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Comedian David Mitchell apologises after mispronouncing Norfolk village on radio show

Happisburgh village views - Village Sign

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Happisburgh village views - Village Sign Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

Norfolk is home to many towns and villages with names that can be tricky to pronounce and David Mitchell fell victim to this whilst presenting Unbelievable Truth on BBC Radio 4.

David Mitchell at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards. Ian West/PA WireDavid Mitchell at the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards. Ian West/PA Wire

The comedian was explaining on last night’s show how Happisburgh is home to the oldest human footprints outside Africa when he pronounced the village as ‘Happ-is-burg’, causing many people to point out his mistake on Twitter.

@Bill_Hone tweeted: “It’s not pronounced “Happisburgh!” It’s “haze burra.””

@hidinginlight83 added: “great Unbelievable Truth this evening... but Happisburgh is pronounced “Hays-borough”. Give the researcher a slap.”

And @nigelgutgenug said: “@RealDMitchell about to cop some flack for his pronunciation of Happisburgh!”

Mr Mitchell later responded on Twitter and apologised for his mistake.

He said: “Sorry for mispronouncing Happisburgh in Norfolk on @UnbelieveTruth. It seems you say it “Haysbrough” not how I did. Sorry, I didn’t realise.”

The north Norfolk village is just one of the many places in the county which are commonly mispronounced. Below are 10 more along with the correct pronunciation of them:

• Tacolneston

This village in South Norfolk has a particularly awkward spelling and is actually pronounced “Tacklestone”.

• Ingoldisthorpe

Sadly there isn’t actually any gold to speak of in the village of “Inglesthorpe”.

• Postwick

A silent ‘W’, causes Postwick to be pronounced as “Possick”.

• Costessey

This is one place name that always manages to confound visitors - it’s said as “Cossey” and not Costessey. Take no notice of the extra letters it’s spelled with.

• Wymondham

We’re not sure how “Wymond” becomes “Wind” when pronouncing “Windum” but somehow it just does.

• Haddiscoe

There’s no ‘I’ in the pronunciation of “Hadsco”.

• Deopham

Just ignore the ‘O’ in “Deepum”.

• Mundesley

The coastal village of “Munzly” is probably one of the more logical place name pronunciations on this list.

• Tasburgh

You can’t really go too far wrong when saying “Taysbur”.

• Reepham

This market town’s spelling must be read phonetically as “Reefum”.

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