Boaty McBoatface Will Be Named RRS Sir David Attenborough, But Submarine Will Keep Popular Title

Well played.

06/05/2016 09:39 | Updated 06 May 2016

Boaty McBoatface will live on, despite ministers initially pouring cold water on the popular name, as a high-tech sub on board the main vessel, which will be named after Sir David Attenborough, it was revealed on Friday.

Boaty McBoatface topped the poll on what the ship should be named, with 124,000 votes, nearly four times as many as the second most popular choice.

Ministers had shunned the name, much to the chagrin of the British public.

However Friday Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, revealed the ship will be named RRS Sir David Attenborough "in tribute to a great broadcaster and natural scientist".

And here is what Boaty McBoatface will look like:

While the move to name the high-tech sub after the public's overwhelming favourite Boaty McBoatface was welcomed by some, others chose to counter the controversial decision by renaming Sir David:

And other people felt the name Boaty McBoatface was not appropriate for the high-tech sub, and instead suggested Submarine McSubmarineFace. 

And some people felt you should be able to have the best of both worlds, so combined the two to make Boaty McAttenboroughface.

Sir David said that he hoped "everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship's progress as it explores our polar regions".

The 89-year-old said: "I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Boaty’s name was first floated by former BBC radio presenter James Hand, who apologised after the suggestion created a storm.

He said that, while it was a “brilliant name” for a boat, he actually voted for RRS David Attenborough to be the new name instead.

Releasing a statement following today's announcement, Hand said that he was "really please to hear Boaty McBoatface will live on".

"The name appeals to the child in us, that's one of the reasons it's been so popular," he said.

"I never expected Boaty to become as popular as it has and I'm glad NERC have chosen to harness some of that interest.

"I'm looking forward to following the work of both the RRS David Attenborough, and of course Boaty McBoatface."

The research council received more than 7,000 entries during the one-month competition period. 

Out of the top five suggestions, the RRS David Attenborough came last, receiving 10,284 votes.

The top five suggestions were:

  • RRS Boaty McBoatface - 124,109

  • RRS Poppy-Mai - 34,371

  • RRS Henry Worsley - 15,231

  • RRS It’s bloody cold here - 10,679

  • RRS David Attenborough - 10,284

The ship will collect date and samples from the Arctic and Antarctic.

MPs are due to grill scientists over whether the decision to allow members of the public to choose the name Boaty McBoatface for a new research ship was a “disaster”.

The Commons Science and Technology Committee has asked Professor Duncan Wingham, the chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), to give evidence on May 10.

The chair of the committee, Nicola Blackwood said: “My Committee wants to explore this as an example of science communication. Was it a triumph of public engagement or a PR disaster?

“We’ll also want to know how NERC intends to build on the mass coverage they’ve attracted and engage people with the vital polar science that Boaty will be enabling.”

Former head of the Navy Admiral Lord West accused the public of “going mad” in their quest to get the ship named Boaty.

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