How do you say Happisburgh? BBC1’s Martin Roberts proves he hasn’t mastered this tricky Norfolk place name
PUBLISHED: 09:18 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 04 July 2018
Its lighthouse may be easy to spot, but the pronunciation of Happisburgh offers up somewhat more of a challenge.
And this Norfolk home truth was laid bare on today’s broadcast of the BBC1’s Homes Under the Hammer which featured a cottage in the village.
Presenter Martin Roberts, who grew up in Cheshire, found himself in unfamiliar waters, blurting out ‘Hap-is-burgh’ instead of the accepted ‘Hazebro’.
MORE: Home with a view set to star in BBC1’s Homes under the Hammer
Some viewers took to social media to express their dismay that the BBC’s resident Great British placename pronunciation expert was apparently having a day off.
Alex Lodge commented on Twitter: “literally rolling my eyes at the guy pronouncing Happisburgh wrong on Homes Under the Hammer. Don’t disrespect the place of every single one of my childhood summer holidays pls.”
Mike Downes lamented on Facebook: “Shame BBC could not find out how to pronounce Happisburgh.”
While Paul Morter added: “Hazebruh bor...”
Watch: The episode can be viewed here
Listen: Are you pronouncing these 13 Norfolk place names correctly? (Our Australian journalist isn’t)
Happisburgh - it’s really old
Happisburgh’s story stretches back into the haze of pre-history. It is, in fact, the first-known settlement in northern Europe, and excavations on the beach have revealed signs of human occupation there stretching back 800,000 years.
According to www.happisburgh.org.uk, the village’s name is listed as ‘Hapesburg’ in the Domesday Book, and means ‘Haep’s Town’.
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