fulfil the privilege.

    I haven't watched it for years - however my Mother adores watching it - almost as much as the tennis

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  • 8. At 1:57pm on 09 Dec 2008, U13717586 wrote:

    Personally, I'd prefer to look at the used contraceptives dangling at low tide from the willows at Riverside Lands than watch that bunch of stuck up oars in the water.

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  • 9. At 2:17pm on 09 Dec 2008, hainba wrote:

    The article talks of the BBC bidding for the rights! If Setanta or Sky don't want it, let the organisers come cap in hand to the BBC for coverage...

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  • 10. At 2:19pm on 09 Dec 2008, Charlie wrote:

    "The Boat Race. Do you care?"

    Frankly, no.

    But an addition to the family? Well, that'd be a different matter...

    I took my dad to the local mall the other day to buy some new shoes (he's 87)

    We decided to grab a bite at a fast food "restaurant". I noticed Dad was watching a teenager sitting next to him.

    The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, blue... My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find him staring every time.

    When the teenager had had enough, he sarcastically asked my Dad, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?"

    Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; knowing he would have a good one, and in classic style. Dad did'nt bat an eye responding.

    "Got drunk once, and had sex with a Peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son."

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  • 11. At 2:23pm on 09 Dec 2008, Wonko wrote:

    I watch the Boat Race every year, uselessly shouting at the television (as if they can hear me) to cheer on the Sky Blues. A number of my friends - who worked incredibly hard at various comprehensive schools to get their places - went to Cambridge, but I'd always cheered for them anyway.

    I can't say I'm surprised by ITVs decision, just another way we've found to celebrate mediocrity instead of hard work, talent and perseverance.

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  • 12. At 2:35pm on 09 Dec 2008, U13717586 wrote:

    Do the colleges still get 11 year old school kids to sell bundles of fifty programmes for nowt?

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  • 13. At 2:35pm on 09 Dec 2008, thenicecatlady wrote:

    I used to watch the Boat Race every year on television and actually went to watch it live once. I took my daughter who was about 10 and we stood next to a very drunken student who was unable to speak more than one word without swearing. I asked him to stop but he was so thick he just ignored me and carried on - so my daughter and I moved out of earshot. It rather spoiled the enjoyment of it and I don't bother to watch now. But I do think that a great many people enjoy it and so once again the 4 year old at ITV make a stupid decision.

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  • 14. At 2:47pm on 09 Dec 2008, Wonko wrote:

    "Do the colleges still get 11 year old school kids to sell bundles of fifty programmes for nowt?"

    Not that I have ever seen, no.

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  • 15. At 2:52pm on 09 Dec 2008, llamaroutemaster wrote:

    Usual thing, sporting event leaves the BBC and it either can't be watched by the majority or is generally mucked around. Would welcome the return to the BBC but leaves a bitter taste as the BBC were so hastily dumped in favour of ITV five years ago.

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  • 16. At 2:56pm on 09 Dec 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Wonderful to see Jack and Vera back.

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  • 17. At 3:37pm on 09 Dec 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    The boat race? I always have a punt.

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  • 18. At 3:43pm on 09 Dec 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    I believe the camera man in overalls is wearing a tie. Those were the days.

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  • 19. At 4:10pm on 09 Dec 2008, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    Yes - I care. But only because I spent far too many hours rowing on the same stretch of the Thames and know how lung burstingly painful it can be.
    I don't particularly care about dark or light blue boats - I rowed for the mob that actually used to win things, like under -23 world championships. Their colour was purple......

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  • 20. At 4:36pm on 09 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    As half of the rowers are foreigners (more tha half if you don't count the coxs), one from Cleveland, Ohio, who cares?

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  • 21. At 5:13pm on 09 Dec 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Crikey, they will be banning hunting with hounds next.

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  • 22. At 5:20pm on 09 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    DI_W 21, And hiding ciggies under the counter in shops.

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  • 23. At 5:29pm on 09 Dec 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Mrs Eff (3), is that the same as one-legged?

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  • 24. At 5:33pm on 09 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    FF 2, The problem with digital is that occasionally words like 'events' come out as 'evenets'. Pixillating or somefink.

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  • 25. At 5:37pm on 09 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Re my 20, I was referring to the 2008 race.

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  • 26. At 5:39pm on 09 Dec 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Evenet? It's a new addition to the internet. Only available in the evening. That's cos the pixies who run it don't go out till late.

    Oh, the boat race... well, I'm more likely to watch it than footie........

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  • 27. At 6:29pm on 09 Dec 2008, awesomechris12345 wrote:

    Frankly no I dont care. If the 2 teams want to carry on racing thats fine let them gt on with it. The only reason for it being on the TV is so both universities can make money from corporate sponsorship. I think they should be paying the broadcaster for the privilege of having the race on the TV.

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  • 28. At 6:42pm on 09 Dec 2008, velobella wrote:

    Excellent news. It got far more publicity than it ever deserved (probably a hangover from when everyone at the BBC went to Oxbridge) and seemed to consist of postgrad Yanks who had obviously just been given a place at Oxbridge based on their ability to row a boat and the money they had than for any academic prowess.

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  • 29. At 8:37pm on 09 Dec 2008, Geogisfab wrote:

    Anything is better than football

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  • 30. At 6:36pm on 10 Dec 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    I love the boat race - but then, I used to go to it when I lived in London and had one of the best views of the finishing line thanks to 'contacts' ;o)

    This year, for the first time in many years, I managed to get there, but it was an absolute pig of a day weatherwise, and I wonder if this may have affected the ITV decision. I hope they pass on the rights to the Beeb, or to somebody else who will broadcast it, or it will become a very parochial event.

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