Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley; Welsh pronunciation: [ˈpɔb.ɔl ə ˈkʊm]) is a Welsh-language soap opera produced by the BBC since October 1974.[3] The longest-running television soap opera produced by the BBC, Pobol y Cwm was originally transmitted on BBC Cymru (now BBC One Wales) and later transferred to the Welsh-language station S4C when it opened in November 1982.[3]

Pobol y Cwm
GenreSoap opera
Created byGwenlyn Parry
John Hefin
StarringPresent cast
Theme music composerEndaf Emlyn[1]
Country of originWales
Original languageWelsh
No. of episodes8,000[2]
ProducerLlyr Morus
Production locationsBroadcasting House, Llandaff (1974–2011)
Roath Lock, Cardiff (2011–present)
Running time20 minutes (excluding advertisements)
Production companyBBC Studios Continuing Drama Productions
Original network
Original release16 October 1974 (1974-10-16) –
Rownd a Rownd

The programme typically centres around the residents of Cwmderi – a fictional, Welsh speaking, agricultural community.

Apart from rugby and football specials, Pobol y Cwm is consistently one of the most watched programmes of the week on S4C,[4] and in 1994 was briefly shown across the whole of the United Kingdom on BBC Two with English subtitles.[5]

On 25 September 2019, the soap hit a significant broadcasting landmark when it aired its 8,000th episode.[citation needed]

Setting Edit

The setting for the show is the fictional village of Cwmderi, located in Gwendraeth Valley, which is between Carmarthen and Llanelli in south-west Wales. Whilst much of the show's early activity took place at a nursing home, storylines are currently centred on the village pub, Y Deri,[6] and its adjacent small businesses and houses. Other frequent settings for storylines include the comprehensive school, Ysgol y Mynach, and a local farm, Penrhewl. There are two other fictional villages close to Cwmderi, named Llanarthur and Cwrtmynach.

Originally filmed at Broadcasting House, Cardiff, since 2011 the programme has been filmed at the BBC's drama studios at Roath Lock in Cardiff Bay, other than a few on-location shoots around Cardiff. The exterior outdoor high street of Cwmderi was recreated from scratch, while many interiors are shot inside the Roath Lock Studios.

Broadcast Edit

Three episodes are produced each week, broadcast at 8pm between Tuesdays and Thursdays, a reduction from a fifth episode in 2019, and a reduction from a fourth episode in 2021. In addition, a weekly omnibus with in-vision English subtitles airs on Sunday evenings.

On 18 March 2020 it was announced that filming would be suspended in the light of the spread of COVID-19 until further notice. The number of episodes being broadcast would be also be reduced to two per week "so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy Pobol y Cwm in their homes for as long as possible." The episodes were shown on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the usual time slot.[7] In June 2020, it was announced that Pobol y Cwm would go on a transmission break following the broadcast on 16 June 2020. A behind-the-scenes show, Pobol y Cwm: Y Cymeriadau, aired in the show's place during the transmission break. Every episode featured an exclusive interview with the show's cast, with 12 episodes being shown. The soap also aired a repeat of "iconic" episodes from the past.

Five months later, it was confirmed that there were plans for a return to production. When production recommenced, social distancing measures were utilised and the cast were required to do their own hair and make-up, which is normally done by a make-up artist.[8] Filming recommenced on 10 August 2020, with new episodes airing twice a week from 8 September 2020, increasing to four in January 2021.

Present characters Edit

Regular characters Edit

Character Actor Years
Megan Harries (née Owen) Lisabeth Miles 1974–1996, 2002–2003, 2011–
David 'Dai' Ashurst Emyr Wyn 1982–1984, 2001–2020, 2022–
Ieuan Griffiths Iestyn Jones 1988–1992, 1995–1997, 2000–2011, 2019–
Eileen Probert (née Walters) Sera Cracroft 1989–1996, 1998, 2007–
Hywel Llywelyn Andrew Teilo 1990–
Cassie Morris (née Nicholas) Sue Roderick 1991–2004, 2018–
Sioned Rees Emily Tucker 1993–1996, 2007–
Kathleen 'Kath' Jones Siw Hughes 1993–2007, 2014, 2017–
Mark Jones Arwyn Davies 1993–
Cai Rossiter Rhys ap William 1996, 2002–2012, 2021–
Rhys Llywelyn Jack Quick 1997–2001, 2008–2012, 2014–2015, 2018–
Diane Ashurst (née Hopkins) Victoria Plucknett 1998–2020, 2022–
Jason Francis Rhys ap Hywel 1998–2007, 2015–
Anita Pierce Nia Caron 1999–
Britt Evans (née Monk) Donna Edwards 2002–
Iolo Davies-White Dyfan Rees 2002–2005, 2007, 2009–
Siôn White Jeremi Cockram 2002–
Kelly Evans Lauren Phillips 2003–2005, 2007, 2009, 2015–
Ffion Llywelyn (née Roberts) Bethan Ellis Owen 2004–
Huw "Jinx" Jenkins Mark Flanagan 2005–2015, 2021–
Dani Thomas Elin Harries 2007–
Gaynor Llywelyn Sharon Roberts 2007–
Colin Evans Jonathan Nefydd 2008–
Richard 'DJ' Ashurst Carwyn Glyn 2014–
Mathew Price Mark Stuart Roberts 2016–
Brynmor Jones (né Richards) William Thomas 2019, 2021–
Cheryl Thomas Rebecca Trehearn 2023–
Maya Cooper Sophie Mensah 2023–

Recurring and guest characters Edit

Character Actor(s) Duration
Gwern Jones Elis Lloyd Hughes 2010–
Arwen White Nel Hannah 2012–
Esther Llywelyn Rosie Ekenna 2016–
Ifan Francis Ioan Arnold 2017–
Greta Davies-White Elisa Stevens 2017–
Seren Monk Florence Seaman 2017–
Huwi-John Probert Wil Owen 2018–
Gabriel Thomas Rory Crouch 2021–

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Pobol y Cwm: 40 facts to mark 40 years of the soap on its 40th birthday". WalesOnline. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  2. ^ "TV Show directory - Pobol Y Cwm". Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Menna, Baines; Lynch, Peredur I., eds. (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 688. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
  4. ^ S4C viewing figures
  5. ^ Welsh BBC adds to drama output, The Independent, 9 February 1993
  6. ^ Outdoor filming for the pub used to take place at The Sportsman's Rest Inn Peterston-super-Ely.
  7. ^ "Filming on EastEnders, Casualty, Doctors and more postponed". Wales Online. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Coronavirus: S4C's Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd back on TV". BBC News. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.

External links Edit