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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
'Anti-Welsh' TV probe cost 3,800
Anne Robinson
Anne Robinson moved from tabloid journalism to TV presenting
The cost of the police investigation into "anti-Welsh" remarks on BBC 2's Room 101 by TV presenter Anne Robinson has been revealed.

A reply to a Freedom of Information Act query showed that four senior officers spent 96 hours looking into the 2001 comments, at a cost of about 3,800.

Officers interviewed then BBC director general Greg Dyke in London after receiving 12 complaints about the show.

The Liverpool-born presenter described the Welsh as "irritating and annoying".

The officers involved were a superintendent, a detective chief inspector and two detective inspectors.

The Freedom of Information Act response did not give a figure for administration costs, as this was said to be not quantifiable.

The row began when Ms Robinson appeared on the show in March 2001 to discuss her pet hates.

'Political correctness'

The presenter of the BBC's The Weakest Link asked: "What are they (the Welsh) for?" and accused them of always being "pleased with themselves".

She said her feelings stemmed from childhood, when large groups of people from north Wales shopped at her mother's market stall in Liverpool.

Police took no action until the programme was repeated in 2002 - although not in Wales.

Five months later Ms Robinson, Mr Dyke and the complainants were told no further action would be taken.

The Freedom of Information Act reply said that authorisation of the inquiry was not required, and once a complaint was received, police were duty bound to investigate.

Peter Rogers, a former Conservative Welsh assembly member and now an independent councillor for Anglesey, had criticised the inquiry at the time. He has now said it was "political correctness gone mad".

Mr Rogers said he had twice put down questions in the assembly seeking the cost, but was told it was not available and had not been worked out.

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