OH-BAMA! BARACK’S DE­LIGHT AT RUTH’S AC­CENT

South Wales Echo - - Front Page - CRAIG SIMP­SON Re­porter echo.news­[email protected]­line.co.uk

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.

AMANDA BEN­SON/BBC RA­DIO 4

Ruth Jones on Desert Is­land Discs. Below, Barack Obama

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