Journalists respond to Prague sleaze story with letter to "Potter" parents

29-06-2005

There were reports last week that the parents of Daniel Radcliffe, the teenage actor who plays Harry Potter, did not want him to film in Prague. The reason: the city's wild night life and sex industry. Those reports were subsequently denied by the family, but not before UK-based Czech journalist Jan Jun and his son Dominik wrote to the Radcliffes, rejecting Prague's reputation - particularly in Britain - as a centre for sleaze. Dominik Jun is the editor of quarterly New Presence - what exactly was in the letter to "Harry Potter's" parents.

Dominik JunDominik Jun "Basically it was an open letter to the parents of Daniel Radcliffe which was intended to point out that the image of the Czech Republic as stated in the media was false, or was only a very small part of the whole Prague scene, as it were."

After you wrote the letter it emerged that Daniel Radcliffe's father didn't make those statements that, but it's still an issue isn't it, about stag groups in Prague. What's to blame here - is it Prague's...dubious temptations, or is it the stag groups coming here?

Daniel RadcliffeDaniel Radcliffe "I would say that the blame can be apportioned quite equally. I think the Czech Republic - being a developing country - is still of the attitude of, investment, investment, money, money - please. It doesn't like to say no, it doesn't like a perceived moral stance or some kind of restrictions, or anything that would say no to any source of money is deemed to be a taboo subject."

Usually you see these groups here at the weekend - how much of an impact do they make to the city centre, say, on a Saturday night?

"I live in the centre so they affect me very personally. Around 4 am most nights you'll hear at least a 'wooooaaahh'. If any Brit out there can explain what exactly 'wooooaaahh' means I'd love to know. I think it's a sign of British repression coming undone in the rest of the world.

"Obviously you do hear people shouting 'shut up you bloody tourists' but I think when the British when they're here they literally do not realise they're in a residential area, they're just somewhere where they can scream.

"Eventually perhaps something will be done but as we all hear in the news there's a very large disparity here between the politicians and the public and the two don't really communicate with each other. So the idea of the public pressuring their politicians to do something about it is a bit of a non sequitur.

"I believe that the politicians just go, no we could lose money. That's all they care about. The moral issue, or the economic issue that they could in fact be losing money from other tourists...I don't think has occurred to anybody yet."

29-06-2005