Belfast Telegraph

Zoe Salmon stirs pot over Team GB name row

By Amanda Poole

Television presenter Zoe Salmon has got herself embroiled in a political row on Twitter over the Team GB name not including Northern Ireland.

It’s the second time the former beauty queen has faced flak for publicly defending her native Northern Ireland.

There have been calls recently to have the Team GB name changed to Team UK, as it does not reflect Northern Ireland athletes’ presence.

And Zoe, who describes herself on Twitter as a Christian broadcaster and laywer, is now in the thick of the debate.

On Friday Zoe, a former Miss Northern Ireland from Bangor, Co Down, took to the social networking site to ask the British Olympic Association’s official Team GB account what they thought about her new team name suggestions.

“Dear @TeamGB: suggestions for the Team name for all future Olympic and Paralympic Games are Team GBNI or Team UK. What do you think?,” she said.

But after her question sparked strong views for and against, Zoe told her followers it was a simple case of “geography, nothing else”.

Zoe cheekily added: “Dear geography teachers it would be great if everyone understood what countries are in the UK and what are in GB. Do your pupils know?

“Quick geography lesson inspired by my new followers. The UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI).

“GB is England, Scotland and Wales. I would like to think you all knew that anyway. I think I learnt it when I was about four.”

In 2005, while presenting BBC children's show Blue Peter, Zoe selected the Red Hand of Ulster symbol as a ‘Best of British’ airline logo.

Her choice led to a number of complaints being filed to the BBC, including one from sociology professor David Miller, who likened paramilitary use of the Red Hand to Nazi use of the swastika.

The BBC was forced to apologise to those who complained — although the GAA defended her choice as a non-sectarian symbol.

Belfast Telegraph

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