S4C celebrates 40 years of broadcasting

1 November 2022

Since 1982 S4C has entertained and served viewers throughout Wales and beyond and as the channel celebrates its birthday on the 1st of November, S4C's focus will be on renewing and developing new platforms and ways of watching.

With changing viewing patterns especially among younger audiences, this offers exciting opportunities for S4C to expand audiences ensuring that all S4C services are relevant and exciting to people in communities across Wales.

The foundations for where we are today have been laid over the last four decades and S4C is extremely proud of what's been have achieved and how far we have come. Today, S4C produces engaging content for our viewers, due to the dedication of those who were committed to the idea of a Welsh language channel and campaigned tirelessly to make it happen. Their story and struggle can be seen in a special film – Y Sŵn (The Noise) - commissioned by S4C in collaboration with Joio which will be shown in cinemas in March before appearing on S4C."

'Y Sŵn' tells one of the most colourful stories in Welsh history, and focuses on the Conservative government's failure to establish a Welsh language television channel in 1979, the civil resistance that this brought about, and Gwynfor Evans' political mission to ensure that the government changes their minds.

Roger Williams, Senior Producer of Y Sŵn said: "'Y Sŵn' will be one of the cultural highlights of Spring '23 which will spark interesting conversations about the history of the Welsh protests, the future of broadcasting in Wales and the fate of the Welsh Language. Mark Lewis Jones, Siân Reese-Williams and Rhodri Evan will appear in the film, with Lee Haven Jones directing."

The first programme to be broadcast on S4C was Superted and as part of the celebrations five episodes of Superted will be shown during the anniversary month. In addition, a special edition of Plant y Sianel will follow the journey of a group of people who share a birthday with the channel and who have grown up with S4C as an integral part of their lives. There will also be a Noson Gomedi: Dathlu'r 40 (comedy evening) full of fun and laughter looking at some of the channel's gems over the decades. One of the highlights will be the Gogglebocs Cymru series, which is a Welsh version of the popular Gogglebox format, with comedian Tudur Owen taking the helm with the voiceover we will get to know families and groups of friends throughout Wales and beyond.

As part of the anniversary celebrations S4C will also turn the channel red to support the Welsh team in the World Cup. All of Wales' matches, and every historic moment in the 2022 World Cup will be live, and free of charge on S4C - the home of Welsh football. The relationship between S4C, the Welsh football team, and the fans is key to the future of the language, which has been a clear focus for S4C throughout the years.

As Wales prepares to start their world cup campaign against the USA in Qatar, the two countries will come together in New York to celebrate music, culture and the Welsh language. In a special concert called Cymru i'r Byd which is being held by S4C in partnership with the Welsh Government, it will be an opportunity to strengthen the links between the two countries and showcase the best of Welsh talent to the world. The concert with Ioan Gruffudd, Bryn Terfel and others will be shown on S4C on Sunday 20 September.

Siân Doyle, Chief Executive of S4C, said:

"As S4C celebrates this notable milestone, it is an opportunity for us to look ahead to how S4C can develop into the future. The way we watch content has changed, and these climates across multiple platforms have opened doors for us. Our dramas attract audiences from all over the world and increasing subtitling has helped broaden horizons and created an opportunity for us to realise some of the channel's main objectives, to be a home for everyone, to raise awareness of Welsh culture and most importantly, to support the prosperity of our language."

"Thank you to everyone who has supported S4C over the past forty years. Onward to the next forty!"

The Chairman of S4C, Rhodri Williams, said:

"Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in S4C's success over the years - viewers, contributors, and the hundreds of workers in the production sector who have created the content. S4C has empowered the production sector in Wales to realise their creativity and provide extremely valuable services to Welsh speakers of all ages. There was no independent production sector in Wales in 1982 and I am very proud of the way S4C has helped to create a creative sector which now serves a multitude of content distributors across the UK and beyond. I am confident that the work will continue for years to come."

Media Minister Julia Lopez said:

"S4C plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the Welsh language, culture and economy. For 40 years the high-quality news and programming of this superb broadcaster has given it a special place at the heart of Welsh-speaking communities.

"The UK government will continue to support S4C so it can flourish in the digital age and broaden its global reach - and help it achieve another successful four decades and beyond."

Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said:

"Congratulations to S4C on 40 years of broadcasting. The channel has educated and entertained generations of audiences and plays a crucial role in the creative industries in Wales.

"As a government we continue to support S4C so it can create and broadcast the highest-quality content to audiences in Wales and across the world."

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