Another spec­ta­cle to get ex­cited about

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS -

YOU may have heard the news that we’re gear­ing up for another world-class cycling event in Car­marthen­shire, with the an­nounce­ment that we’ve been cho­sen to host the fi­nal stage of the Women’s Tour in June.

This is fan­tas­tic news, and fol­lows our hugely suc­cess­ful host­ing of the men’s Tour of Bri­tain last Septem­ber. It gives us another chance to shine on an in­ter­na­tional stage, and gives res­i­dents and vis­i­tors another spec­ta­cle to get ex­cited about and in­volved in. The race will take in two of our na­tional cycling fa­cil­i­ties, the his­toric velo­drome in Car­marthen where the fi­nal stage of the race will be­gin, on to Llan­deilo, the epic Black Moun­tains, and through the Am­man and Gwen­draeth Val­leys be­fore ending at Pem­brey Coun­try Park – home of the na­tional closed-road cy­cle cir­cuit.

Yet again, this race prom­ises to boost the lo­cal econ­omy with busi­nesses in­clud­ing those in the cycling, tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­tries set to ben­e­fit the most.

I had the op­por­tu­nity to meet the race di­rec­tor at the launch in Pem­brey last week, and he is as ex­cited as we are to bring the tour to Car­marthen­shire.

Our breath­tak­ing land­scape not only pro­vides the per­fect back­drop for the fi­nal stage of the race, but pro­vides an im­mense chal­lenge to all the rid­ers tak­ing part – in­clud­ing at least one lo­cal cy­clist, our own Manon Lloyd, who we hope will ben­e­fit from some home ad­van­tage. We hope that the county will get be­hind us and help make this another fan­tas­tic event.

CI’LL get to the point I want to make in a minute. Mean­while . . .

As a young­ster, I thought “Pride comes be­fore a fall!” re­ferred to mishaps that be­fell big-headed jock­eys, steeple­jacks and trapeze artistes.

Not that I used the words “mishaps” or “be­fell” back then.

How­ever, it be­gan to make sense the first time I felt proud that my hard work had paid off and I achieved some suc­cess.

Then “Lady Luck” van­ished and I learned that af­ter some­thing pos­i­tive hap­pens, life can of­ten slap us in the chops – re­mind­ing us we’re no­body spe­cial.

Per­haps some in­di­vid­u­als go from the cra­dle to the grave bathed in a golden light, never touched by tragedy or dis­ap­point­ment.

I’d say “Good luck” to them . . . but ob­vi­ously they don’t need it!

Af­ter many ca­reer ups fol­lowed by a sim­i­lar num­ber of downs, I thought it’d make sense to lock my pride away in the base­ment. With­out pride, I couldn’t fall, right?

Yes! I’m get­ting to the point. When I hear peo­ple an­nounce “I’m a proud Welsh­man” so fre­quently it becomes mo­not­o­nous – a cer­tain day­time Ra­dio Wales pre­sen­ter is par­tic­u­larly guilty of this – I want to say: “Look! I’m Welsh, too, and very happy to be. But do us all a favour and stop throw­ing the ‘P’ word around

willy-nilly!”

My in­ner Welsh­man was in­sulted re­cently when, in an episode of the TV se­ries Hol­i­day of my Life­time Len Good­man took Toyah Wil­cox back to some­where she went on hol­i­day as a child: Llan­gollen. So in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous, ev­ery­one knows how to pro­nounce it.

Toyah pro­nounced it cor­rectly. Ev­ery­one they met dur­ing the show pro­nounced it cor­rectly.

But Len in­sisted on con­tin­u­ally mis­pro­nounc­ing it: Lan­gol-an. Then, dur­ing the clos­ing cred­its, he had the nerve to say: “I did my best with the Welsh pro­nun­ci­a­tions!”

Be­cause this was bla­tantly un­true, I be­came so out­raged, my pride re­turned to such an ex­tent I’m ap­ply­ing for a day­time gig on Ra­dio Wales.

Picture: Dar­ren Pepe

Len Good­man’s pro­nun­ci­a­tion of Llan­gollen left plenty to be de­sired, says Phil Evans.

Co­me­dian Phil Evans from Am­man­ford is known as the man who puts the “cwtsh” into com­edy

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