Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welsh Langage Board tried to ban Duffy - or did they?

I read on maes-e this morning about an article in the Western Mail, titled Welsh Board wanted English-song Duffy banned. In the article, someone named Paul Brett (probably trying to claim credit for discovering Duffy) claims that six years ago, the Welsh Language Board offered £100 towards a music talent show in Pwllheli, but withheld the offer once they found out not all the bands/individuals would be singing in Welsh. He goes on to claim that once he heard this he told the Welsh language board where to go.

“On the day of the show in the morning, I had a nervous and somewhat embarrassed call from Rhys to tell me that the Language Board had insisted that Duffy was taken off the show because she was singing in English. The other eight bands were singing entirely in Welsh, their choice.

“I took a deep breath, thought about it and told Rhys that it was not in our remit to dictate to young talent what they should perform, or in what language they should sing. He wholeheartedly agreed. I then spoke directly to the local guy from the Language Board who had called Rhys and he passed the buck, saying it wasn’t him but his boss in Cardiff who had insisted on Aimee being taken off the show.

Apparently this is a load of bollocks. This is what a contributor on maes-e had to say:

It was he himself [Paul Brett] that insisted that all the bands would be performing in Welsh and so wanted money from the Board. It was obvious he intended to put Aimee Duffy on from the beginning, although her set was shorter than what the others had, and if she'd performed part of her set in Welsh, which is what the Board's money should support, there'd be no problem. But you can't claim money intended to promote the Welsh language to pay artists who only sing in English.

I remember the incident as I was the officer in question. And far from telling me where to stick the money, he'd put Aimee and her English only set on in the hope that no-one would say anything. The reason I remember is that I got quite cross about it and phoned him on the Sunday (for the first time) after the event to point out to him his 'misunderstanding'. After the call, he obviously didn't dare claim the money, even though I hadn't told him that he'd no longer be eligible. That must have been his own conclusion.
Funny how people forget certain details over time. Hat's off to the Western Mail once again for their high quality journalism.