Ioan Gruffudd finally outed as Welsh on Ringer

So fine Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd has been pretending to be English on the CW’s Ringer for 19 episodes now. His character speaks with an English accent, has an English name and keeps going back and forth to London on business.

Of course, Ioan is Welsh. Here he is speaking Welsh with former Cardiff flatmate Matthew Rhys from Brothers and Sisters and Gethin Jones from Blue Peter:

See – proper Welsh.

So how delightful was it that despite the fact his character is obviously English, they decided to make him Welsh in this episode of Ringer, albeit somewhat unusually:

Huh. Apparently, to Juliet, his own daughter, being Welsh means having a stiff upper lip and underplaying everything. Why should this be?

  1. Do Americans have literally no idea about the Welsh at all, presumably never having bothered to watch Torchwood (oh, lucky people), and assume they’re the same as the English?
  2. Do Americans have completely differently stereotypes about the Welsh than the English do?
  3. Does Juliet simply have no idea about her heritage?
  4. Is there in fact an American expression, “Don’t be so Welsh about this” (or similar), that I was previously unaware of?
  5. The scriptwriters originally had it as ‘English’ and Ioan got them to change it?

Anyone want to venture a suggestion?




  • Mark Carroll

    I've lived in the US for over fourteen years and (4) is new to me, too.

  • I am an American, but one who lives British TV. So I'll take a stab at answering your questions from a 'typical American perspective'.�

    1. Whales are creatures who live in the ocean. That's all we know. Eskimos eat their blubber. The idea that it is a country is lost to us. No one here watched Torchwood (plus only season 3 was any good). �

    2. You are all Britt's to us. Even if you are from Scotland, Ireland, Australia, South Africa or New Zealand. Perhaps your Welsh is similar to our “kissing cousins from West Virginia” or other stereotype we have here about lower-class uneducated country folk.

    3. Ignorance is bliss?�

    4. No. Nothing at all like that.�

    5. Probably. Still, it will be lost on us dumb Americans. 🙂

  • The English stereotype of the Welsh is that they're very emotional and sing a lot. And are a bit backward and have sex with sheep.�

    It's the idea of people thinking that being Welsh means having a stiff upper lip that fazed me as a result.

    PS for newbies: my wife is Welsh.

  • Toby O'Brien

    So the English think the Welsh have sex with sheep, and you're studying Greek…..

    Nope.� Nothing comes to mind.� But I could have sworn there was a joke in there someplace…….

  • Toby O'Brien

    So the English think the Welsh have sex with sheep, and you're studying Greek…..

    Nope.� Nothing comes to mind.� But I could have sworn there was a joke in there someplace…….

  • Toby O'Brien

    So the English think the Welsh have sex with sheep, and you're studying Greek…..

    Nope.� Nothing comes to mind.� But I could have sworn there was a joke in there someplace…….

  • Emmalufox

    Ioan spoke with a Welsh accent throughout the entire series, just not a broad one.

  • It is true that he has a Welsh account throughout the series – I just don't think that was the intention…