Sybil becomes radio star on 100th birthday

Sybil Phillips goes on air for Welsh audience - and is serenaded by the 'Go Compare Man'


Cardiff resident Sybil Phillips was a radio personality on her 100th birthday this week.

Singer and BBC Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans (more widely known as the “Go Compare Man” on the TV commercial) rang Mrs Phillips and granddaughter Jodie Rosenthal to sing happy birthday and chat to the celebrant.

Neighbours stopped near her balcony throughout the day to offer socially distanced greetings.

One of her two daughters, Jackie Greenberg, described Mrs Phillips as “very outgoing. She likes a good laugh and a joke.” She had been “elated” from the celebrations and was “still on a high”.

The grandmother-of-six lives 100 metres from Cardiff United Synagogue, of which she is a member.

Born in a small village near Newport, she was introduced by a mutual friend to Sam, her late husband, during the Second World War.

They were engaged within days and married at the former Windsor Place Synagogue in 1945.

Mrs Phillips helped her husband run a chain of hairdressing salons in Cardiff and has been surrounded by a loyal circle of family and friends since he passed away 13 years ago.

As a very social person, she has found lockdown difficult. Mrs Greenberg said her mother had always enjoyed a Shabbat afternoon tea with friends.

“But obviously during lockdown they don’t have that.” That made the birthday celebrations especially welcome.

Just before lockdown, she was able to meet four-month-old great-granddaughter Heidi. She is now looking forward to the birth of a fifth great-grandchild in March.

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