THEY say laughter is the best medicine! And celebrities Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston took that to heart when trying out a popular movement in Llandudno! 

The TV favourites paid visits to a number of North Wales hotspots for an episode of their new show: Ricky, Sue, and a Trip or Two.

The duo, who are in their 80s and are known for known for featuring on The Royle Family and Brookside together, took part in a Laughter Yoga session, held at the St George's Hotel.

Paula Roberts, of Happy Yoga Wales, was approached by a Channel 4 producer working on the Ricky, Sue, and a Trip or Two about a year ago.

North Wales Pioneer: Paula with athlete and TV presenter, Colin JacksonPaula with athlete and TV presenter, Colin Jackson (Image: Paula Roberts)
Paula, who lives in Llandudno Junction and is a former Ysgol John Bright pupil, said: "I was still working as a school teacher in St David’s College at the time but the filming didn’t take place until August. By that time, I’d left teaching to run the business full-time. The timing was perfect.

"One of the producers had tried Laughter Yoga before and thought it would work brilliantly on the show. They had seen me teaching Laughter Yoga online and contacted me through my website

"Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnson were travelling around the North West and the North Wales coast filming for their More4 series, ‘Ricky, Sue, and a Trip or Two’. In episode three, they spent a day in Llandudno where they met up with athlete and TV presenter, Colin Jackson.

"It was amazing to be able to teach three famous faces alongside my mum and a few of my friends who had taken part in my yoga and Laughter Yoga sessions before."

Paula said the producers didn't tell Ricky and Sue they were going to be doing Laughter Yoga.

North Wales Pioneer: Paula and Zara with the other ladies who joined in the Laughter Yoga session at the St George's Hotel, LlandudnoPaula and Zara with the other ladies who joined in the Laughter Yoga session at the St George's Hotel, Llandudno (Image: Paula Roberts)
"They actually thought they were going to take part in a ‘normal’ yoga class on Llandudno’s North Shore," Paula said.

"We set the mats up on the beach initially but the heaven’s opened so we relocated to the St George’s Hotel.

"In the episode, you see me teaching the end of a yoga class when Ricky and Sue rush in apologising for being late. The director told me to pretend that we’d just finished a ‘normal’ yoga class and to introduce the second part of the session which was going to be Laughter Yoga.

"That was the first Ricky and Sue knew about it and their reactions were brilliant!

"Ricky let out a loud ‘ha!’ And joined in willingly from the start. They were all really up for it.

"I was nervous about how they would respond to Laughter Yoga as it does encourage people to step out of their comfort zones, but I needn’t have been nervous at all. They loved every minute of it."

Ricky did the session sitting in a chair.

Paula said: "That’s one of the many benefits of Laughter Yoga. It is suitable for absolutely everybody and everyone feels the immediate benefits of laughing heartily and breathing deeply.

"Sue and Colin joined in just as enthusiastically. It makes me smile just thinking about it actually."


Paula described Ricky and Sue as "so down-to-earth".

She said: "They were very interested in what I do and the benefits of Laughter Yoga. Ricky loved the idea of people being able to do it online and told me that he was going to share my YouTube videos in his newsletter with his followers.

"We chatted about mental health and how important it is to connect with other people.

"I presented Ricky and Colin a beanie hat each with my motto, ‘Less Stress, More Yoga’. They loved them and Colin put his on straight away.

"Sue was really friendly too and got on like a house on fire with my mum, Marian."

Paula has been teaching health and fitness for a long time.

"I've always taught some kind of fitness or yoga class alongside working as a Modern Languages teacher," she said.

"Health and happiness is my passion so I decided to take the plunge and leave school at the end of last year to run Happy Yoga Wales full-time. 

"I trained in Laughter Yoga about 18 months ago after seeing it at a festival. I just love it. I’ve always been a bit of an entertainer. My dad, Mike, has been the lead singer in bands all his life so it’s obviously in my blood.

"Laughter Yoga is basically laughing on purpose combined with deep breathing and relaxation. It brings together entertainment, cardiovascular fitness, social wellbeing and relaxation. There really isn’t anything else quite like it."

Fitness expert and leader at Tropic Skincare Zara Groves joined the session. 

Ricky kindly recorded a message for her mum Carol. 

Zara, of Llandudno, said: "When I told my Mum that I was filming with Ricky Tomlinson she said 'oh tell him I love him and think he’s hilarious' so I went over and said this to him.

"I said to him 'do you mind if I take a selfie' and he said 'let’s do a video'. 

"I just assumed he was going to say something along the lines of 'hi Carol how are you?' I really didn’t expect him to say what he did."

This summer, Paula is hosting her first Happiness Retreat.

Paula said: "Guests can choose to join in with lots of different activities from Laughter Yoga and deep-tissue massage to meditating in tree hammocks and enjoy the most amazing food - all of which make me very happy.

"I run yoga, laughter yoga, face yoga and meditation sessions in Llandudno. I also travel throughout North Wales and beyond to work with teams, community groups.

"Since being on TV, there has been a huge demand for Laughter Yoga classes so I will be scheduling some pop-up Laughter Yoga sessions. All Upcoming Events are listed on my website where people can get in touch if they’d like me to bring the laughter to their event or workplace.

"I also have a YouTube channel where people can try out some of the Laughter Yoga techniques from the comfort of their own homes."