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Jo Brand confirmed for Crafty Craft

Stand-up comedian Jo Brand will be taking part in Crafty Craft, but it's uncertain whether she will wet her oars

TV and stand-up comedy superstar Jo Brand will be attending Newbury and Hungerford's annual Crafty Craft race on Monday, May 2.

The television company, UKTV's, spokeswoman Rachel Tate said Mrs Brand will be attending the event as part of an upcoming documentary on the British islanders and our relationship with water.

The four-part documentary, titled Jo Brand's Big Splash will be aired on the television channel Dave in September.

Mrs Brand has, however, said that she has no intention of taking part in any of the Crafty Craft races, which involves rowing a homemade vessel from Hungerford to Newbury.

She said: “One thing I won't be doing is heading off on some stupid challenge that could be more accurately titled ‘How Long Before Jo Drowns?'”

However, one of the organisers of Crafty Craft, West Berkshire councillor Marcus Franks (Con, Speen), said that he had been under the impression that she would be setting off from Hungerford with an all female crew for at least part of the route.

“She probably doesn't want people to place bets on which lock she will be stopping,” he said yesterday (Wednesday).

He added: “I think it is very good news that Crafty Craft's reputation is so respected outside of Newbury and Hungerford. Hopefully this will lead to a few more people coming along and enjoying the day.”

The theme for this year's race from Hungerford to Newbury in homemade canalworthy vessels takes it inspiration from the Royal Wedding and is titled ‘A Right Royal Crafty Craft'.

Mr Franks said that they are expecting about 40 boats, using the term loosely, to take part.

The first racers will set off from Hungerford at 8.30am and are expected to reach Newbury from around 10.30am, but there will be festivities in and around Victoria Park throughout the day, with live music and a fun faire.

The proceeds from this year's event will go towards the Newbury and District Scouts Guides.

For more information or to enter craft, visit www.craftycraft.com. For extensive coverage of the event, see the coming edition of the Newbury Weekly News.

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