Caroline Sheen is queen of the classroom after winning S4C’s cariad@iaith 2015. The winner was announced in the frinal show of the current series on Saturday, 20 June.
After a week of challenging and sometimes loopy lessons and gruelling activities including falconry, canoeing and singing – all through the medium of Welsh, West End star Caroline Sheen has been crowned winner of S4C's flagship reality show, cariad@iaith.
The contestants taking part this year were weatherman Derek Brockway, actress Nicola Reynolds, writer and actor Steve Speirs, ex-Wales international rugby player Tom Shanklin, CBeebies presenter Rebecca Keatley, comedian and radio presenter Chris Corcoran, and athlete Jamie Baulch.
Caroline, originally from Caerleon, has starred in various West End productions such as 'Grease', 'Mamma Mia' and 'Les Miserables'. She is also the cousin of Port Talbot-born Hollywood actor Michael Sheen.
The award crowned an unforgettable week in Caroline’s life. She said of the cariad@iaith experience,
“I've had an amazing time on this programme. There are too many highlights to mention, but nothing will top the fact that I beat Jamie Baulch in the sack race! The falconry was a great experience and I loved the rafting too. And the way Ioan and Nia brought the lessons to life was wonderful and so much more fun than being at school.”
She described the week as difficult and tiring, but also “fantastic and rewarding”.
Caroline added, “Everyone has made such an effort and really have improved their Welsh. Jamie had some doubts over his progress but his understanding and comprehension of the language has really improved. Rebecca and Nicola understand a lot more Welsh now, but I think Tom still loves the swear words!
“This has been an incredible experience and I would recommend anyone thinking about learning Welsh to go for it. It's a language that belongs to us all and it's important that we support it as much as possible.”
In addition to the cariad@iaith 2015 title, Caroline has also won a week of Welsh lessons at the Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh Language Teaching Centre.
This is the seventh series of cariad@iaith and past contestants have included Ian 'H' Watkins, Amy Wadge, Melanie Walters and Wynne Evans who are now all fluent in the language.
cariad@iaith presenter and tutor Nia Parry added, “Many congratulations to Caroline. She has shown real enthusiasm and progress and best of luck to her in the future.”
You can watch the whole series of cariad@iaith on s4c.cymru for 35 days after the first broadcast.