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Merêd

Merêd's swansong on S4C

A Welshman from Tanygrisiau who has met Marilyn Monroe, who used to pass Albert Einstein in the corridors of Princeton University, America every day, and whose collection of songs made it on to the New York Times top 12 popular light music albums of the year. And that's barely scraping the surface of the colourful life of Dr Meredydd Evans.

In the year he turns 95, the man himself is featured in a special S4C documentary as he looks back on his life so far, from his early upbringing, to moving with his wife and young daughter to America, and his attempts to protect the Welsh language and culture upon his return to his homeland. Merêd broadcast on Sunday, 2 March on S4C will also include contributions from friends, admirers and family members.

Dr Meredydd Evans has announced that this will be his last TV appearance so don't miss this engaging and poignant portrayal of an untiring campaigner for justice for Wales and the Welsh language who has also directly contributed to its culture.

"Dad is 94 and he still works in his study every day," says Eluned Evans, daughter of Dr Meredydd Evans and his wife Phyllis Kinney. "I think what drives him is an urge to share as much of his knowledge as he can, before he goes."

He certainly does have a lot to share having spent his life as a Welsh folk song historian, philosopher and light entertainment producer. He was the Head of Light Entertainment at the BBC for ten years, and created a number of popular programmes including Hob y Deri Dando, Ryan a Ronnie and Fo a Fe, and he discovered new talent in Wales such as musicians Meic Stevens and Heather Jones. "I like to move from one thing to the other," says Merêd considering his varied career. "That's just the way I am."

One of eleven children, Merêd was born and raised in Tanygrisiau in Blaenau Ffestiniog. He may have crossed the seas to America but it was in Tanygrisiau that he was immersed in the things that have remained important to him to this day. Eluned says, "Tanygrisiau, the place itself, laid the foundations for his life. His political principles, his moral standing, social life, religion, family life, it all derived from his upbringing and Tanygrisiau."

In a series of extended interviews at his home in the remote village of Cwm Ystwyth, Dr Meredydd Evans will be looking back and speaking from the heart about a number of subjects, from his early memories of his mother singing folk songs at home, "…as naturally as a bird sings…," to falling in love with Phyllis.

He also discusses the importance of protecting rural communities in Wales. "I think that circumstances can arise, in any democratic society, where you sometimes have to go beyond the parliament's constitutional means, political discussion and so on," says Merêd, his eyes ablaze. "You have to disobey to make yourself heard."

Join S4C for Merêd's swansong, as the 94 year old looks back over his life and career, and considers religion, philosophy, his hopes and aspirations for Wales, and his feelings as he walks to his beloved Cwmorthin for what could be the last time.