Singer launches Year of Leg­ends

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

SINGER and ra­dio pre­sen­ter Cerys Matthews has thrown her weight be­hind Visit Wales’ 2017 Year of Leg­ends cam­paign.

The year-long cel­e­bra­tion will pro­mote the na­tion’s leg­ends both past and present with events cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from food to sport.

Speak­ing at a launch event in Cardiff Cas­tle, Cerys shared her love of Welsh leg­ends which have in­spired her.

She said: “I’ve spent my en­tire life be­ing in com­plete awe of the myths that we find in Wales. I ab­so­lutely think that for such a small place this coun­try is ab­so­lutely brim­ming with leg­ends.

“I’ve been in­spired by so many Welsh greats and works of art – RS Thomas, Dy­lan Thomas and the Mabino­gion.”

Tourism body Visit Wales has pledged £1.2m to help fund 35 projects which will en­cour­age tourists and na­tives to dis­cover leg­ends – both real and myth­i­cal – through­out the year.

Visit Wales has al­ready an­nounced a Mer­lin Fes­ti­val in Car­marthen­shire in March, The Tour­na­ment in Conwy in June and Land­scape Leg­ends – PopUp Ex­pe­ri­ences by Snow­do­nia Ac­tive.

The plans also look for­ward to June when Cardiff will host the sport­ing leg­ends com­pet­ing in the men’s and women’s Cham­pi­ons League fi­nals.

The 47-year-old ac­claimed Ra­dio 6 Mu­sic pre­sen­ter said she was look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the unique events the year would bring.

She said: “For me all the old stuff is al­ways rel­e­vant in life.

“So when I heard we will be cel­e­brat­ing things like St Dwyn­wen’s Day, which you can cel­e­brate on the 25th of Jan­uary, I was so happy. It is our very own pa­tron of love and you have things like St David’s in March, our mir­a­cle maker from the fifth cen­tury.

“I mean these make life more in­ter­est­ing oth­er­wise it would be a very hum­drum life if we didn’t have our her­itage.”

The for­mer Cata­to­nia singer added: “It’s a beau­ti­ful thing to have a chance to re­dis­cover your coun­try and peo­ple should take it.

“Back in 11th and 12th cen­tury when they were col­lected sto­ries for the Mabino­gion they started telling these amaz­ing tales and us­ing these in­cred­i­bly su­per­sized parts of the Welsh land­scape to tell them.

“I would re­ally rec­om­mend peo­ple go to Cardi­gan Bay and see if they can re­ally be­lieve some of those leg­ends. You can. You re­ally be­lieve it.

“To have this chance to re­visit these leg­ends and make them rel­e­vant to our day to day lives is a beau­ti­ful thing – I am in awe of our her­itage in song and lit­er­a­ture.”

Join­ing Cerys as an am­bas­sador for the project is Game of Thrones vil­lain Iwan Rheon.

Raised in Cardiff, Iwan shot to fame in the smash hit adap­ta­tion of Ge­orge RR Martin’s fan­tasy tale.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to be a part of this project. I was so lucky to have Wales’ sto­ries, his­tory and cul­ture as part of my up­bring­ing,” he said.

“I’m look­ing for­ward Wales’ epic story.” to shar­ing

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