The TV premiere of a Welsh-language animated film based on the Dylan Thomas classic, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, voiced by Hollywood star, Matthew Rhys, is one of many gift-wrapped highlights in a star-studded S4C Christmas schedule.
The Cardiff-born Brothers & Sisters actor plays the narrator in Nadolig Plentyn yng Nghymru, which also features musical performances by members of Only Men Aloud and Gwion Jones, winner of I’ll Do Anything. The film is broadcast on Christmas Eve on S4C.
Matthew Rhys talks about his own childhood Christmas memories in the documentary, Atgofion Plentyn yng Nghymru. He also makes a guest appearance in a two-part special, Y 7 Magnifico a Matthew Rhys, which follows seven Welsh celebrities as they learn cowboy skills on a working ranch in Arizona.
S4C's festive programming includes a host of other top family entertainment, sport, drama and music shows. A documentary following a year in the life of X Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts and a concert celebrating the eighteenth anniversary of performing arts school Ysgol Glanaethwy are among the highlights.
West End heroine Connie Fisher, opera star Shân Cothi and singer Cerys Matthews also appear in the Cyngerdd C Ffactor concert, recorded earlier this year at the National Eisteddfod.
On Christmas Day at 9.00pm, S4C presents the much-anticipated film adaptation of Caryl Lewis' modern classic, Martha, Jac a Sianco. A powerful story about family inheritance and heartbreak, the novel won the Welsh-language Book of The Year award in 2005. Caryl herself has adapted the novel for the screen, while Sharon Morgan, Ifan Huw Dafydd and Geraint Lewis star.
S4C's Director of Commissioning, Rhian Gibson, says, "S4C's Christmas schedule promises plenty of entertainment for the whole family, with a cracking line-up of drama, documentary, comedy, sport and music, as well as a whole host of programming for children of all ages."
S4C has also unveiled its exciting 2009 New Year schedule. Y Dref Gymreig looks at houses characteristic of different Welsh towns, while drama Teulu returns for a second series. Gethin Jones presents Cwis Meddiant, a general quiz show played along rugby lines, and there's plenty of entertainment with new stand-up show Tudur Owen o’r Doc.
Later in 2009, Shân Cothi presents a new music chat show, Iolo Williams heads east to explore Russian wildlife in Rwsia Wyllt, and Beth Angell follows in her missionary grandfather’s footsteps to Khasia in India for Angell yn India.
For full details of S4C’s Christmas schedule, please go to s4c christmas listings pdf. The majority of programmes are available to watch online at s4c.co.uk/clic for 35 days after the initial broadcast