Casualty star Suzanne is crowned winner of Cariad@Iaith


Cardiff actress Suzanne Packer, better known as Tess Bateman from Casualty, is the winner of S4C's Cariad@Iaith:Love4Language series.

Suzanne was named the winner last night (Saturday 21 June) in the series finale of S4C's Welsh-language-learning reality TV series Cariad@Iaith.

Suzanne spent a week with seven other celebs in Nant Gwrtheyrn on the Llŷn Peninsula learning to speak Welsh with S4C's cameras following her every step of the way.

After a week of learning, laughing and crying, it was time for the learners to cast their votes and name who, in their opinion, had been on the biggest journey during the week.

Suzanne was delighted to have been voted the winner, but more than that she had truly enjoyed her time at the Nant and got a real taste for the language.

"When I was told I was the winner I was very, very surprised and delighted actually! But, I can't lie, I felt I had been working hard and I did really want to put my full attention to the learning.

"I've tried learning Welsh more than once in the past but haven't succeeded for different reasons, so this time I was absolutely determined. When I came to Cardiff to work on Casualty I decided to put my son, Paris, who's eleven, into a Welsh-medium school, and I recently decided once and for all that I wanted to be able to speak Welsh with him at home.

"He's been asking me all week 'Mummy, who's the winner of Cariad@Iaith?' but I didn't tell him so it was a big surprise for him! His Welsh was better than mine by the time he was five or six, but now that he's a little older he realises I need a lot of help, and fair play he does try and teach me.

"Cariad@Iaith was a very special experience for me, and the teaching method - desuggestopedia - worked well for me. I've grown in confidence incredibly and I'm going to carry on with my Welsh now and have already booked my one-to-one weekly sessions in Cardiff with tutor Siân Jones."

At the end of the week the Welsh tutors Nia Parry and Ioan Talfryn were full of praise for all the learners, and Nia feels that Suzanne more than deserves to be crowned the winner of Cariad@Iaith 2014:

"Suzanne was diligent, hard-working and conscientious in the class room, always ready to throw herself into whatever activity we were doing," says Nia, who was co-presenting alongside Matt Johnson as well as teaching Welsh to the stars.

"Suzanne has a teaching qualification and that became apparent from the way she dealt with the other learners. She was always more than happy to help and support them, and was always very pastoral and motherly with everyone. She had a bit of Welsh already but I feel that we've truly seen her blossom during the week.

"It was a pleasure spending a week with Suzanne and the others. It was a memorable week!"

The other seven celebrities brave enough to take part in this year's Cariad@Iaith were actress Siân Reeves, singers Ian 'H' Watkins from STEPS and John Owen-Jones, the former international goal keeper Neville Southall, 2013 Big Brother winner Sam Evans, Jenna Jonathan from MTV’s The Valleys and Behnaz Akhgar, a weather presenter at BBC Wales.

As the winner, Suzanne was presented with a special ceramic plate designed by the artist Buddug Humphreys, and the other seven learners each received a love spoon, also designed by Buddug.


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