Friday, May 10, 2024

May 2024 - Gareth Gwynn Hasn't Fin-

Hey Jess, for the full show description on BBC Sounds, can we just take a few paras from the pitch doc and give them a tweak? I'll copy and paste some bits below…

Gareth Gwynn presents an exploration into all things uncompleted.  Books, films, TV shows, songs, albums, sonatas, painting, technologies, business plans, building projects - anything where the creator has (through their own choice or not) jacked the whole thing in. CHECK WE STILL DO A BUILDING IN THE FINISHED EDIT

They say “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – but by Gareth’s maths, that leaves 2,111,199 steps which could be your last – and those are the ones he’s interested in. I THINK IM GOING TO USE THE STEPS THING IN THE SHOW SO REPLACE??

This show (which, it will become apparent, is far from finished itself - ARE WE STILL DOING THIS? SOUNDS SHIT WHEN YOU READ IT LIKE THAT) is an attempt to look failure in the eye - and discover exactly what’s going on when someone calls it quits. Each of the programme’s five (THREE ? IS IT THREE NOW?) sections explores a different reason or motivation for a creative work being unfinished - from the DELETE THIS. SAY WHAT'S IN IT. SMILE, LORRAINE HANSBERRY, JERRY LEWIS, KEITH HARING ,ROBIN OF SHERWOOD ETC- AND WE INTERVIEW ANGELA BARNES, JAE BRODERICK KIRSTIN WONG, JASON HAZELEY, BARNABY EATON-JONES, CHRIS KENDALL ETCETC

We'll find out what having a lumpen, half-finished piece of work on a CV really means for an artist - and for their audience. Do those fans chomping at the bit for some long lost album really want to hear it? Is sub-par than nothing? And, for the artist, what does it take to walk-away? What does it do to the creator’s mind to leave it there? What’s the psychological toil of an unfinished project on your next artistic adventure?

IS THAT ENOUGH TO GO ON? LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED MORE.
 
==

(So, I got told I wasn't allowed to use the above as the official write-up on the BBC webpage so it has ended up here. Same goes for the image at the top, which was turned down for all sorts of reasons! You can head to the BBC page to see what we did get away with).

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

April 2024 - September 1998

Last week, I appeared on the penultimate edition of The Now Show to talk about the internet and AI. The show itself first started in September 1998, the same month that Google launched, which gave me just enough of an excuse to look at the way the BBC covered the World Wide Web back in the mid-90s. It's is currently available on BBC Sounds.

I'll be appearing on next week's edition of Kiri's Comedy Club on BBC Radio Wales/BBC Sounds to talk about topical comedy - And as someone who turned up on a topical comedy show to make fun of the title sequence of a 30 year old tech show, I'm sure you can see why.

I also recently featured as Mark Drakeford (i.e. I wore a red jumper) on NonCensored with Rosie Holt and over on The Xennial Dome, we've got a very special edition  out this week, marking the 40th birthday of former guest Stuart Laws. Stu is back to look back at the month of his birth - April 1986 - which saw the release of Splash and the launch of the Twirl.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

February 2024 - United Thingdom

O'r Diwedd 2023 is still available on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer (with english subtitles). United Thingdom is currently available on BBC Sounds.

And tickets are now available for The Xennial Dome Live at Machynlleth Comedy Festival on 5th May. New episodes of the show are released every Tuesday and should be available on the playlist below.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

January 2024 - O'r Diwedd 2023

 

O'r Diwedd 2023 is still available on BBC iPlayer and S4C Clic. It's in Welsh (with English subtitles available) and is a rattle through the year's news in sketches. Politics being what it is, it could also see the final outing for Mark Drakeford (Tudur Owen) and Andrew RT Davies (Sian Harries), in this form at least.

