Cabbages catapult our John and Holbeach to radio and TV fame

Inventor John Ward with broadcaster, writer and food critic Jay Rayner.
Inventor John Ward with broadcaster, writer and food critic Jay Rayner.
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Mad-cap inventor John Ward is being catapulted to radio and TV fame as the man who devised and chaired the World Cabbage Hurling Championships.

The Spalding Guardian columnist, who writes Ward’s World in our sister newspaper, created massive trebuchet-style catapults – hurlers – for the world championships staged at Holbeach.

John can be heard talking about the eccentric sport’s development on Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, chaired by broadcaster, writer and food critic Jay Rayner, at 10.30am on Saturday.

The show was recorded in front of an invited audience at Burleigh House and is expected to be heard by more than two million listeners.

John said: “The recording went well over an hour or more so I have no idea as to what the final, edited forty minute long version will contain.

“Since then, and totally unrelated, I have been having talks with another production team for the BBC but the television side, who are interested in making a possible series that is provisionally entitled ‘The Great British Eccentric Sports’.

“They felt after viewing the assorted bits about it on the Internet that this ticked all the boxes as it’s colourful, involves audience participation and has lashings of silliness about it.

“I have given them assorted videos of my constructing the hurlers with Andrew French as my ‘stunt person’ when we did the test runs as well as numerous photos taken since it started six years ago.”

John also gave the Beeb clippings from the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian, including stories featuring his invitations to Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone and Prince Philip to enter teams.

John said: “I am allowed to say at this point we will be recording a pilot programme in late February/early March involving a team of policemen against a team of solicitors.

“While it’s a fun thing there will be a donation I am told to be given to the winning side’s chosen charity at the end of the filming.

“The location for the filming is in Lincolnshire with two venues being researched.

“It is hoped that if it works it will perhaps develop into a series featuring odd and eccentric sports up and down the country.

“So there you have it – there is more to cabbages than coleslaw!”

Cabbage hurling John Ward style is a green sport in more than one sense because nothing goes to waste – every cabbage that goes into flight is recycled as dinner for livestock.

John has previously appeared on TV shows around the world with his wacky inventions such as the light at the end of the tunnel, bra warmer and mobile church font.

Previously ...

Duke of Edinburgh sends best wishes to all involved in the World Cabbage Hurling Championships at Holbeach

Will Sylvester Stallone hurl a cabbage?

Inventor turns Reliant Robin into fire engine