A North Walian actress made broadcasting history this morning (Monday, 23 June) when she spoke the first words on S4C's ground-breaking children's service Cyw.
"Croeso i blant Cymru – ac i bawb ym mhob man - i Cyw," (Welcome, children of Wales – and people everywhere - to Cyw), spoken by Leusa Mererid ushered in a new era in Welsh broadcasting, the new Cyw pre-school service, which will air Monday-Friday, 7.00am-1.30pm on S4C Digidol.
Mother of two Leusa will narrate the links between programming on Cyw, which will feature the animated activities of Cyw the chick and his friends, Bolgi the dog, Jangl the giraffe, Llew the lion, Plwmp the elephant and Deryn the bird.
Leusa will also present live-action inserts, some of which will include the 'sing and sign' communication method developed by speech and language experts for babies and toddlers.
Leusa, 36, of Felinheli, said: "It's extremely exciting to be a part of this new service and a true privilege to be given the opportunity of speaking the opening words on behalf of Cyw and his friends. My task is to invite the children of Wales into the magical world of Cyw, and I am sure that these endearing characters will become very popular among S4C's youngest viewers."
Among the popular programming featured in the new Cyw service will be live-action series Pentre Bach, song and dance show Triongl, animations Holi Hana, Sali Mali and Sam Tân, and new series such as keep fit show Heini. Presenters Rachael Solomon and Gareth Delve will also play a key role in the new service.
A lively bilingual website - s4c.co.uk/cyw - full of games and activities, as well as information for parents, will accompany the service. Many programmes will be available to watch online, while English subtitles will also be available on most shows.
Cyw is the first phase in S4C's strategy to introduce a separate Welsh-language service for children and young people.
Leusa is a familiar face to S4C viewers and has acted in two of the Channel’s most popular dramas, Amdani and Tipyn o Stâd. She studied drama at Manchester University, and later spent a year in Paris following a special performance course which included mask making and miming. Leusa is due to direct a new Bara Caws theatre production for children, Llyfr Bach y Plant and will be running 'sing and sign' sessions at Caernarfon’s Galeri arts centre in September.