A few other things I've worked on have popped back online for 2024. The entirity of the BBC One Wales TV show Tourist Trap is currently available on BBC iPlayer as is Ministry Of Happiness - a two-part sitcom based on the early years of radio in Wales. On its inaugaral broadcast, I did a live tweet-along with the facts behind the story, which are still available here and here

Talking of tweet-alongs, BBC Radio 4 repeated Gareth Gwynn's Alternative Archive this week - an edition of Archive On 4 which looks at radio in different universes. I had a go at tweeting along to that too, but it's tricky going back to a show you did five years ago. 

And on the subject of the past, The Xennial Dome's Little Dome continues to be released every week with new episodes landing on Tuesdays. There should be a playlist below.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

October 2023 - Fingers On Buzzers, NonCensored and more...

There comes a point in every Welsh person’s life when they find themselves trying to explain Chris Needs’ Friendly Garden to people outside Wales. Most people are lucky enough not to have that conversation recorded - but I'm afraid mine was as I was recently a guest on Fingers On Buzzers - Lucy Porter and Jenny Ryan's podcast all about quizzing. I was there to discuss the times in my life where I've crashed into the quizzing world - For me this has meant panel games and radio competitions - so for stories of The News Quiz, XFM South Wales and that attempt to explain my brief tenure as producer of The Garden, do check it out.

I was also on the most recent episode of Rosie Holt's NonCensored podcast, as transport correspondent Reg Varney. I'm there to discuss the changes to HS2 with Harriet Langley-Swindon and Producer Martin. Am I playing a part? Or am I just shouting what I know about HS2 under an assumed name? Interesting question. You'll have to listen to find out.

And finally Esyllt Sears and I were guests on Behnaz Akhgar's BBC Radio Wales show this week ahead of the Aberystwyth Comedy Festival where we recorded an edition of The Xennial Dome. Our interview with Behnaz is here (spin to about 15mins in) and if you're viewing this on my website, there should be a chunk of Xennial Dome episodes in the playlist below. Otherwise grab it wherever you get your podcasts.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

August 2023 - Newsmakers, Clonc and Little Dome

The Newsmakers is a brand new topical show for BBC Radio 4 starring Rachel Parris (whose behind the scenes photos I have pinched from her Twitter account), featuring Bilal Zafar, Nim Odedra, Sam Pamphilon, Michael Spicer and Rosie Holt and produced by Ed Morrish. I was on the writing team for the show which has kicked off a summer of pilots on BBC Radio 4 and is now available on BBC Sounds

Radio Clonc - Mae Radio Clonc Cyfres 2 ar BBC Sounds nawr. Dw i'n cyd-ysgrifennodd hwn gyda Sian Harries a Tudur Owen ond - achos dw i'n dysgwr - Dw i ddim yn mynd i gwrandewch yr Radio Clonc yn fyw - ond, dw i'n mynd yn fwrandewch yn BBC Sounds gyda "0.5 Speed" - Mae'n game changer. 

Radio Clonc series 2 is on BBC Sounds now. I co-write the show with Sian Harries and Tudur Owen but, because I'm a Welsh learner, I'm not going to listen live, but on BBC Sounds at "0.5 speed". It's a game changer.

For more information on Radio Clonc check out the video below or this article.

Staying in Wales, I've been working as script editor on Lady Bigfoot, a short film for BBC One Wales, written by and starring stand-up star Anna Thomas, directed by Ryan Andrew Hooper and produced by Beastly Media. It is now available on BBC iPlayer.

I've also been appearing on a couple of podcasts - I got to host the "Best bits from Wales" edition of Meet Me At The Museum, I spoke at length about Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier to a VERY patient Grainne and Chantal on The Way They Were and I was interviewed about 1920s radio pioneer and all-round eccentric Major Arthur Corbett-Smith on two episodes of Paul Kerensa's incredible British Broadcasting Century (61 and 68).

The Xennial Dome's Little Dome - Having recorded live editions of The Xennial Dome podcast at Machynlleth Comedy Festival and the London Welsh Centre, Esyllt Sears and I are planing to bring a live edition of our mini-podcast, The Xennial Dome's Little Dome, to the Aberystwyth Comedy Festival in October.

