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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Lisa puts cool into Cornish cause
The Simpsons
Lisa, second left, espouses "rydhsys" for Cornwall in the show
Makers of the hit cartoon series The Simpsons have contacted Cornish speakers to ask for help in making a Christmas Day special for the UK.

The episode will feature Lisa Simpson shouting "rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn" (freedom for Cornwall now) as she runs around the house in Springfield.

The production team wanted the correct pronunciation and contacted the Cornish Language Fellowship.

The Channel 4 show is intended as an alternative to the Queen's Speech.

We have a lot of requests from people about the Cornish language, but this has to one of the coolest
Matthew Clarke, Cornish Language Fellowship
The show's executive producer Tim Long emailed the Cornish Language Fellowship for advice on the phrase they wanted to use.

He had heard it used by a US comedian and wanted to include it in the show.

Press officer Matthew Clarke advised the producers on the phone on the pronunciation and suggested that Lisa should wave the black and white flag of St Piran.

He said: "We have a lot of requests from people about the Cornish language, but this has to one of the coolest.

"Cultural issues can get a bit stale, so it's nice to have a global phenomenon like The Simpsons interested."

Official recognition

He added: "I know it's only a cartoon series, but it may make some people sit up and think.

"Everyone wants to be on The Simpsons, from Simon Cowell to Tony Blair."

Other household names to have appeared as themselves in the show include U2, the Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, Leonard Nimoy, Mel Gibson and Sting.

Cornish, or Kernewek, is the sister language or Welsh and Breton and was formally recognised by the EU in 2002.

A number of supermarkets and pubs in the county have bilingual signs and while only a small number of people speak Cornish fluently, thousands have a smattering of the language.

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