At a press conference held today in London's St Mary-le-Bow church, it was announced that cockney rhyming slang would be granted official language status at the 2012 Olympics. Speaking from the home of the famous Bow bells that define cockney identity, Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed that the world-famous rhyming slang would be used alongside French and English for all announcements during the Games.
Accompanied by a peal of bells, Boris Johnson and Lord Coe, the London 2012 Chairman, entered proceedings resplendent in the traditional costume of the pearly king, flanked by local schoolchildren dressed as chimney sweeps. The event kicked off with a rendition of "Knees Up Mother Brown" performed by various cockney celebrities including Ray Winstone, Alan Sugar and Danny Dyer before members of the Eastenders cast reenacted a medley of classic scenes from the soap.
Boris Johnson then took to the stage doing the Lambeth walk before welcoming the press. "Gor blimey Guvnors. How you doing me old dog and bones? You won't apples and pears your Brahms and Liszt. No, that's not right. Umm, hang on. Mince pies, plates of meat? Trouble and strife, I know that one. I should be better at this shouldn't I?" said the mayor before returning to his seat.
Lord Coe spoke next and was keen to emphasise the importance of empowering the local population. "Despite its unsavoury origins as a means for the criminal world to discuss their plans without fear of being overheard, I feel the inclusion of rhyming slang forms a key part of the celebration of the local culture. It will add a real sense of fun to proceedings with local marshals offering directions and answering queries in their finest cockney. The more fluent guides may hinder more than help at times but I know our guests will appreciate their efforts."
Amongst those present at the event was nine year old Martin Woodhouse from Poplar who won a London-wide competition in which children were invited to submit their own rhyming slang to rename Olympic sports. His winning effort was the particularly apt "cheat and fall" for football which will be used throughout the Games.
Alongside the newly-named events, the organisers plan to include a number of suitable exhibition sports for 2012. The ideas being proposed include live eel bobbing, wheelbarrow racing and a pie and mash eating contest.
Mayor Johnson closed the press conference saying, “I am sure these Games will turn out to be as pony as everyone is hoping. Pony does mean great as in pony and freight, right?"