Good Morning Britain presenter Ben Shephard has outraged viewers by making a joke about the Welsh language.
The joke, based on the incorrect assumption that the Welsh language does not have vowels, was harshly criticised on social media.
The popular ITV television show, I’m a Celebrity, is being filmed in at Gwrych Castle near Abergele, instead of Australia, this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, and Good Morning Britain have been covering the lead up to the first episode.
Shephard claimed that Gwrych Castle was difficult to pronounce because it has “no vowels” and because “it’s Welsh”.
Shephard and fellow presenter Kate Garraway were letting viewers know about an upcoming interview with former I’m a Celebrity contestants, radio host, Roman Kemp and pop star, Myles Stephenson when the comments were made.
He said: “I’ve suddenly realised, they’ve put the name of the castle where they’re filming the new I’m a Celebrity – it’s got no vowels in. It’s Welsh. It’s spelt g w r y c h. We need some help.”
Shepherd then made reference to entertainment journalist Richard Arnold, who is reporting on I’m a Celebrity for Good Morning Britain.
He said: “If anybody is going to get his mouth around a word with no vowels it’s Richard Arnold. We’ll be talking to him later.”
The claims were met with a hostile response on social media.
A Welsh woman who calls Caerffili Vanilli on Twitter said: “Shout out to @benshephard who tried saying Gwrych Castle today and couldn’t. He then mentioned how it didn’t have any vowels.
“’W’ and ‘Y’ are vowels in Welsh. In fact there are seven vowels in our language compared to only five in yours. We’ve had this trope for years. Do better.”
Christina Morgan replied with: “So sick of these tropes.”
A Twitter user called Elliot said: “Considering @SeanFletcherTV is now fluent, the least Ben could’ve done was a little research first. I don’t know… maybe just asked his colleague how to say it?”
Another called Adrian, said: “As he hosts a UK, wide program, you would think he would have done a quick Google, I would bet if it was French he would have checked the pronunciation so as not to show his ignorance.”