Why Richard Osman loves Wales and the feeling is entirely mutual
As resident boffin on Pointless Celebrities and quizmaster-in-chief of House Of Games, Richard Osman has long shown he knows a thing or two about, well, pretty much everything.
If knowledge is power then arguably Osman is the ruler of the planet (in an unofficial capacity of course)
However, more presciently the best-selling author certainly knows a thing or two about Wales.
A beautiful tribute he penned demonstrating his long held adoration for Cymru has resurfaced on social media and it really is something special.
Osman originally posted his love letter to Cymru in a section on Wales in ‘The Pointless History Of The World’, the book he co-wrote with Pointless buddy Alexander Armstrong.
He might not be Welsh but it didn’t stop him showing his outright admiration for among other things the people of Wales, the Welsh language and our flag.
His historic ode to Wales is, as you would imagine from a man who we’d all love to go for pint with, written with humour and charm. And for a best-selling author it’s not surprise to discover that he has a captivating way with words.
So let his sunshine prose brighten up your day and after you’ve read it, immediately fire a letter off to the Welsh government demanding we make Richard Osman an honorary Welshman.
Richard Osman’s love letter to Wales…
“Wales is awesome, I think that is universally agreed. Quite apart from anything the Welsh are charming, funny and self-depreciating, and yet still manage to have a dragon on their flag. That is ballsy beyond belief. Finnish people are equally lovely, but they wouldn’t dream of having a dragon on their flag.
“If the history of Wales can be summed up, it is largely that the Welsh like to be left alone to enjoy themselves, people try to invade, the Welsh fight fiercely and eventually repel them, and then go back to enjoying themselves.
“The Romans tried to invade and the Welsh just sort of settled in around them, took their money and waited for them to leave. The Angles and Saxons tried to invade and got short shrift. The Normans also had a pop and, for a while, were successful, until one morning the Welsh decided to have a good stretch, fetch their weapons and drive them back over the English border. England was, of course, an astonishingly easy country to invade, and was always far less cool about the whole thing than Wales.
“The idea that England in some way conquered Wales is one of the most laughable ideas in British history. Edward I ‘imposed his rule’ on Wales after the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. This was a rare error on the part of the Welsh. Llywelyn was also know as ‘Llywelyn The Last’ and you have to ask who on earth would choose a king with a name like that? It’s simply asking for trouble (see also ‘Ethelred The Unready’, ‘Catherine The Doomed’ and ‘Olaf The Always Distracted By His Phone’).
But if England was nominally in charge of Wales then nobody told the Welsh. Henry VIII for example banned the use of the Welsh language in any official capacity in the mid-16th century. In most normal countries (say Finland) this would lead to the slow death of the language, but here we are nearly 600 years later and not only is Welsh still spoken it is thriving. Nice try Henry VIII.
“Interestingly, earlier laws had banned any Welsh man from carrying arms or holding office, but also banned any English man who was married to a Welsh woman from the same. Which conveniently overlooks the fact that no man married to a Welsh woman could care less about carrying arms or holding office, because they have such an awesome wife.
“So what if Wales officially became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, and part of the United Kingdom in 1801? It has carried on just the same. Through coal and steel, through non-conformist politics and non-conformist religion, through Dylan Thomas and the Manic Street Preachers, through being the straight-up nicest people you could meet, who could drink you under the table and would walk you to your taxi, the Welsh humbly don’t really care who imagines they’re in charge, they just carry on happily being Welsh.
“Big challenges face the Wales of today, from the collapse of traditional industries to what on earth to do with the ‘man-bun’ that Gareth Bale seems to be persisting with, but they face the challenges as always, with humour, with a calm knowledge of their superiority and with a great big dragon smack-bang in the middle of their flag.”
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