Friday, June 27, 2008

27 Jun: Duffy show ‘ban’ denied

This response to yesterday's allegations!

Duffy show ‘ban’ denied

WELSH language board officials last night insisted they did not try to ban singing sensation Duffy from performing at a North Wales concert because she would sing in English.

Pwllheli-based music promoter Paul Brett said the incident happened in 2002 when Duffy, from Nefyn, was still unknown.

He claims the Welsh Language Board offered to contribute £100 towards the costs of a concert in Pwllheli but when they found out Duffy would sing only in English they insisted she be taken off the bill.

But both Meirion Prys Jones, the board’s chief executive, and Rhodri Williams, who chaired it at the time, said they had no recollection of the incident.

Duffy, a fluent Welsh speaker who comes from Nefyn, has taken the British and American music scenes by storm.

Language board chief executive Meirion Prys Jones said: “I was deputy chief executive at the time and have no recollection of this. We have no problem funding bilingual events.”

Rhodri Williams, who chaired the board at the time and is now director of Ofcom in Wales, said: “I have no recollection of this at all.

“A grant of £100 would not come before board members. I would not have countenanced any decision to refuse a grant on the grounds that one of the performers was singing in English.”

Writing in Music Maker magazine, Mr Brett claimed: “We were running the Pwllheli Music and Arts Festival in the summer of 2002.

“On the day of the show in the morning, I had a call to tell me the Language Board had insisted that Duffy was taken off the show because she was singing in English.”

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