We are very sad to hear of the death of Ray, who brought inspiration to us all during filming for The Big Welsh Challenge. Our thoughts are with his wife Mari and his daughters Manon and Gwenan.
Filming with Ray was always a joy. He was such a huge personality and always had time for everybody. Simon has made no secret of the fact that he has struggled to find time to do as much Welsh as he had hoped, but Ray was always there with encouragement and support.
"It's a terrible shock. I have known him for more than twenty years," said Simon. "He was such a big giver. He loved his family. If he was speaking to you for two minutes, a minute of that time would be spent talking about his family.
"He made everybody feel important. Whether he met you once or a hundred times he would always treat you the same and clasp your hands in his big paws.
"He did his best to try to teach me Welsh but it's been difficult because I've been busy and he was ill but I'll do my best to stick with it. He was such a proud, proud Welshman and loved life and where he lived. There wasn't a day when he didn't pack something in. He was a great ambassador for Wales."
In an interview with Jamie and Louise on BBC Radio Wales, Simon described Ray as "a beacon of sunshine" said he was determined now to continue with his Welsh and to succeed in mastering the language for Ray's memory.