62 Facts About Cerys Matthews


Cerys Matthews is a Welsh singer, songwriter, author, and broadcaster.


Cerys Matthews was a founding member of Welsh rock band Catatonia and a leading figure in the "Cool Cymru" movement of the late 1990s.


Cerys Matthews makes documentaries for television and radio and was a roving reporter for The One Show.


Cerys Matthews's illustrated version of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood is released November 2022 published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.


Cerys Matthews was born in Cardiff, the second of four children.


Cerys Matthews went to Bryn Y Mor Welsh language school until 11 years of age, then attended St Michael's School, Llanelli.


Cerys Matthews then attended Ysgol Bro Gwaun comprehensive school when she lived in the Pembrokeshire village of Trefin, and Bryanston School, an independent school in Dorset, England.


Cerys Matthews has cited her childhood heroes as being Pippi Longstocking and writers William Butler Yeats and Dylan Thomas.


Cerys Matthews learned to play the guitar at the age of nine, sang Welsh folk songs and taught herself traditional songs from all over the globe including blues and Irish folk songs.


Cerys Matthews was a member of the West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra.


Cerys Matthews had a stint in Spain as a nanny, where she learned to speak Catalan.


Catatonia were formed in 1992, after Cerys Matthews met Mark Roberts.


Cerys Matthews subsequently sang lead vocals on, and co-wrote the music and lyrics for, the band's hits.


Cerys Matthews played guitar on the earlier material before second guitarist Owen Powell joined the band.


Cerys Matthews performed a single with the band Space named "The Ballad of Tom Jones", which tells the story of two lovers who want to kill each other, but then hear a Tom Jones song that defuses their homicidal feelings.


Cerys Matthews later collaborated with Jones to record a version of Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on Jones's 1999 album Reload.


Cerys Matthews was voted the "Sexiest Female in Rock" in a 1999 readers' poll in the now defunct magazine Melody Maker.


Cerys Matthews recorded a song in both English and Welsh for the pre-school cartoon series Sali Mali.


Cerys Matthews provided guest vocals on the track "Cyclops Rock", from US alternative rock band They Might Be Giants 2001 album Mink Car.


Cerys Matthews's line was originally supposed to be provided by Joe Strummer of the Clash.


Cerys Matthews went on to co-write "Gypsy Song" with Strummer on her Cockahoop album released by Rough Trade in 2003.


Cerys Matthews had already collected seventy-six traditional folk songs with the idea of making an album of folk covers.


Cerys Matthews toured the album around Britain with minimal promotion as she was several months pregnant at the time.


Cerys Matthews released it as a download-single with all profits going to a children's charity.


In early 2006, Cerys Matthews introduced material from her then upcoming album at SXSW in Austin, Texas.


In 2006, Cerys Matthews conducted a short tour of the UK to promote her second solo album, Never Said Goodbye.


Cerys Matthews embarked upon a short acoustic Welsh tour in November 2006 before returning to Nashville for Christmas.


Cerys Matthews appeared on the 2007 series of ITV's I'm a Celebrity.


Cerys Matthews was voted off one day before the final episode, coming fourth behind Jason "J" Brown, Janice Dickinson and eventual winner Christopher Biggins.


Cerys Matthews became involved with fellow contestant Marc Bannerman after the show, but they split four months later.


Cerys Matthews appeared at the live Guilty Pleasures concert at the Hackney Empire, London in 2007.


In 2007 Cerys Matthews became Vice-President of the Welsh homelessness charity Shelter Cymru.


Cerys Matthews accepted a role of Performing Arts Ambassador for Linden Lodge School, Wimbledon in the same year.


Cerys Matthews joined the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers onstage at The O2 on 28 February 2008 to sing the female vocals of their 2007 hit "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough".


Cerys Matthews replaced Nina Persson in both the awards ceremony and at the following 'Big Gig' live show.


From November 2008, Cerys Matthews sat in for Stephen Merchant and Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music and went on to present George Lamb's slot in April 2009.


Cerys Matthews then covered for Nemone on 6 Music from July 2009 while Nemone was on maternity leave.


Cerys Matthews began maternity leave from November 2009 and had to finish presenting the show a month early.


Cerys Matthews produces and presents radio documentaries and shows, including Hook Line and Singer, where she shared her love of fishing on Radio 4.


Cerys Matthews released her first CD in two years in October 2009.


Cerys Matthews has covered Glastonbury Festival for both BBC Television and BBC 6 Music, she wrote and presented a BBC Two programme on poetry and presented TV documentaries on singer Dorothy Squires, the Mississippi River and Cuba.


Cerys Matthews wrote and presented a documentary on early blues players such as Memphis Minnie, children's character Pippi Longstocking, Mahalia Jackson and the celebrated British blues label 'Blue Horizon'.


Cerys Matthews has presented a documentary for BBC Radio 2 on Maida Vale studios.


Cerys Matthews frequently contributes to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Feedback, Frontrow, Loose Ends and Saturday Live, writing a column for world music magazine Songlines.


Cerys Matthews has curated festivals for the Tate Modern, the Shetland theatre and Womex.


In 2010, Cerys Matthews released Tir, a collection of traditional Welsh songs, and of photographs from her family archive from the 1880s to 1940s of people at work and play.


Cerys Matthews played the Isle of Wight and Hay festivals in 2012, the latter with a Woody Guthrie tribute show, and collaborated with artists such as Arun Ghosh, Tunde Jegede, Attab Haddad, Frank Moon and the London Bulgarian Choir.


Cerys Matthews produced and arranged Christmas album Baby, It's Cold Outside to much acclaim, recognised by the Sunday Times as an "essential seasonal album".


Cerys Matthews played UK literary festivals including Dartington, Chester, Hay and Edinburgh and released an album of traditional Welsh reels and songs, Hullabaloo.


Cerys Matthews sang Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" as part of the memorial service for esteemed War correspondent Marie Colvin, in May 2012.


Also in 2012, Cerys Matthews appeared as a celebrity guest mentor for Tom Jones's team on the first series of the UK version of The Voice.


In 2014, Cerys Matthews co-founded an interactive festival, The Good Life Experience, with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, held every September on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden, Flintshire near the Cheshire border.


Cerys Matthews won gold at the 2013 Sony Radio Academy Awards, winning in the 'Music Broadcaster of the year' category.


Baby It's Cold Outside, released for Christmas 2013 on the Rainbow City label, is a selection of Christmas carols and classic Christmas songs all arranged and produced by Cerys Matthews using instruments such as Chinese temple blocks, oud, celeste and coconut shells.


Cerys Matthews was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to music.


In July 2014 Cerys Matthews was awarded an honorary degree from Swansea University.


Cerys Matthews won the Best Presenter Music award at the Audio Production Awards on 23 November 2016.


On 14 May 2018, Cerys Matthews took over from Paul Jones as the presenter of The Blues Show on BBC Radio 2.


In 2022 Cerys Matthews made a pilot for a new BBC Radio 4 music programme called 'Add To Playlist' with Jeffrey Boakye.


In 2019 Cerys Matthews was one of the three judges for the 2020 Countryfile Calendar, sold in aid of Children in Need.


Cerys Matthews took her 9- and 12-year-old sons and husband to hike to base camp Everest in 2019.


Cerys Matthews married her second husband, Steve Abbott, who has 2 children, in 2011 and they live in West London.