S4C has today (Wednesday 23 February) unveiled the highlights of its St David’s Day and spring programmes schedule with the emphasis on high quality drama, documentaries and entertainment.
S4C’s 2011 on-screen campaign – Calon Cenedl (Heart of the Nation) – will continue and throughout the spring period the main focus will be on community, culture and language.
Geraint Rowlands, S4C Director of Commissioning, said, “2011 has started extremely well for S4C. Almost a million viewers tuned in to S4C’s programmes during one particular week in January and so far this year viewing figures in peak hours are up by 4,000 viewers on the same period last year.
“The S4C children’s film Ble Mae Cyw? won a major international prize at the KidScreen Awards in New York and 13 S4C programmes have received nominations for the Celtic Media Festival in Stornoway in April. Drama on S4C – including the series Alys currently being shown on Sunday evenings – continues to receive high critical acclaim.”
The highlight of St David’s Day on S4C will be an hour-long programme revealing for the first time the real face of Welsh legendary hero Owain Glyndŵr. The programme Wyneb Glyndŵr takes viewers on an exciting journey to re-create the face of the Welsh Prince from the Middle Ages using the latest computer technology.
Owain Glyndŵr started a revolt against the English Crown in 1400 and claimed that he was the Prince of Wales – but no one knows what he looked like. The special documentary on S4C on 1 March is about to change all that.
Presented by the Hollywood actor, Julian Lewis Jones, the mystery begins close to home in Corwen and Cardiff, but the role played by an American expert and an amazing discovery in an old archive in Paris gives the journey an international flavour.
The series 100 Lle appropriately visits St David’s on the Welsh patron saint’s day and the programme also includes visits to Haverfordwest and Pembroke Castle. Presenter, Aled Samuel and historian, Dr John Davies are our guides. The series is based on the award-winning book ‘Cymru, y 100 lle i’w gweld cyn marw’ (Wales, the 100 places to see before you die) by Dr John Davies and photographer, Marian Delyth.
There’ll be plenty of laughter on S4C on St David’s Day with two new comedy programmes. .Cym is a panel game that’s certain to raise a laugh as it satirises some of the odd things about Wales and the Welsh. Following .Cym will be a cartoon film, Y Teulu Tomos, the story of a very ordinary family sharing a very ordinary house with a baby, a robot and a very unusual granddad.
Sunday evenings on S4C have become known for high quality drama. After the success of Pen Talar, Teulu and Alys, a new drama series Porthpenwaig – the story of a family living in a seaside village – begins in mid April.
Ddoe Am Ddeg is a new comedy series beginning in mid March aimed at young people and Sioe Tudur Owen will offer a different type of comedy for an audience of 200 at the Galeri, Caernarfon and viewers at home.
The annual search for a winning Welsh song Cân i Gymru will be broadcast live from Pontrhydfendigaid Pavilion on Sunday 6 March. The semi-finals of Wales’ premier choral competition Côr Cymru will be shown on S4C in a series starting on Saturday 12 March. The final will be broadcast live from Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Sunday 10 April.
In the new series Byw yn y Byd we follow Russell Jones on an African adventure. On his journey he will be visiting several charity-funded projects educating people how to live self-sufficiently and preparing them to live through periods of drought. The centres Russell visits show people how to grow their own food and how to breed chickens and goats. Russell will also be returning with his gardening series Byw yn yr Ardd as the busiest gardening period fast approaches.
The new series Perthyn will feature eight people tracing their family roots. Some secrets of the past will be revealed, some mysteries unravelled and we hear of the occasional scandal!
As we’re living in a period of economic restraint the series Mwy am Lai will help people get the best value for their money. Wales as a successful exporting country will be the subject of the series O Gymru Fach presented by the well-known actor Steffan Rhodri.
The arts and culture series Pethe returns in March and its sister series Pethe Hwyrach in April.
The tenor Wynne Evans is best known by now as Gio Compario from the television advert Go Compare, winner of the title ‘The most irritating advert’ for the second year in succession. In the programme Cyngerdd Wynne Evans – Gio Compario Wynne presents songs from his first CD being released especially for Mothering Sunday.
Bandit yn Gigio will showcase music of a very different kind as it holds gigs around Wales over six weeks in March.
In sport Y Clwb Rygbi will keep rugby supporters informed and entertained for the rest of the season and games will include live coverage of Wales’ remaining Six Nations games against Italy, on Saturday 26 February, Ireland on Saturday 12 March and France on Saturday 19 March. The Sgorio team will bring viewers the best from Welsh soccer including highlights of Gary Speed’s first real test as the new Wales manager – against England in the Euro 2012 qualifier at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 26 March.
Eighteen months after completing the Jungle Marathon in the Amazon, presenter Lowri Morgan is ready to tackle a new challenge. This time, she faces eight days and 350 miles in severe Artic conditions in the 6633 Ultra in the series Ras yn Erbyn Amser. Only six people have ever finished the race so Lowri will need to push herself to the limit as she prepares for the endurance challenge of a lifetime. Not only will she face a race against time, she’ll battle the conditions and her own personal demons along the way.
With the referendum on increased powers for the National Assembly for Wales being held on Thursday 3 March, S4C’s news and current affairs programmes will be featuring the debate in the days leading up to the crucial vote. And on the day after S4C will bring all the results live from 10.30am in the programme Refferendwm 2011.