OH-BAMA! BARACK’S DELIGHT AT RUTH’S ACCENT
GAVIN and Stacey star Ruth Jones had dinner with former US President Barack Obama – and he loved her Welsh accent, she has revealed.
The accent was heard by Obama when he and the Porthcawl-raised actress met at a dinner in Downing Street in 2013.
The then-US president was impressed by her pronunciation of the word “brilliant”, she revealed, while appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today.
She also spoke of how much she treasures her background and “very special” Welsh identity.
The actress said growing up surrounded by the unknowingly “hilarious” people of South Wales primed her for future comedy characters.
Ruth has said that throughout her career she has loved celebrating her identity, and sharing it on screen.
The actress wrote and starred in the Bafta Award-winning Gavin And Stacey, bringing the culture and mannerisms of South Wales to a huge TV audience.
She has carried her identity into the Steve Coogan series Saxondale, and her current comedy series Stella, which she co-wrote with husband David Peet.
Speaking on Desert Island Discs, Ruth said: “I was brought up in South Wales, and people are brilliant.
“You met such brilliant people who don’t know that they’re funny, who just don’t know that what they’re saying is hilarious.
“I just love celebrating that really. I’m a hugely proud Welsh person.
“I just love it, it’s something very special, being Welsh.” Grounded in her Cardiff home and shunning the limelight, Ruth said her roots provide a comfort in the world of celebrity.
When meeting stars such as Barack Obama or Sir Tom Jones – with whom she performed alongside comedian Rob Brydon for Comic Relief – the actress feels safe in her identity.
She said: “I think it’s a sort of comfort blanket to go into my original strong Welsh accent.”
Desert Island Discs with Ruth Jones, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, is available on BBC Sounds and the BBC iPlayer.
Ruth Jones on Desert Island Discs. Below, Barack Obama