A brand new animated film based on the legend of Gelert, the faithful hound of Prince Llywelyn the Great, who protected his master’s son from a ravenous wolf, is headlining S4C’s 2007 Christmas viewing line-up.
The colourful 30-minute 2D film of Gelert, the first ever animation of the famous tale, will be broadcast on Christmas Day. Among the stars voicing the main characters are John Ogwen, Lowri Steffan and Tudur Owen, while Gelert’s bark is provided courtesy of an Irish wolfhound.
Also on Christmas Day, Cha Cha Gethin follows the progress of Blue Peter’s Gethin Jones as he trips the light fantastic on Strictly Come Dancing,
World-famous tenor Dennis O’Neill takes to the stage of Cardiff's Millennium Centre with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in a Christmas feast of opera to mark his 60th birthday, with S4C broadcasting the concert, Gala Dennis a Kiri, on 30 December.
Another anniversary is celebrated on Christmas Day in Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log -25- Y Briodas Arian– the silver anniversary of the first Welsh tour of the folk singer and the group Ar Log. The late Ray Gravell features in this special concert, recorded at the 2007 National Eisteddfod in Mold.
There’ll be plenty of carols in Carolau o Langollen from the Pavilion of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on 20 December, while a festive edition of Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol will be broadcast on 23 December.
Heading up S4C’s factual programming is three-part documentary Dai yn y Dŵr, which starts on Boxing Day. Dai Jones, Llanilar, famous for series such as Cefn Gwlad and Rasus, takes a break from dry land to tackle his biggest challenge yet – learning to swim.
The popular presenter is famously afraid of the water, and after a nerve-racking first attempt in Aberystwyth, flies to Egypt to see if the buoyancy caused by the saltiness of the Red Sea will help him progress.
Bois Parc Nest on 23 December is an absorbing documentary about a family of three famous poets, T. James (Jim) Jones, John Gwilym Jones and Aled Gwyn. On a return visit to the farm of Parc Nest in west Wales, where they were brought up, the three brothers reflect on the influence of their parents and their former home on their work.
Special policeman PC Leslie Wynne launches his new chat show on Boxing Day, while there’ll be seasonal specials of entertainment shows Cadair Fawr Eleri Sion and Pws as well as soaps Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd and a celebrity edition of Mastermind Cymru.
S4C will also broadcast a range of top sporting fixtures, including one of the highlights of the rugby season, the Scarlets v Ospreys match at Stradey Park on 27 December.
S4C’s children’s programmes on new-look Planed Plant Bach and Planed Plant also feature a range of highlights, including animation Holi Hana and the annual Gwobrwyo’r Goreuon edition of magazine show Uned 5, where viewers vote for their favourite celebrities.
On New Year’s Day, Wales’ best-known detective embarks on a new adventure in the one-off drama S.O.S. Galw Gari Tryfan, while in January, mountaineer and adventurer Eric Jones introduces viewers to the mountains and people of the Alps in the documentary series Alpau Eric Jones.
Drama documentary Poncho Mam-gu on 2 January sees actress and author Eiry Palfrey retrace her grandmother’s steps to Patagonia. Teulu, a new drama set in Aberaeron, also starts in January.
Rhian Gibson, S4C’s Director of Commissioning, said, “The emphasis is very much on entertainment this Christmas and New Year, with a range of progammes – from animation to music, drama, documentaries and quizzes – providing something for the whole family to enjoy.”