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Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 14:52 GMT
Gere wins 'gibberish' award
Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere in Chicago
Gere stars with Renee Zellweger in Chicago
Actor Richard Gere has won this year's "foot-in-mouth" award for talking nonsense.


If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I'd think, no, actually I'm a giraffe

Richard Gere
The Pretty Woman star was given the dubious honour for a comment to a newspaper about rumours of his sexual orientation and marriages.

"I know who I am. No one else knows who I am," he said.

"If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I'd think, no, actually I'm a giraffe."

The prize was given by the Plain English Campaign as part of its drive to get public figures and organisations to write and communicate clearly.

Gere, 53, is currently preparing for the release of his next major movie, a film adaptation of the stage musical Chicago.

Playing slick lawyer Billy Flynn, Gere stars alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger.

The Ten O'Clock News
The Ten O'Clock News was the best national TV show
He is expected to turn up to the UK première of the movie in Leicester Square on Sunday.

Previous winners of the foot-in-mouth award include artist Tracey Emin, actress Alicia Silverstone and deputy prime minister John Prescott.

In 2001, Emin won after saying: "When it comes to words I have a uniqueness that I find almost impossible in art - and it's my words that actually make my art quite unique."

As well as the foot-in-mouth award, the Plain English Campaign has given Golden Bull prizes to lawyers, websites and educational establishments for their convoluted use of language.

Plain speaking

But they also gave positive awards to plain-speaking councils, government departments and media outlets.

BBC One's Ten O'Clock News was named the best national television programme, with BBC Radio 4's Today named best national radio show.

The BBC's children's news website, Newsround, won the prize for clearest internet site.

In the press categories, The Mirror was the best national paper and the Western Mail, in Cardiff, was the best regional publication.

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 ON THIS STORY
John Lister, the Plain English Campaign
"There was a 50-50 split of people who got the meaning straight away and those who couldn't"
See also:

17 May 02 | Entertainment
14 Oct 00 | Entertainment
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