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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Meet the Joneses for world record
Tom Jones and Catherine Zeta Jones
Two of Wales' more famous Jones: Tom and Catherine Zeta
You don't have to go far to find a Jones in Wales.

And if you visit the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 3 November, you will hardly be able to move for Joneses as they fill the 1,600-seat venue.

The world record for the largest group of people with the same surname is held by Sweden with 583 Norbergs and S4C is trying to outdo that.

The audience entirely composed of Joneses will enjoy a variety show starring a host of famous Joneses.

The announcement was made in Blaenau Ffestiniog, home to the highest proportion of Joneses in the UK.

The show, Jones Jones Jones, will feature music, dance, comedy performances and special guest appearances.

Guinness World Record Officials will also attend to validate the record-breaking attempt.

It is estimated that about nine-tenths of people in Wales answer to a total of 100 names, including Thomas, Davies, Owen, Lloyd, Williams, Griffiths and Jones.

Matt Lucas as Dafydd and Ruth Jones as Myfanwy in Little Britain
It tends to immediately identify my Welshness. Always a good conversation starter, that!
Actor Ruth Jones

Jones is one of the most popular, and is thought to derive from the middle English first name Jon(e). It is shared by many Welsh celebrities, including the singer Sir Tom and Swansea-born film star Catherine Zeta.

Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones is hoping to be a part of the record-breaking attempt.

'Extremely proud'

Gethin, 28, from Cardiff, said: "I'm extremely proud to be a Jones, it reflects my pride in my family's roots in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire in west Wales.

"My sister even kept her maiden name when she got married," he added.

Gethin, who said his biggest "Jones hero" was Welsh rugby international Cliff Jones, said the name did have its drawbacks.

"I'm always being mistaken for other Joneses. The T4 presenter Steve Jones and I are often mixed up and receive each other's mail.

"But I love the surname. I think it has a certain kudos," he added.

'Historical event'

One of the show's producers, Neville Hughes of Cwmni Da said: "The Jones clan has proved its talent in various fields - singers, actors, presenters, sportsmen and women.

"We're determined to bring as many of them together, from Wales and beyond, to be a part of this historical event and create a memorable show the whole of Wales can be proud of."

Ruth Jones, who plays Myfanwy - barmaid friend of "only gay in the village" Dafydd in the BBC's Little Britain, said she loved the "anonymity" of her surname.

She said: "It tends to immediately identify my Welshness. Always a good conversation starter, that!

"When I was growing up I used to love [the ITV television comedy] Rising Damp because Frances de la Tour's character name was Ruth Jones. I suppose I do like it when I meet another Jones, like we're part of a clan - even though our name is so common!"

Tickets for the Jones Jones Jones show are on sale from the Wales Millennium Centre Ticket Office priced at 15, with concessions 10 and 5.

Priority will be given to Joneses, who will need to bring a passport or driver's licence as proof of identity on the night.


SEE ALSO
What's in a surname?
17 Jan 06 |  Magazine
Gaelic roots need to be unearthed
02 Nov 05 |  Scotland

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