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Friday, 1 September, 2000, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
Brittany joins Celtic TV first
Celtic cross
TV Breizh wants to form a Celtic television network
Brittany has switched on to its own television channel, thanks to Welsh helping hands.

TV Breizh launched on Friday to serve the region in the north-west of France.

Channel bosses took advice from Welsh broadcaster S4C on catering for an audience which speaks a minority language.

The channel will include input from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Galicia.

The Breton region has a long history of rebellion against Paris.

In 1789, the Bretons fought against the French revolution and suffered repression of their native language by French central government.

But the new station, which is based in a former French navy club, has been promoted by Breton militant Patrick Le Lay, head of France's popular TF1 channel.

"TV Breizh will promote European culture by developing Celtic culture, that of the far western parts of Europe," Mr Le Lay said in June, before the scheduled launch date of 4 August.

He said he hoped TV Breizh will become part of a Celtic television network, swapping programmes with Irish television, and with BBC Wales and BBC Scotland.

Celtic rock groups

Celtic rock groups, folk singers and traditional bands joined Breton TV personalities to launch the channel on Friday night.

The channel will broadcast for 17 hours every day from studios in Paris.

The channel's logo is "Meldu", a yellow and black salamander created by Breton schoolboy Herve Le Jeune.

He said it is a symbol of the Breton language.

"They tried to stamp it out, but it always rises from the ashes," he said.

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21 Jun 00 | Europe
Breton gets TV lifeline
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