‘I don’t often use the term “England” because I think it’s racist,’ says Llewelyn-Bowen
Dandyish Changing Rooms presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is proud of his Welsh roots. However, the interior designer seems less keen on being associated with England.
‘I don’t often use the term “England” because I think it’s racist,’ says Llewelyn-Bowen. ‘Whereas “British” can be used in the way that “To be Roman” didn’t mean coming from Rome at all.
‘I like that . . . and this is me speaking as a Welshman — an aborigine of the island. I’m very pleased to welcome you all in, obviously.’
The BBC TV presenter expressed his views on Englishness after being asked by the magazine Cotswold Life to name his favourite things about the scenic area.
Llewelyn-Bowen, 52, was himself born in London and owns a 17th-century manor house in Gloucestershire, where he lives with his wife, Jackie, and daughters, Cecile and Hermione. They own another house in Cornwall, where they run a gift shop.
Suggesting he associates England with Anglo-Saxons, rather than Celts, he adds: ‘You have to understand that the English all come from just outside Amsterdam, which is why they tend to be ginger and tall.’
ITV executive producer Brian True-May was suspended after saying Midsomer Murders was the ‘last bastion of Englishness’ which relied on an ‘English genteel eccentricity’
An old friend of the TV presenter once claimed he was born plain old Laurence Bowen. Llewelyn was actually his surgeon father’s middle name, and Laurence adopted it.
Englishness has become a term fraught with politically correct difficulties.
In 2011, ITV executive producer Brian True-May was suspended after saying Midsomer Murders was the ‘last bastion of Englishness’ which relied on an ‘English genteel eccentricity’. He suggested the detective drama would not work if there was racial diversity in the village.
And former Newsnight reporter Paul Mason, who is now a prominent Jeremy Corbyn supporter, said he did not want to be English.
Speaking in 2015, he claimed: ‘I predict all attempts to create an Englishness that can encompass Wigan and Henley will fail, for the same reasons that Gordon Brown’s “Britishness” initiatives failed.
‘One person’s Englishness is another’s racism.’
Every political campaign that Eddie Izzard has been involved in has ended in failure, but the cross-dressing comedian is undeterred. He’s declared he still wants to be a Labour MP.
‘I’m a radical moderate,’ Izzard says. ‘I want to get out there and do radical things, but with a moderate message. The first general election after 2020 I will go up for election if they will have me.’
77 years on, HM’s cousin is still pretty as a picture
The Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra, 80, came face to face with her three-year-old self when she went to the Philip Mould gallery in London to admire a portait of her by Sir Oswald Birley.
The Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra, 80, came face to face with her three-year-old self when she went to the Philip Mould gallery in London
The illustrious artist, father of Annabel’s founder Mark Birley and grandfather of 5 Hertford Street owner Robin, painted many members of the Royal Family, including George V, Queen Mary, George VI, the Queen Mother and the Queen.
Uma Thurman, star of gory films such as Kill Bill, clearly is not a fan of that part of her own output. ‘I don’t really like violence, I’m not the kind of person who wants to go and see people get shot up for fun, but it has its place in the arts.’