Researchers at Swindon Institute of Rustic Studies have proved beyond doubt that regular Morris dancing increases longevity by 10 years.

Professor Ryan Cocks, Dean of Jigging commented “We have conclusively demonstrated that the actions of Morris dancing are the perfect aerobic workout. The white clothing and floppy straw hats help deflect harmful sun exposure. The surprise emergence of the limp Ginsters Cornish pasty as a superfood the equal of a beetroot and quinoa salad is also a major factor. The final piece of the jigsaw is provided by the proliferation of natural beneficial microbes found in the Morris dancers’ staple beverage of real ales such as Botham’s Nether Regions; Tucker’s Irritable Gobshite and Old May’s Brexit Bollock Drop.”

On the promenade at Bude, overlooking the impressive Atlantic seafront, we caught up with April Levine, leader of England’s only all-female Morris group, the Atlantic Morris-ettes. “It’s amazing. Women already live longer than men so it’s funny that by entering a traditionally male-dominated activity we are increasing the difference. It’s ironic, don’t you think?”

However, Professor of Statistics Bob Abercuss warned “What my colleague fails to point out is that in order to benefit, one must spend an entire day per week dancing from mid-teenage years on. Over a standard lifespan (increased by 10 years) this is 70 years of Morris dancing one day each week, which equates to 3,657 days. So essentially, the entire extra life span will be spent fannying about like a twat in a car park in Bourton-on-the-Water.”

We spoke to professional man-in-the-street Barry Wombat who was unimpressed by the news. He commented “Oscar Wilde once said ‘You should try everything once except incest and Morris dancing.’

“I can’t agree entirely with Oscar, given that I’ve nailed my sister, but he was bang on about Morris dancing.”