Twins' triumph

A 16-year-old Exmouth girl with a hearing problem who suffered with speech problems when she was younger is celebrating reaching the televised semi-finals of a national speaking competition alongside her twin sister.

A 16-year-old Exmouth girl with a hearing problem - who suffered with speech problems when she was younger - is celebrating reaching the televised semi-finals of a national speaking competition alongside her twin sister.Chloe Burles, of Exeter Road, has suffered all her life from a condition similar to glue ear, which affected her speech when she was younger because she was unable to hear clearly.Recently, Chloe and her twin sister, Naomi, beat thousands of hopefuls for a place at the semi-finals of a BBC competition to find the best young speaker. As a result, they were filmed for BBC Two's The Speaker programme.Although the sisters did not win a place in the finals, mum Susan Davis said she was incredibly proud of her daughters' achievements.She said the pair had put themselves forward to enter the BBC competition, sending off a video of them both making speeches.The girls spent the day being filmed at Cardiff Museum, pitted against 40 other semi-finalists, aged 14-18.Mrs Davis said the girls' love of public speaking took off after she enrolled them with a speech and drama coach in Bristol - to help Chloe to talk.Since then the twin sisters have taken speaking examinations in poetry and prose, as well as entering a host of national public speaking competitions.Mum Susan said: "Chloe's speech didn't develop when she was young. Her hearing is a little bit muffled, which means she wasn't always able to reproduce her sounds. "Because of Chloe's ear, Naomi did a lot more talking, but Chloe learned to walk earlier. "Chloe's coping mechanisms are so good that it's only when she doesn't hear something properly you realise she has a problem."* The Speaker featuring the twins will be shown on BBC Two at 8pm on April 7, 2009.


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