Erin Richards might look like the ditsy blond presenter on S4C’s magazine teen show Mosgito, but she’s also got a good head on her shoulders and both feet on the ground.
“I enjoy the range of issues we get to cover,” she said. “We’ve done everything; fun fashion items, then yesterday I interviewed a guy who had Asperger’s syndrome and did a lot of sport and art. So it’s really interesting to be able to learn something new every day.”
Erin, in her early 20s, grew up in Penarth, and learnt Welsh at Ysgol Glan Taf in Cardiff and from her Grandad. But she didn’t expect to get a part on the show.
She said: “I went through a series of auditions but I never knew I was going to get the job, because my Welsh was so bad and also I’d just come back from Reading Festival, where I’d spent the entire weekend shouting.
“I don’t know why they picked me. I bet they’re regretting it now!
She added: “In 2007, when I began the show, my confidence was really low because the other two presenters were really fluent and I hadn’t spoken Welsh properly for about six years, because I went away travelling and to University in Sheffield, so after a year and a half it’s got a lot better.”
Last year, as well as going to Salzburg with the show, she raised nearly £2000 by running the London Marathon for Relateen – a helpline for children whose parents have split up and she modelled in Fashion Showcase Wales in Cardiff.
She said: “That was wicked. It’s a bit artier than other kinds of fashion shows. They had about five different sections and I was the focal point of my scene. It was the City of Whispers and I was The Whisper.
“It was such a long day. It was pretty boring to be honest but then for the three seconds of my catwalk bit, I just got it. The hair was incredible and the dress was beautiful, so it didn’t feel like everybody was looking at me, it was more like everybody was appreciating the creation. It was brilliant and I really enjoyed it.”
As for 2009, she said: “I’ll have a look at what marathons are coming. I also want to do a bit more extreme activity. We’re going away to Italy in February over the half term, so that’s good.
“But I want to try and convince them to go somewhere a bit more political. I think it’s really important because there are a lot of kids in Wales who don’t get to hear about Gaza or Zimbabwe. I think that’s the only drawback of Welsh TV; It’s not as international as it should be.
“It’s fair enough they want to concentrate on Wales, because a lot of English channels don’t, but at the same time it does get a bit introverted and I think Wales needs to look out a little bit more if it wants to continue to grow.”
And for the future? She said: “I’d like to concentrate a bit more on my acting in the next few years because it’s obviously what I trained for and I’m very passionate about it.
“On the presenting side, I’d like to do more factually based programs but with an entertaining edge.”
Erin presents Mosgito on S4C at 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.