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ITV and S4C Partner to Create Welsh On-line Programme Service

19/11/2008

ITV Wales and S4C announced today the launch of ITV Local Cymru, a Welsh-language web portal rich in news, current affairs, features and archive content.

Over the last 18 months ITV has established a web presence dedicated to the provision of local news and features material throughout the Company’s broadcasting territory. ITV Local Cymru is the latest component in ITV resources and is a unique addition to Welsh-language news and current affairs plurality.

The new web portal reflects S4C’s use of the web as a powerful converged communications platform for distributing Welsh-language programming to the widest possible audience.

Iona Jones, S4C Chief Executive, said, “As a public service broadcaster we are delighted that Welsh-language programme resources are being made available as widely as possible. This project also reflects S4C’s long-established relationship with ITV Wales and its predecessors At a time when Ofcom is addressing the issue of plurality of content provision, this news and current affairs asset extends the value of the programming commissioned by S4C which derives its income from Government and commercial sources as well as programming from the BBC.”

Ellis Owen, the National Director of ITV Wales, said, “ITV Wales and its predecessors have a long tradition of Welsh-language broadcasting. We have had a close partnership with S4C since its establishment, and are pleased to see it develop further online. It will boost our already highly-praised current affairs output for S4C, and is a wonderful opportunity to revisit the gems in our fifty year-old archive.”

ITV currently produces around 35 hours a year of programming for S4C, including the current affairs series Y Byd ar Bedwar and the popular countryside magazine show Cefn Gwlad, in addition to S4C’s weather service.

Additional exclusive content associated with these programmes will be available on the website, as well as an updated version of Y Dydd (The Day), the flagship Welsh-language news programme which preceeded the launch of S4C. Y Dydd will offer contemporary news and current affairs coverage.

The web portal also offers access to an archive of 50 years of Welsh-language programming - including many of the early landmarks in Welsh-language broadcasting - produced by ITV and its predecessors.

Children’s classics Miri Mawr, Calimero, and Ffalabalam will be among the archive programmes available, as well as factual programming such as the late broadcaster Gwyn Erfyl’s groundbreaking Bywyd series.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

ITV LOCAL CYMRU CONTENT:

Y DYDD

ITV Wales reporters Gwyn Loader and Lisa Haf present Y Dydd, a resurrection of HTV’s long-running Welsh-language news programme, broadcast before the establishment of S4C . The original Y Dydd was presented by well-known broadcasters like Huw Llywelyn Davies, Vaughan Hughes, Elinor Jones and Tweli Griffiths. News stories and special reports by ITV Local Cymru reporters will be updated weekly on the new Y Dydd, which will also draw attention to the latest content on the website. During its launch week, content includes blogs, features by S4C’s weather team, news and features, gossip from the Assembly, readings by some of Wales’ finest young poets, and out-takes by some familiar faces on TV.

ARCHIVE HIGHLIGHTS AT THE TIME OF LAUNCH INCLUDE:

Pobol y Chyff

In this first programme from the original series, made 15 years ago, Meirion Davies and Rhys Ifans – who later starred alongside Julia Roberts in the film Notting Hill - join Dai Jones and Cleo Rocos for a hilarious adventure

Kate

Gwyn Erfyl, in a programme from his Bywyd series, meets Welsh literary giant, novelist Kate Roberts.

Myfanwy

Myfanwy Howell, an iconic presenter from the earliest days of independent television in Wales, meets the people of New Quay in the late 1950s.

Miri Mawr

We find Caleb and Blodyn Tatws are still on top form as the Miri Mawr Cave is opened up once more.

Calimero

The little chick so many people grew up with!

Cyfle Byw

Recognise anybody in this game-show from the early 1990s?

WEATHER AND MORE

A behind-the-scenes look at how S4C’s weather bulletins are made, with Chris Jones, Erin Roberts and Mari Grug.

BLOG

Three freshers from Welsh universities outline their hopes and ambitions as they start their college careers.

ASSEMBLY

Catch up on the latest gossip from the Assembly with Our Man in The Bay, Gareth Hughes.

CRIW Y CRAP

More poems by some of Wales’ most talented Welsh bards.

O DIAR! A collection of hilarious out-takes by some well-known TV faces.

Y BYD AR BEDWAR

Y Byd ar Bedwar’s reporters talk about their experiences behind the camera. Eifion Glyn talks about the dangers of filming secretly in Zimbabwe, and his impressions of Morgan Tsvangirai from his recent interview with him. Tweli Griffiths describes his meeting with Colonel Gaddafi, featured in one of Y Byd ar Bedwar’s archive programmes.

The above programmes can also be viewed in full on the site, as can a special edition of Y Byd ar Bedwar’s highlights of 20 years of broadcasting, made in 2002.

HACIO

Behind-the-scenes interviews with the presenters, and a selection of programmes from recent series, including Hacio 300, which contains some of the most memorable scenes from 300 episodes of the series. More on the latest programme on the closure of Theatr Gwynedd, and Gwyn Loader talks about the making of a programme on the effect of loud band and disco music on young peoples’ hearing.

CEFN GWLAD

What does Dai Jones have in store for us in his next series? Another chance to see some of his most recent programmes, as well as some of the earliest episodes of Cefn Gwlad, from over 25 years ago.

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