Wales not well-represented on BBC television, says content chief

Sian Gwynedd (right) and Angharad Mair (second from lefft) on the panel.

There hasn’t been enough content depicting Wales on the corporations’ UK-wide channels, according to BBC Wales’ Head of Content.

Although many BBC programmes were made in Wales, such as Dr Who and Casualty, Welsh life was very seldom depicted in them, she said.

She added that the BBC had a duty to present the history of Wales to the people of the country, but also to a UK-wide audience.

Sian Gwynedd was speaking at an event organised by Cardiff University at the National Eisteddfod today.

Presenter Angharad Mair, who was also on the panel, said that there was a tendency to present the Welsh people like “monkeys in a zoo” on programmes presented by outsiders.

“Not only are we not depicted enough, but I’m also disappointed with the way we’re depicted,” she said.

“We don’t complain enough,” she added, noting that the BBC went to greater lengths to placate their audience in Scotland.

Not fielding presenters who had an intimate understanding of Welsh culture betrayed a lack of confidence in ourselves, she said.

Sian Gwynedd said that there had recently been an increase in the use of Welsh presenters, such as Nigel Owens, fronting UK-wide programmes.


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Angharad Shaw
Guest

Is it just me, or does the Welsh in the image used at the top carry the sense that Cardiff University is not in Wales, but merely connected to it?
“A strong connection between Cardiff University and Wales” would be how I would translate that.

Perhaps “Prifysgol Caerdydd: cysylltiedig â Chymru” would be better? It would certainly be more concise, and show off the Welsh language in a better light (we really don’t need all those characters, you know!)

Edi
Guest

Prifysgol Caerdydd…Cardiff uni have been kicking and screaming for many decades not to bother using any thing Welsh or Welsh language…..they only recently bowed to recent pressure and have a second class Welsh language policy now

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

In a sense Cardiff University’s ambivalence towards Wales is only an echo of Cardiff’s ambivalence towards the country it’s supposed to be capital of. It revels in it’s status of capital, but it is reticent in the extreme about the Welsh connection. The university in Cardiff was for a long time trying to sever the links with the University of Wales, and several times tried to break free. The allowing of Wales’ universities to become standalones and allowing the planned demise of the University of Wales must be seen as a retrograde step in a country that needs every national… Read more »

MartinEvans
Guest
MartinEvans

I was at UCC in the 1980s and one campaign that Y Gym Gym ran was Cymraeg yn y goleg. Yes you could do Welsh courses but the whole feel of UCC and Uwist was overly British. As for the tv I live in Stockport and there are many Welsh shows that never made the national network such as Belonging, High Hopes and the show based around a bakery. The English Version of Hinterland only makes BBC 4 so we can have Belgian drama the whole Scandi noir but 3 series of 35 diwrnod have been shown on S4C and… Read more »

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

I too was in UCC in the 80s, though it was the late 80s and my time there spanned the transmogrification from UCC to UWCoC. It was still overly British, but then the university in Cardiff had been trying for years to leave the University of Wales federal structure. We as a nation are so much more worse off now that the University of Wales is being dismembered. A free Wales should reconstitute the national university and oblige all universities in Wales to be federated to it. I’ve posted comments to this effect before, and will reiterate them here. There… Read more »

Dafydd ap Gwilym
Guest

We should be demanding our own media yesterday!

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

I don’t think this is just down to BBC. After the success of Hinterland S4C have gone into making a new TV show based in Wales which is also a police drama – not very adventurous. Our history is full of drama that can equal Game of Thrones if only BBC or Sky would take the time to take notice – reason i’d say historical drama? Because Northern Ireland benefited greatly from doing GoT. We could benefit greatly by attracting people to the actual castles represented in a potential history drama. Though even when there are history documentaries on BBC… Read more »

Iceman
Guest

My impression is that Hinterland was squeezed out in the end because there never was adequate funding in the kitty. S4C is desperately short of money, and BBC Wales helps it out by promising broadcasting slots and committing modest sums, but series like Hinterland, with top scripts, good actors and high production values need support and security, and I’m not sure that was what they got. Not surprisingly, the key players have gone off to make their fortunes elsewhere. And the best of luck to them. Of course there are fabulous Welsh narratives out there waiting to be told to… Read more »