Friday 24 February 2012
Broadcaster Huw Edwards is to tell the story of Wales from pre-history to modern times in a landmark television series commissioned by BBC Cymru Wales, in partnership with the Open University in Wales and supported by Cadw.
One of BBC One Wales’s most ambitious series ever, The Story of Wales will trace the history of the Welsh nation from 30,000 years ago to the present day.
From the Ice Age to the Information Age, Huw brings the magical, thrilling and surprising story of our nation to life.
The Story of Wales is packed with heroes and triumphs, grand dreams and great endeavours. From a land of story-tellers this is the story of the land itself and the people who’ve shaped it. Huw tells the compelling story of our nation, shot on location across the country, with dramatic reconstructions and impressive CGI.
The Story of Wales starts with a reconstruction of the earliest known human burial in Western Europe - that of the ‘Red Lady’ of Paviland - 30,000 years ago. Its epic story runs through Hywel Dda’s uniting Wales under one law, the Welsh at the heart of the Tudor court, through the immense pace of change in the country as coal mines and iron works flourished - with technological and educational innovations putting Wales ahead of the world in the Industrial Revolution - and right up to present day devolution.
Huw Edwards said, ‘This really is a dream come true for me. How could any Welsh broadcaster not be energised by the challenge of telling the nation’s story?
'It’s been a long wait. The last major television history of Wales was The Dragon Has Two Tongues in the mid-1980s, when the great Gwyn Alf Williams and Wynford Vaughan-Thomas slugged it out in one of the best history series ever seen on British television. So we have a lot to live up to.
‘I am aware that working on this series - a once-in-a-generation event - is a real privilege. Above all, The Story of Wales needs to engage audiences in Wales and beyond. After all, we have a great story to tell.’
The two-part The Making of the Story of Wales, starting on BBC Two Wales on Monday 5 March takes a closer look at how the programme brings history to life, digs deeper into the question of what we deduce from ancient evidence, and asks how that may change as new technologies and ideas emerge to make us think again.
The series also has a dedicated website bbc.co.uk/storyofwales where people can find out more about the series, watch exclusive clips and see what events are taking place across the country.
The Story of Wales starts Monday 27 February - BBC One Wales, 9.00pm.