In these 20 minute Little Dome episodes, we cover the month in "Xennial history" - which we're defining as any period after January 1977. So far we've spent time discussing everything from Voyager II (July 1979) to the death of Teletext (June 2009) and an awful lot in between. In the live edition, we'll record two episodes - recapping October 1997 and 2011. Tickets are available on the Aberystwyth Comedy Festival website and the show is currently available in the
player at the bottom of this page or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

July 2023 - The Newsmakers, Radio Clonc and the Little Dome

The Newsmakers
is a brand new topical show for BBC Radio 4 starring Rachel Parris and featuring
Bilal Zafar, Emily Lloyd Saini, Sam Pamphilon, Michael Spicer and Rosie Holt and produced by Ed Morrish. I'm on the writing team for the show which will be broadcast on 28th July and also be available on BBC Sounds.

Radio Clonc - Mae Radio Clonc Cyfres 2 ar BBC Sounds nawr. Dw i'n cyd-ysgrifennodd hwn gyda Sian Harries a Tudur Owen ond - achos dw i'n dysgwr - Dw i ddim yn mynd i gwrandewch yr Radio Clonc yn fyw - ond, dw i'n mynd yn fwrandewch yn BBC Sounds gyda "0.5 Speed" - Mae'n game changer. 

Radio Clonc series 2 is on BBC Sounds now. I co-write the show with Sian Harries and Tudur Owen but, because I'm a Welsh learner, I'm not going to listen live, but on BBC Sounds at "0.5 speed". It's a game changer.

For more information on Clonc check out the above video or this article (yn gymraeg) - but if you're interested in how on earth I work in welsh when my grasp of the language is shakey at best, I had a chat about exactly this with Kiri Pritchard Mclean on BBC Radio Wales a couple of weeks ago.

Staying in Wales, I've been working as script editor on Lady Bigfoot, a short film for BBC One Wales, written by and starring stand-up star Anna Thomas, directed by Ryan Andrew Hooper and produced by Beastly Media. It is now available on BBC iPlayer.

I've also been appearing on a couple of podcasts - I got to host the "Best bits from Wales" edition of Meet Me At The Museum, I spoke at length about Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier to a VERY patient Grainne and Chantal on The Way They Were and I was interviewed about 1920s radio pioneer and all-round eccentric Major Arthur Corbett-Smith on two episodes of Paul Kerensa's incredible British Broadcasting Century (61 and 68).

And finally, we're technically between-series of The Xennial Dome, but Esyllt Sears and I are still meeting up once a week to record editions of The Xennial Dome's Little Dome. In these 20 minute episodes we cover the month in "Xennial history", which we're defining as any period after January 1977 - meaning that so far we've spent time discussing everything from Voyager II (July 1979) to the death of Teletext (June 2009) and an awful lot in between. They're available in the player at the bottom of this page or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

June 2023 - The Xennial Dome, The Little Dome and The Live Dome

Every episode of The Xennial Dome series 2 is now available online (as is series 1 for that matter, but I don't have a nice graphic for that).

Xennials are those born between 1977 and 1985 and across 10 episodes of our podcast, Esyllt Sears and I spoke to a fascinating group of people about how growing up in the midst of a digital revolution affected them, how they rode out the financial crash and where they were when Diana died. 

It's loads of fun and you can listen even if you're not a Xennial (but you might find yourself googling "Microsoft Encarta" from time to time). 

It was edited by the brilliant Laura Grimshaw, who also managed to find a nice way of displaying 10 images in a square - And, if you're looking at the picture and playing along at home, those guests are: Ria Lina, Thanyia Moore, Grainne Maguire, Steffan Garrero, Rhys Thomas, Sunil Patel, Jess Phillips MP, Anna Jordan, Henry Widdicombe and Stuart Goldsmith - and every single one is a grade-A legend.


Even though the run is over, between series Esyllt and I are presenting "The Xennial Dome's Little Dome" in which we look at key months in Xennial history, starting with June 1997, 2006 and 1984. You should be able to find those episodes, plus all of Series 1 and 2 in the normal podcast feed or on the web-based player above.
 
