Learning Welsh is something that Welsh comedian Mike Bubbins takes seriously.

And although there’s a lot of fun and laughter as he goes on a journey with his Welsh-speaking mentor, Elis James, in the next episode of Iaith Ar Daith on S4C, his reasons for learning Welsh are very close to his heart.

“There wasn’t a lot of Welsh spoken in Barry in the 70s and 80s,” said Mike. “We would maybe say the Lord’s Prayer every Tuesday and sing Calon Lân but that was about it,” said Mike.

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“But my children speak Welsh fluently and I would like to have a conversation in Welsh with my children.”

“And I think, as I get older, there’s no excuse for me not to speak Welsh. The language is an important part of Welsh culture and that is what gives us our identity as a country.”


Elis and Mike are old friends and have known each other for more than 15 years. Recently the two have worked together on the podcast -  ‘The Socially Distant Sports Bar’.

Elis said: “We met doing stand-up in Cardiff and Mike has been a close friend for many years now. The thing with Mike is that he is very competitive, so he will want to be the best learner ever. He will want to win learner of the year.”

The National Wales: Mike Bubbins and Elis JamesMike Bubbins and Elis James

Mike and Elis’s Iaith Ar Daith trip begins in Elis’s hometown of Carmarthen – here they sell smart clothes in a local clothes shop to customers in Welsh.

The two then head east through the Gwendraeth Valley – and there is a big surprise for Mike at Cross Hands Cinema where one of his heroes, Dafydd Iwan, is waiting for him. And Mike gets the chance to sing one of his favourite songs ‘Yma o Hyd’ with Dafydd.

Elis said: “Mike was smiling all over his face after meeting Dafydd Iwan. He was thrilled. ‘Yma o Hyd’ means quite a lot to Mike, I think.”

You can watch Iaith Ar Daith on Sunday April 24 at 8.00pm on S4C, S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms. English subtitles are available.

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