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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Published articles by Amy Willis (click to download PDFs)

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Rugby heroes take bronze in tan battle

Apr 27 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

WELSH rugby players Andy Powell and Mike Phillips stripped off to get spray tans in Cardiff as part of a skin cancer awareness campaign.

The sporting stars, who are preparing for the Lions 2009 tour to South Africa, took time out of their training programme to get sprayed in the Tiger Tiger bar in Greyfriars Road, to raise awareness of Safe Tan Summer.

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Record crowd for ‘absolutely fabulous’ flower show

Apr 20 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

RECORD numbers turned out in the sunshine for the final day of the Royal Horticultural Show in Cardiff yesterday.

More than 7,000 people flocked to Bute Park – the highest number of visitors on any one day since the show started five years ago.

Families enjoying the colourful blooms and intricate gardens described the event as “absolutely fabulous”.

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Are there too many celebrity statues?

Apr 20 2009 by Amy Willis, Western Mail

THE growing fashion for celebrity statues has come under fire, amid claims they are becoming all too common.

Every week new bronzes seem to spring up in another town to celebrate a famous face with local links.

In Wales comedian Tommy Cooper is one of the most recent additions to the list of statues which also includes a bronze of “matchstick-man” boxer Johnny Owen, and former rugby scrum-half Gareth Edwards.

The statue of Cooper, which was officially unveiled by Sir Anthony Hopkins, has a prominent position just across from the town’s famous castle.

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He left school with no GCSEs, but he’s back as a trainee teacher

Apr 14 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

A VALLEYS student who left education with no qualifications or prospects when he was 16 has returned to his old school – to train to be a teacher.

Lyndon Powell, 37, of Clare Street, Merthyr Tydfil, left Cyfarthfa High School after failing his GCSEs because he didn’t go to any of the exams.

“I was a bit of rebel when I was younger,” said Mr Powell, who now has two young children of his own – Thomas, eight, and Ffion, five – with wife Karen, 39.

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Wales outshines the Med as visitors flock to our beaches

Apr 13 2009 by Amy Willis and Owain Bury, Western Mail

WALES left much of the Mediterranean in the shade over the weekend, giving the country’s tourist trade a welcome Easter boost.

The better-than-expected temperatures helped many attractions enjoy a bumper Bank Holiday.

With Wales experiencing largely unbroken sunshine and temperatures up to 16C – much higher than large parts of the Med – the national parks welcomed thousands of visitors over the weekend.

The Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre at Libanus, near Brecon, reported around 1,500 visitors on Saturday alone. Previous Saturdays had half that amount with an annual visitor number of around the 160,000 mark.

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Danielle Bux bans WAGs from her wedding to Gary Lineker

Apr 13 2009 by Amy Willis, Western Mail

WELSH model Danielle Bux has banned footballers’ wives and girlfriends from her wedding.

The 29-year-old lingerie model, who will appear on reality TV show Hell’s Kitchen tonight, is set to marry former footballer Gary Lineker in Italy, this year.

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Sports Council for Wales backs gardening for helping us stay healthy

Apr 13 2009 by Amy Willis, Western Mail

GARDENING is set to become the latest health-boosting exercise as thousands of families head outdoors.

Research has suggested that one to two hours of gardening a day can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

And the Sports Council for Wales has recommended gardening as an ideal daily cardiovascular workout.

The health benefits of gardening have been revealed ahead of the start of the RHS Show Cardiff, this weekend.

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Pop princess Duffy laments the single life

Apr 11 2009 By Amy Willis, Western Mail

SOUL singer Duffy may be a bestseller in the charts but time spent winning music awards has put a strain on her love life.

The Grammy-winning songstress has admitted that she has not had enough time to find a boyfriend.

The 24-year-old singer from Nefyn, in North Wales, is planning to take a few months off and is hoping to find love.

And she has said she is not ruling out using a dating agency.

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People forced to spend their holidays at home

Apr 6 2009 By Amy Willis, Western Mail

THE Easter getaway began this weekend with more people expected to stay in the UK this year than travel overseas due to the current economic climate.