And we are also planning a live Xennial Dome show in the London Welsh Centre on 14th July with Elis James plus another guest TBA. Details and tickets are available here.

Talking of podcasts, I have recently been a guest on The Way They Were - Gráinne Maguire and Chantal Feduchin-Pate's show all about celebrity couples and break-ups, where I spoke about Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier. I've also featured on two episodes of The British Broadcasting Century, Paul Kerensa's in-depth take on the history of the broadcasting, where I have twice appeared to bang the drum for Cardiff station manager, and all round eccentric, Major Arthur Corbett-Smith - on episodes 61 and 68).

Away from the mic, I have recently been working as script editor on Lady Bigfoot, a short film written by and starring stand-up star Anna Thomas, directed by Ryan Andrew Hooper and produced by Beastly Media. The film goes out on BBC One Wales at 10.40pm on Tuesday 4 July and will be available on BBC iPlayer afterwards.

Monday, May 8, 2023

May 2023 - Podcasts


We are now well into the second series of The Xennial Dome, the podcast presented by Esyllt Sears and I all about the micro-generation born between 1977 and 1985. So far this run we've spoken to Jess Phillips MP, Steffan Garrero, Henry Widdicombe and Thaniya Moore - plus a live edition with Sunil Patel.

The player above will hopefully be showing the most recently released episode which, by the time you read this, is likely to be stand-up comedian Stuart Goldsmith - and the player at the bottom of the page has them all in a playlist - but you can find them wherever you get your podcasts.

Talking of podcasts, I was recently a guest on The Way They Were - Gráinne Maguire and Chantal Feduchin-Pate's show all about celebrity couples and break-ups, where I spoke about Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier - essentially appearing on the show to promote a 1963 episode of This Is Your Life. Interestingly, that's the only episode of This Is Your Life currently available, confirming my suspicion that iPlayer is a messy bitch who loves drama.

And if I'm not talking about The 1990s or the 1950s it appears I'm talking about the 1920s. Earlier in the year I was a guest on Paul Kerensa's podcast chronicling the history of the BBC, The British Broadcasting Century (ep 61) to talk about Ministry Of Happiness, a sitcom I wrote telling the true story of the first BBC station in Wales. Paul has now put together an episode all about 5WA's fifth station director, the larger-than-life Major Arthur Corbett-Smith (pictured) so I'm back with Paul to discuss a few of the details I uncovered about ACS's life durign my research on episode 68.


Thursday, April 6, 2023

April 2023 - The Xennial Dome - Series 2

This week Esyllt Sears and I launched a brand new series of our podcast, The Xennial Dome, with a conversation with Xennial MP, Jess Phillips.



Xennials are those born between 1977 and 1985 and each week, we speak to a different Xennial about their formative years and how growing-up alongside the internet and graduating into a financial crisis has shaped their world-view. (It also involves us editing-out a lot of guests giddily reciting landline phone numbers, because they never go away, it seems).

If you want to get in touch, we're on Twitter, Instagram and MySpace (and even have a Hotmail email address). You can listen to the episode with Jess above, and you'll find all the episodes from Series 1 in a playlist below - but you should also be able to listen wherever you get your podcasts - and if you can't, let us know!

Cyril - Tickets are now on sale for Cyril, a work in progress show I'm doing at this year's Machynlleth Comedy Festival.

Cyril Gwynn (1897-1988), also known as The Bard Of Gower, was “a tall, sunburnt, unsmiling farmer”. Gareth Gwynn (1983-Present) is none of these things. Gareth did not spend the First World War in the Merchant Navy, nor has he ever been shipwrecked, but he’s going to read you some of his great-grandfather’s poetry anyway. Gwynn (1983 ed.) has written for The News Quiz, The Now Show and Top Gear. He is the co-writer of Ankle Tag (BBC Radio 4), Tourist Trap (BBC One Wales), The Goodies (Audible) and is the co-presenter of The Xennial Dome podcast. Please Note: Family members are banned.

