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S4C to broadcast celebrity learners’ show

09/06/2011

Eight celebrities are set to spend an intense week learning Welsh in an eco-friendly chic campsite in Pembrokeshire in the S4C series cariad@iaith:love4language

The identity of the eight learners who’ll spend the week-long linguistic challenge at the striking Fforest Camp in Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire is being kept secret for the time being. They’ll be arriving at the camp on Saturday, 9 July.

Cameras will follow the Welsh language novices as they study 4 hours of Welsh per day under the tutorship of TV presenter and Welsh-language tutor Nia Parry and leading Welsh-language tutor Ioan Talfryn.

The week-long show, anchored by broadcaster Gareth Roberts, will follow the celebrities in nightly hour-long shows. The week, which begins with a programme to launch the series on S4C on Friday 8 July at 8.25pm, comes to a climax with a special awards ceremony and farewell evening on Friday 15 July.

The show will coincide with S4C’s Welsh Learners Week when the Channel will work alongside organisations, newspapers and companies to generate even more interest in the growing Welsh language.

Bubbly presenter and language tutor Nia Parry can’t wait to get started on the cariad@iaith challenge.

Nia Parry said: “The celebrity line-up can’t be revealed yet but I can confirm that they will be a very colourful, dynamic mix of well-known personalities. They all have their own personal reasons for learning Welsh but I can assure you that they will be keen and highly competitive which should make for interesting viewing. I can’t wait to get started.”

Nia and Ioan will use an innovative language learning technique called ‘TPR storytelling’, a method developed in the USA which uses physical activities with the initial emphasis on developing understanding.

“I suppose some will say that the celebrities are a story in themselves, but it’s a serious, innovative way to learn languages that will also be interesting to watch. Of course there’s a serious message here – that it’s possible for anyone to learn Welsh and to have some fun doing so at the same time,” says mother-of-one Nia, who now lives near Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

The Fforest camp centre – which provides camping and outdoor experience with a chic twist - will be a great backdrop for all the challenges.

The celebrities will have limited contact with the outside world during filming throughout the week but the celebrities will be allowed to twitter, blog and use Facebook, which should make for very interesting reading

Production company Fflic, part of the Boomerang Plus group, will be responsible for producing the series with live, highlights and web transmissions.

A previous series of celebrity cariad@iaith:love4language saw the likes of Tanni Grey-Thompson, Janet Street-Porter, Ruth Madoc, Steve Strange, Jamie Shaw, Bernard Latham and Amy Wadge come together for a dramatic week’s stay at the Nant Gwrtheyrn Language Centre in the Llŷn Peninsula .

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