A survey by insurance company Legal & General revealed almost three in five people are changing their holiday plans, with around 20% opting for a “staycation” at home. A further 21% plan to stay with friends and family, rather than face the expense of booking into a hotel. One in five people who took a holiday abroad last year intended to stay within the UK for their break this year with 18% saying they can not afford a holiday overseas due to the recession. Families with children were the most likely to change their plans and stay at home, according to the research.

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Dispute over historic stone in Llandaff

Apr 2 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

OLIVER Cromwell’s historic hitching post is at the centre of a Llandaff pub dispute.

The Llandaff Conservation Group has voiced concern that the plans for the Maltsters Pub could endanger a rock which plays a famous role in Cardiff’s history.

According to the group the 2ft high rock, which sits next to the corner of the pub, was used by Oliver Cromwell to tie up his horse as he passed through South Wales in 1648.

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Wales Air Ambulance’s new chopper whirls into action

Apr 2 2009 by Amy Willis, South Wales Echo

THE Wales Air Ambulance’s new helicopter landed in the grounds of Cardiff Castle yesterday for its official unveiling.

The helicopter replaces the old model, the Bolkow-105, which was based on a design from the 1950s.

The new helicopter, the EC-135, is specially designed as an air ambulance. It has a higher fuel capacity and will be able to carry more passengers, including specialist doctors.

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Grass arsonists strike Cardiff

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

FIRE engines were sent to 10 deliberate grass fires in Cardiff and more than 200 across South Wales over the weekend despite South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s crackdown on grass arsonists.

The Cardiff blazes were in wildlife areas in Ely, St Mellons, Pentwyn, Llanrumney Penylan and Trowbridge. St Mellons was worst affected – three separate fires had to be extinguished in Hendre Lane, Matthysens Way and Pontprennau.

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Welsh Water warns against bogus callers

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

WELSH Water issued a warning today to its Cardiff customers after a number of incidents where thieves have posed as water metre inspectors.

Welsh Water’s Suzanne Evans said: “There have been several bogus caller incidents in the area recently so it’s important to remind customers of the dangers.

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Bedbugs in Cardiff hotels

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A CARDIFF hotel has an infestation of blood-sucking bedbugs, it emerged today.

Cardiff council have refused to name the hotel but a record of complaints in 2008 has confirmed one of Cardiff’s hotels has been hit been this irritating little pest.

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Deal or no deal

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A SOUTH Wales student has become the second person to win the top prize in quiz show Deal Or No Deal presented by Noel Edmonds.

Alice Munday, a 21-year-old from Monmouth, won £250,000 after rejecting a £17,500 offer from the banker.

Alice is the second winner of the programme after another South Wales woman from Monmouth, Laura Pearce, scooped the prize in 2007.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Drop in Bridgend house prices

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A 22 per cent drop in house prices in Bridgend has been linked with the recent string of suicides in the area.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said Bridgend was one of the few places in the UK where a drop in house prices was not due to the credit crunch.

House prices in Bridgend have dropped from an average of £160,150 in September 2008 to £124,950 in February 2009.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

Teenager punched man so hard it made his teeth chatter

A TEENAGER was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court today for 54 weeks after punching a man so hard it made his teeth chatter and repeatedly thumping another man until his jaw broke.

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Fear of dying lecture

THE FEAR of dying will be discussed by at a special public lecture in Cardiff this week as part of Cardiff’s Science in Health Public Lecture series.

Professor Ilora Finlay, a consultant in Palliative Medicine & Chronic Pain, will talk at Cardiff University on March 12.

She will also discuss possible links between diet and cancer and her views on the assisted suicide debate.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

What does aristocracy mean?

By Amy Willis, Cardiff Evening News

A LEADING French archaeologist will visit Cardiff tomorrow to give a lecture about the definition of an aristocrat from an ancient Greek perspective.

Dr Alain Duplouy, will be discussing the use of the term aristocracy at Cardiff University having travelled all the way from the Sorbonne in Paris.

The lecture begins at 5.10pm and is free to members of the public. For more information, telephone Professor Nick Fisher on 029 208 74258.

Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

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