New S4C documentary to follow story of inspirational Welsh DJ
A new S4C documentary will tell the story of an inspirational Welshman taking huge steps towards fulfilling his dream to become a top DJ.
Terry Tuffrey, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, has moderate learning difficulties and was followed by a film crew as he graduated college, hosted acts at a prestigious music festival and co-presented a popular show on Radio Cymru.
Terry said: “I’ve loved music since I was a little boy. When I feel down music lifts me up. I listen to the radio, but Mam doesn’t like it if I listen to it all day, especially if she wants to watch something on TV.
“What’s good about being a radio DJ is that they’re always there for you if you’re having a bad day. When I feel down music lifts me up so I feel happy. Sometimes if I hear some happy music I will dance around.”
The programme follows 22 year old Terry as he meets and interviews Ed Holden, aka Mr Phormula, the well-known rapper and beat-box expert.
Ed told Terry to follow his passion in life, saying: “If you love doing something then nothing stops you making a living out of it.”
The Anglesey-born musician and poet invited Terry to introduce his set at Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau which he carried out faultlessly.
Terry said: “I was very proud of myself for Sesiwn Fawr. It as an unforgettable experience and I hope to have a similar experience again in the future.
“Mr Phormula has inspired me to move forward with my dream of being a DJ and I’m going to do it.”
Terry’s passion fro music let him to make contact with the BBC and asked if he could shadow a DJ as a work experience.
His request was rewarded with an invitation to join Ifan Jones Evans at their studios in Bangor.
Terry worked in the studio alongside Ifan and helped to present his live show, reading messages from listeners, introducing songs and chatting with guests.
Ifan said: “It was a pleasure to have Terry on the show. He was perfect, spot on. Clearly there is a glittering future ahead of him because he has the ability to communicate with others and is quite a character.”
Terry said: “Over the past few months I’ve been able to do things I never imagined I could do. I’ve learned to not be afraid and do my best. I’m sure I want to be a DJ in the future.”
Terry’s mother, Helen, said he struggled with learning throughout his school years.
She said: “In the end the school said they couldn’t teach him anymore. A doctor came to the school and after testing found he had moderate learning difficulties.”
Terry was moved to Ysgol Hafod Lon in Y Ffôr, near Chwilog, where the teachers helped nurture his love of music.
After seeing Terry graduate from Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Helen said: “I’ve seen Terry grow into the man he is now and I’m so proud of where he is today. Now it’s time for him to be independent.
“I know he’s behind in development but hopefully one day he’ll meet somebody, get married and have kids. I’m one proud mother.”
Since graduating from college where he complete a course in independent living skills, Terry has been doing more work experience on a weekday television programme in Caernarfon and is hoping to find some reasonably priced DJ equipment to practice his presenting skills at home.
Siwan Haf, who co-produced the documentary with Rhys Lloyd, described Terry as a “truly inspirational young man”.
She said the Cwmni Da production team worked with Terry on the programme for more than a year, with the filming itself spread over a period of six months.
Siwan added: “I’m very proud of the programme. It has been a pleasure working with Terry.
“He speaks so honestly and openly about life in general and himself in particular. It is so refreshing and I feel I have learned so much from him and his attitude towards life while being in his lovely company.
“I’m sure we would all be better people if we lived life like Terry,” she said.
The documentary, Drych: DJ Terry, will air on S4C on Sunday, April 23, at 9pm, with English subtitles available.
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