Ioan Gruffudd's tribute to Pobol y Cwm's Huw Ceredig

Hollywood star Ioan Gruffudd has joined tributes to Pobol y Cwm actor Huw Ceredig, calling him one of the giants.

Gruffudd started his career in the S4C soap playing Ceredig's son, before going on to big films like The Fantastic Four.

He said Ceredig's death was a huge loss, and said he was a big influence.

Born in Brynaman in Carmarthenshire, he was the brother of Plaid Cymru politician and singer Dafydd Iwan and Welsh assembly member Alun Ffred Jones.

The 69-year-old actor, whose death was announced on Tuesday, played Reg Harries for 29 years. He also leaves another brother, Arthur.

Gruffudd said Ceredig was one of the "first actors to put his arm around me and encouraged me to be confident and not to be nervous".

He added: "Without a doubt, he was one of the greats on our small screen and one of the Welsh giants.

"There will be a huge loss after him. He'd been in the series for so long, nearly 30 years and I almost spent 10 fabulous and special years with him.

"I learnt so much, how to enjoy acting more than anything and how to enjoy life. We got to socialise off the set and I also learned a lot."

Image caption A young Ioan Gruffudd and Huw Ceredig, who played his father

Describing himself as lucky to have known the actor, Gruffudd said: "I have a huge debt to Huw and all on the series.

"That's where I got my break and Huw was an enormous influence on me.

"He was like a mentor to tell you the truth.

"He taught me how to behave as a young actor, how to learn my lines and how to be professional and above all how to enjoy."


Ceredig also appeared in other TV programmes including Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Z Cars and Doctors.

Film credits include parts in Rebecca's Daughters and cult comedy Twin Town.

Glamorgan cricketer Robert Croft said the actor was also a dedicated cricket fan, and he admitted to being "starstruck" when he met Ceredig at the club he regularly followed.

He said: "Oh definitely, it was incredible.

"And then when the film Twin Town came out, all the players just loved him.

"The older generation like myself would remember him in Pobol y Cwm, but then the younger generation coming through knew him from Twin Town, so he was a man who probably had a relationship with lots of generations."

Croft said: "I remember him as the happy chap with a big smile on his face, shouting 'Come on Glamorgan,' and forever standing behind the bar I guess, in Pobol y Cwm."

Keith Jones, director of BBC Wales, which makes Pobol y Cwm for S4C, said: "Huw was a huge presence here for the 29 years he portrayed one of the giants of the small screen, Reg Harries in Pobol y Cwm.

"He had many successes and a following beyond Pobol y Cwm of course, in various productions such as Twin Town and Y Pris.

"I'd like to pay tribute and thank him for his great contribution to Pobol y Cwm over the years.

"On behalf of myself and many of my colleagues in BBC Cymru Wales, I'd like to send our sincere condolences to his family and many friends at such a difficult time."

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