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Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Robinson 'makes peace' with Welsh
Anne Robinson
Anne Robinson has 'made peace' with the Welsh
The Wales Tourist Board (WTB) has defended its decision to use Anne Robinson for an Easter promotion following complaints by a Welsh civil rights group.

Ms Robinson agreed to offer her services free of charge and appeared in a t-shirt emblazoned with the message "Wales Open for Easter".

Ann Robinson
Ann Robinson: 'Happy to help'

The presenter of The Weakest Link caused outrage in some parts of Wales after calling the Welsh "boring" and "irritating" on the BBC show Room 101 broadcast in March.

Still smarting from the insults, Cefn: Welsh Civil Rights spokesman Eleri Carrog branded the stunt as "stupid".

"It is one thing to be topical but quite another to be stupid," he said.

"The Wales Tourist Board should be ashamed of itself to let its marketing department shoot itself in the foot in this way."

Death threat

MPs were among those who called on Ms Robinson to apologise for her comments, but she refused.

Scotland Yard has also investigated a death threat made to the presenter following the show's broadcast.

Ms Robinson's "gesture of goodwill" is aimed at lifting the battered tourism industry in Wales, which is losing millions of pounds each week during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The presenter said she hoped her actions would "make peace" with people in Wales.

The WTB promotion will be launched in time for Good Friday on 13 April, with photographs sent out to the media.

The Wales Tourist Board should be ashamed of itself to let its marketing department shoot itself in the foot in this way

Eleri Carrog, civil rights group Cefn

Explaining the market move, a WTB spokesman said: "Persuading Anne Robinson to withdraw her remarks about Wales by supporting the campaign has grabbed attention."

"On Sunday alone, the message - Wales is open for Easter - would have been seen by over three million people."

But refusing to acknowledge the publicity value, Cefn has called for a serious, hard-hitting advertising campaign to make up for the ground lost by foot-and-mouth.

"Ms Robinson has made no apology of any sort for her anti-Welsh racism, nor has the BBC for broadcasting it," said Ms Carrog.

"To give any extra publicity to such a woman is just unbelievable."

The group has already pressed for legal action against the star and the BBC under the Race Relations Act.

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See also:

08 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Robinson flies to LA after 'race row'
20 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Anne Robinson - Goodbye Britain?
02 Feb 00 | Wales
'Anti-Welsh racism' protest
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