The mother of a Cambridge University student has posted an advertisement for a "talkative blonde" to accompany her son to a ball because he is too busy studying to find someone himself.
The woman, who identifies herself only as Margot, is offering to pay all the applicant's expenses if she meets a number of her specific requirements - including being honest, sincere and aged between 19 and 22, as well as meeting her essential demand of being blonde. The advertisement, which has been posted on the Gumtree website, promises the successful applicant a "wonderful memory" and requests that potential dates send in a profile to be considered for the job of accompanying the undergraduate to his May ball, next month.
The mother has defended using the site to find her son a date because she said he is "fully occupied by school work" and too busy to find a girl himself.
The advertisement says: "We will be responsible for all the expenses. If you are blonde, talkative, age 19-22 and with an honest and sincere attitude toward this opportunity, it is welcomed to send your profile to me."
The mother has insisted the advertisement, posted a week ago, is not a fake and that she wanted to keep it low profile and "not cause too much trouble for my son". Tickets for some colleges' May balls cost more than 200.
A dating site based at the university, Romance.ucam.org, said it is difficult for students to meet during the exam period.
A spokesman for the site said: "Cambridge is a really hard place to find romance and a date for a May ball."
The advertisement has already been shared hundreds of times on a university discussion page on Facebook called Overheard at Cambridge.