Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Fry to explore language in TV show

Stephen Fry will explore his "passion" for language in a new BBC series titled Planet Word.

The eloquently-spoken QI quiz master, who recently slammed the "infantalism" of British television generally, told the Radio Times he had yet to see a documentary which tackled language comprehensively.

Speaking about plans for Planet Word, the presenter said: "I haven't seen a good documentary about language, where it comes from, how we speak it, the variations of it, whether languages are dying, whether we are better at speaking than we were."

He continued: "There are so many questions."

He told how he was planning a trip to China for the first time, adding: "It's a bit of a secret but the BBC have commissioned me to do a five-part series on language, called Planet Word.

"Language is my real passion. So, I'm going to Beijing to interview the man who invented Pinyin, a phonetic version of the Chinese language. He's 105 years old... if he dies on me I'm going to be so annoyed."

The BBC confirmed that the series is to be shown on BBC Two.

After delivering the Bafta Annual Television Lecture in London last month, Fry told the audience at the event: "If I wanted to be angry... I would say infantilism's the problem."

Fry also highlighted the BBC's Merlin and Doctor Who at the event as being "wonderfully written" but not for adults.

:: The full interview appears in the latest issue of the Radio Times.

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