That last bit about family members probably makes the whole thing seem a little bit more dramatic than it is - but with it being a work in progress, I'm keen to try this in front of people who haven't necessarily heard of Cyril Gwynn or his poems. Then hopefully, once I've got it working, I can allow family members along who can enjoy diligently pointing out all the facts I've got wrong. Anyway, if you're in Machynlleth, do come along for the very civilized time of midday on Sunday 30th April and watch me try and work out what the 1930s Gower dialect actually sounded like.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

February 2023 - Ministry Of Happiness - Available Now

Ministry Of Happiness - I don't know if this is a sitcom or not. It's only two episodes and it's based on a true story - but apart from that, it's a sitcom. Whatever it is, episode one of Ministry of Happiness is available now on BBC Sounds. It's all about the launch of 5WA - the first BBC radio station in Wales - and stars Vern Griffths, Nadia Kamil, Humphrey Ker, Mali-Ann Rees, Steffan Rhodri and Keiron Self who are all supurb. 

I've tried to cram as many facts into the script as I could - but if you're interested in the detail as to exactly what is and isn't true, I live tweeted the broadcast with the real-life tales which inspired the show and the thread starts with the tweet below.

I've also been invited onto various podcasts and radio shows to talk about 5WA and its rather shambolic first year or so. I have been interviewed by Paul Kerensa for the next episode of his excellent British Broadcasting Century Podcast (a video of which is here) and I was a guest in the final moments of The Today Programme on the 8th February, shouting garbled facts at Mishal Husain before the pips got to me (I start at 02:54:40 and don't really stop till I have to).

Episode 2 will be broadcast on the 100th anniversary of the station's launch,13 February, at 6.30pm on BBC Radio Wales and will be on BBC Sounds afterwards - and I'll try my best to live tweet that one too (which, thinking about the plot, could be a lot more complicated!) 

 

Cyril - Tickets are now on sale for Cyril, a work in progress show I'm doing at this year's Machynlleth Comedy Festival.

Cyril Gwynn (1897-1988), also known as The Bard Of Gower, was “a tall, sunburnt, unsmiling farmer”. Gareth Gwynn (1983-Present) is none of these things. Gareth did not spend the First World War in the Merchant Navy, nor has he ever been shipwrecked, but he’s going to read you some of his great-grandfather’s poetry anyway. Gwynn (1983 ed.) has written for The News Quiz, The Now Show and Top Gear. He is the co-writer of Ankle Tag (BBC Radio 4), Tourist Trap (BBC One Wales), The Goodies (Audible) and is the co-presenter of The Xennial Dome podcast. Please Note: Family members are banned.

That last bit about family members probably makes the whole thing seem a little bit more dramatic than it is - but with it being a work in progress, I'm keen to try this in front of people who haven't necessarily heard of Cyril Gwynn or his poems. Then hopefully, once I've got it working, I can allow family members along who can enjoy diligently pointing out all the facts I've got wrong. Anyway, if you're in Machynlleth, do come along for the very civilized time of midday on Sunday 30th April and watch me try and work out what the 1930s Gower dialect actually sounded like.

The Collected Works Of Tudur Owen: I thought I'd mention the other shows I have worked on recently which remain on their respective catch-up services - and I have just noticed, by complete coincidence, they all feature Tudur Owen - and that's no bad thing. On BBC Sounds you can find Tudur Owen: Zoo (Nominated for a BBC Drama Award) and Tudur Owen: The United Nations Of Anglesey both of which examine Tudur's youth spent liaising with furious animals. And on BBC iPlayer and S4C Clic, O'r Diwedd 2022 - the end of year show written by Tudur, Sian Harries and I, remains available for a couple more months - perfect to cement that year as a thing of the past, especially if you're still writing 2022 on your cheques.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

February 2023 - Ministry Of Happiness

Ministry Of Happiness - This February sees the 100th anniversary of 5WA - the very first BBC radio station to operate from Wales. 

