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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 09:33 GMT
Language critic has conversion
Janet Street-Porter
Change of heart: Welsh-learner Janet Street-Porter
Broadcaster and journalist Janet Street-Porter has said she would learn to speak Welsh if she moved to Wales.

She made the comment after spending a week with other celebrities learning the language in a reality TV show.

She said: "I admire those who learn the language. I'm very glad that I did take up the challenge of learning it."

In the past, Street-Porter has been critical of the Welsh language, calling it "ugly and ludicrous," even though her mother was a Welsh speaker.

Ms Street-Porter was among a number of celebrities taking part in an S4C reality TV show - cariad@iaith.

Other celebrities who spent a week at the Nant Gwrtheyrn National Language Centre included Paralympics athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson - who went on to win the show - the actress Ruth Madoc and singer-songwriter Amy Wadge.

The men included former One True Voice pop star Jamie Shaw and actor Bernard Latham, who plays Mr C in Hollyoaks.

Former singer with eighties new romantic band Visage, Steve Strange, dropped out after a few days due to ill health.

Criticism

They learnt the basics of Welsh for six hours a day at the centre on the Llyn Peninsula, while the cameras followed them day and night.

The celebrities were also asked to perform tasks, in the manner of shows such as Big Brother and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Ms Street-Porter faced criticism from the Welsh pressure group Cymuned last summer, after comments she made about the language ahead of a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

She was quoted in The Observer as saying about the Welsh language: "There are no words for anything invented after the Black Death."

Cymuned accused her of "institutionalised minority-bashing" and protested outside her show.

Ms Street-Porter, whose mother was Welsh and who spent childhood holidays walking in north Wales, was quoted as saying: "I'm looking forward to learning Welsh. It's never too late to acquire a new skill."




SEE ALSO:
Street-Porter on her Fringe debut
11 Aug 03  |  Entertainment


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