S4C has today (Monday, 10 January) unveiled some of the highlights of its 2011 schedule with the emphasis on high-quality drama, live events, top sport and powerful documentary.
S4C launches the New Year with a strong on-screen promotional campaign branded S4C – Calon Cenedl, S4C – Heart of the Nation – and stories from the heart of Welsh communities are central to the 2011 schedule.
Among the major attractions in 2011 is a powerful new drama series for Sunday evenings by award-winning author Siwan Jones, naturalist Iolo Williams’ six-part documentary about the American Indians and the reality TV series with Welsh rugby’s little and large, Shane Williams and Derwyn Jones as they take charge of a West Wales youth rugby team.
S4C Chief Executive Arwel Ellis Owen said: “Almost 1.5 million viewers tuned into S4C’s live events coverage last year and we will build on this in 2011 with even more programming from events. Research shows that viewers rate S4C highly as a channel that shows programmes about their areas of Wales and we will continue to broadcast programmes from the heart of Welsh communities.
“After a year in which a number of S4C drama series have achieved high critical acclaim, the Channel will offer strong drama productions with the emphasis on the successful Sunday evening slot at 9pm.”
Siwan Jones won the prestigious Rose d’Or award for her last S4C series Con Passionate and on 23 January, the gritty drama series Alys begins. It’s a story about a single mother who will do almost anything to see her young son realise his dream of becoming an astronaut.
Among the other Sunday night drama series on S4C will be Porth Penwaig, a family drama based in the Lleyn Peninsula about the trials and tribulations of running a seafront tavern and guesthouse. Later in the year, S4C launches Gwaith Cartref, a hugely entertaining drama following teachers at work, home and play.
S4C’s documentary series this year include naturalist Iolo Williams’ series Iolo ac Indiaid America which begins this week (Wednesday, 12 January) and 100 Lle (Tuesday, 11 January) when Aled Samuel and historian Dr John Davies take us on a tour of the 100 must-see-before-you-die places.
In February, rugby legends Shane Willaims and Derwyn Jones take charge of Amman United youth side in Clwb Rygbi Shane, while effervescent gardener Russell Jones travels to Africa to see how people there grow food and keep animals in Byw yn y Byd.
S4C celebrates St David’s Day this year with a specially commissioned programme to discover the real face of Owain Glyndwr. Actor Julian Lewis Jones examines the historical facts and uses the latest technology to re create an image of Glyndwr’s face.
S4C’s extensive sports coverage continues in 2011. The sports provision will include live coverage of all Wales’ football matches in the new Carling Nations’ Cup between Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
S4C has extensive live and highlights coverage from the Six Nations, Heineken Cup and Magners League while Twenty 20 cricket returns, with live coverage of Glamorgan’s Friends Provident matches.
As well as televising events such as the Urdd National Eisteddfod, Llangollen International Eisteddfod, the Royal Welsh show, The National Eisteddfod among many others, S4C will also focus on community visits and initiatives, with presenters and other S4C contributors visiting organisations, societies and communities throughout Wales, promoting S4C services.
In January, S4C will be visiting communities in Bangor, Bethesda, Colwyn Bay, Brecon, Newcastle Emlyn, Pontypridd, Llandeilo and Blaenavon.