Having made archive shows to mark the 40th anniversary of BBC Radio Wales and 60th anniversary of BBC Wales, I've always been aware that the opening years (and especially opening days) of the British Broadcasting Company's Cardiff station are absolutely ridiculous. Even the driest most academic book on broadcasting history in Wales will have 4 or 5 pages in the opening chapter which are absolute dynamite, with stories of drunk station managers, hair-brained charity drives and the overambitious ways the increasingly eccentric bosses tried to fill the schedule. 

Not much audio from this period exists (although there's some great documentaries from the 1940s where they remenice about things like Hour Of The Kiddywinks or Egg Week) - which is why I've had a go at turning the whole shambolic affair into a sitcom.

Obviously, in fictionalizing what actually happened, some details have had to be changed, but probably not quite as many as you'd think. The show goes out on BBC Radio Wales in two parts, at 6.30pm on the 6th and 13th February (the 13th being the actual 100th anniversary) and stars Vern Griffiths, Nadia Kamil, Humphrey Ker, Mali-Ann Rees, Steffan Rhodri and Keiron Self.

 

I'm tempted to dust-off the Twitter account and do a sort of online running-commentary, pointing out exactly what is and isn't true - and if I do so, I'll be sure to link to it here to be enjoyed by those who wish to follow-along on BBC Sounds - But in the meantime, an excellent rattle through what actually happened on day 1 of 5WA is available on Series 4, Episode 1 of Paul Kerensa's excellent British Broadcasting Century podcast.

 

Cyril - Tickets have just gone on sale for Cyril, a work in progress show I'm doing at this year's Machynlleth Comedy Festival.

Cyril Gwynn (1897-1988), also known as The Bard Of Gower, was “a tall, sunburnt, unsmiling farmer”. Gareth Gwynn (1983-Present) is none of these things. Gareth did not spend the First World War in the Merchant Navy, nor has he ever been shipwrecked, but he’s going to read you some of his great-grandfather’s poetry anyway. Gwynn (1983 ed.) has written for The News Quiz, The Now Show and Top Gear. He is the co-writer of Ankle Tag (BBC Radio 4), Tourist Trap (BBC One Wales), The Goodies (Audible) and is the co-presenter of The Xennial Dome podcast. Please Note: Family members are banned.

 

That last bit about family members probably makes the whole thing seem a little bit more dramatic than it is - but with it being a work in progress, I'm keen to try this in front of people who haven't necessarily heard of Cyril Gwynn or his poems. Then hopefully, once I've got it working, I can allow family members along who can enjoy diligently pointing out all the facts I've got wrong.

 

Anyway, if you're in Machynlleth, do come along for the very civilized time of midday on Sunday 30th April and watch me try and work out what the 1930s Gower dialect actually sounded like.

 

That's quite a lot of black and white photos in one update. Some stuff in colour should appear below...

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

January 2023 - O'r Diwedd 2022

O'r Diwedd 2022 - Once again, Sian Harries, Tudur Owen and I have written a bunch of sketches for S4C looking back at the year in Wales and the UK. 
 
As you can see from some of the the photographs, the latest edition doesn't just work as a look at 2022, but it also acts as a back-door pilot for our odd couple sitcom about Mark Drakeford and Andrew RT Davies. 
 
The whole show is currently available on BBC iPlayer and S4C Clic (both with English subtitles if you need them) - and also, if you're quick, you can still find the mini edition of the show we made back in November as part of  "Noson Gomedi: Dathlu 40", S4C's 40th anniversary celebrations

Double Top - You might have to be quick, because it comes off BBC Sounds soon, but this is a brand new sitcom pilot set in the world of darts written by Sion Edwards and stars Sue Roderick, Laura Dalgleish, Mali Ann Rees, Richard Elis and Sion himself. I directed and script edited the show - which did sometimes feel like I was just cutting out all the really filthy jokes - so it's worth a listen just to see what Sion managed to get past me.