It’s people that have always interested experienced radio and TV presenter, Hywel Gwynfryn. Who better, then, to join the presenting team of the popular religious series Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol,
As the series returns to S4C on Sunday, 16 September with a special extended programme, Hywel will be chatting with the Chaired Bard and new Eisteddfod Archdruid Dic Jones. This special interview was filmed on the field of Flintshire National Eisteddfod at Mold this summer. In future episodes Hywel will also present a special item from the Llangrannog, Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s resident centre in West Wales which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Hywel Gwynfryn has been around as a broadcaster nearly as long as Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol has been on screen. The series’ first ever programme was broadcast back in 1961 and Hywel started his TV presenting career on the BBC’s nightly current affairs magazine programme, Heddiw, in 1964. Since then he’s been a familiar face and voice on TV and radio. He’s currently half of the popular duet Hywel a Nia on their daily programme on Radio Cymru. Is he looking forward to venturing in front of the camera once more?
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the team. I’ll be doing the type of interviews that I enjoy – chatting with people and discussing their lives. People are prepared to open their hearts and talk about their experiences and the way they’ve managed to survive. To some viewers or listeners who are also experiencing bad times, this perhaps can be of great comfort to them, and help them see some light at the end of the tunnel,” he says.
According to Hywel, his upbringing and Sunday School background prepared him for public life. “At Capel Smyrna, Llangefni, we children were encouraged to stand in the pulpit to recite verses from the Bible, and take part in the services by reading from the Bible or by praying. Standing in front of an audience like this built up your confidence and developed your communication skills.”
The chapel also sparked Hywel’s interest in the world of acting and he often took part in Nativity Plays, school productions or plays at the local theatre, Theatr Fach Llangefni. He had set his sights on becoming a Drama teacher after leaving the college in Cardiff but an invite came to enter the world of broadcasting, “and I went for the opportunity rather than the security.”
By now, Hywel, who has seven children, has more than settled down in the Capital city and goes to chapel in Cardiff’s Minny Street.
“Going to Chapel makes me think about my social responsibilities to others. A lot of this is due to the ministry of the Rev Owain Llŷr and the messages he includes in his sermons,” he adds.
Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol
Sunday, 16 September, 8.10pm, S4C, Welsh and English subtitles.
S4c.co.uk/dechraucanu. Also available on broadband – s4c.co.uk/watch
A Teledu Avanti production for S4C