A daredevil radio presenter and actress who starred in the hit TV drama Hidden is taking a “leap of faith” in aid of a children’s charity.
Megan Llŷn, who co-presents the Heart North & Mid Wales drive time show with Oli Kemp from their studio in Gwersyllt, near Wrexham, every afternoon, will be doing a tandem skydive on Saturday, November 9.
Every penny will be going Heart’s charity, Make Some Noise, and among the organisations receiving a grant will be Amy and Friends.
The charity, which has bases in Flint, Rhyl and on the Wirral, was set up to support the families of people affected by Cockayne Syndrome, a rare and debilitating premature ageing disorder.
Meg, who trained at the same drama college as fellow Heart presenter Amanda Holden, played the part of Beth John, in the critically acclaimed television murder mystery series, Hidden, which was shown in Welsh on S4C and in English on the BBC.
She also won the Llwyd o’r Bryn Memorial Prize for those aged 21 and over at the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst in August.
It was only after she agreed to do the jump that Meg realised, it would happen the day after her 27th birthday which means any celebrations will have to be put on hold until after the skydive.
In the meantime, she says she will be adding Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ and Coldplay’s ‘Parachutes’ to her playlist as she gears herself up to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft above the Tilstock airfield near Whitchurch in Shropshire.
She has also set up a page on the radio station’s website where people who would like to sponsor her can make a donation: www.heart.co.uk/northwales/events/local/daredevil-meg-takes-leap-of-faith-for-gmsn
Meg said: “I’ll be starting my 28th year on earth with a bang. It means I won’t be having any celebratory glasses of wine just a quiet dinner with my mum. However, no doubt we will party after the jump is done and out of the way – provided I’m still in one piece!
“Our Heart Breakfast presenter, Amanda Holden, did a sky dive for the same charity and I thought if Amanda can do it then so can I.
“It was a bit of an off the cuff remark on air and that was it, too late to pull out. Now I’m destined to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet.
“It actually won’t be the first charity parachute jump I’ve done, I did one for the Teenage Cancer Trust in 2014. I just remember the feeling of absolute terror just before they opened the door and it was time to go.
“It’s a tandem jump so I will have an expert there and in charge. I did invite my mum to come and watch but she declined. She’s very proud of me, as are my two sisters and my brother, but she’s a bit too nervous to watch.”
Meg, who was raised on a farm in Sarn Mellteyrn on the Llŷn Peninsula, is presenting the Meg and Oli show on Heart North Wales until January and says she is really enjoying the experience.
She said; “I’m providing maternity cover for the regular presenter, Lois Cernyw, at the moment but really enjoying myself. I trained as an actor and actually attended the same drama school in London, the Mountview Academy, as Amanda Holden.
“It’s a prestigious school and I had to audition to get my place. It’s helped me so much though.
“I had a part in an eight episode dual language crime drama for S4C and the BBC. It was called Hidden in English and Craith in Welsh and was screened last year. That was quite tough as it meant learning two scripts.
“I’m having a ball presenting alongside Oli on Heart North & Mid Wales. It’s given me chance to do things like this crazy parachute jump.
“I love any opportunity to help out with a charity or good cause when I can. And as Amy and Friends is Heart North & Mid Wales’ chosen charity, I’m so pleased to be raising funds for such a good cause.
“Co-presenter, Oli Kemp, said: “I am so very proud of Meg. She’s a brilliant presenter and a lot of fun to work with but this is something else. It takes a lot of guts to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft. I take my hat off to her.”
Meg added: “From seeing the work Amy and Friends do and how they help so many children, it just seemed the right thing to do.
“Amy and Friends is a place where children with conditions such as Cockayne Syndrome can go and find some peace. It’s somewhere they can call their own and that is so important.
“I’ve just got to pluck up the courage to jump from an aircraft again, and I know how terrifying it was when I did it previously. I’ll have to be more careful what I say on air in future!”
Amy and Friends was set up in 2007 to help provide comfort and support for victims of Cockayne Syndrome, which among symptoms causes premature ageing and their families across the world.
The charity was named after Wallasey-born Amy Garton-Hughes and now runs weekly clubs called My Time to Be Me in the Wirral and Rhyl.
A charity spokesperson said: “My Time to Be Me is a weekly club that provides time for siblings who live with a brother, sister or mum or dad that suffers from any severely life affecting illness or who, has sadly, passed away.“Our first club began in 2012 on the Wirral and our second started in Rhyl in 2016. The club reduces isolation, builds friendships and allows siblings to talk about their experiences with others in a similar situation. This helps the children and young people grow in confidence and self-esteem.
“My Time to Be Me is free to attend and is for children and young people age eight to 16. There are many activities that are all chosen by the young people who attend including games or projects such as music, photography, arts and crafts and much more.”
“The organisation has raised money for medical research which has resulted in the ground-breaking identification of the carrier gene to enable the siblings of victims to be tested for Cockayne Syndrome.”
Anybody wanting to sponsor Meg can do so via www.heart.co.uk/northwales/events/local/daredevil-meg-takes-leap-of-faith-for-gmsn
My Time to Be Me sessions are held at St Anne’s Parish Church Hall, Vale Road, Rhyl, between 5pm and 7pm on Monday evenings and organises sessions between 4.30pm and 6pm on Tuesdays at The Old Court House Cafe, 34 Church Street, Flint. For more information about the charity go to www.amyandfriends.org