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All eyes on the South Bank for ITV's election extravaganza

ITV presenters Mark Austin and Katie Derham will host a star-studded party on a boat moored at Waterloo Millennium Pier on Thursday night as part of the channel's election coverage.

Executive producer Craig Oliver told Press Gazette: "The idea for it came to me when my wife Joanna was giving birth to our second daughter in St Thomas' Hospital, which has the most incredible views of Parliament and the Eye. She was mid-contraction at the time and wasn't too amused when I asked her what she thought of it."

More than 200 guests will join the party on the Silver Sturgeon for champagne and canap├ęs as the results are televised on giant screens.

ITV has also hired the London Eye for the night, and will use its capsules for interviews with the VIP guests as they enjoy the views of the Houses of Parliament.

The Old Vic's Kevin Spacey, Sir Richard Branson, Lord Saatchi and Sir Tim Rice will be joined by other figures from the world of politics, business and entertainment.

Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Amos and science minister Lord Sainsbury of Turville will represent Labour. Others expected to attend include Germaine Greer and Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye.

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