Tudur Owen announced as the voice of Welsh language Gogglebox
Presenter and comedian Tudur Owen will be the voice of Gogglebocs Cymru when it hits the screen for the first time on Wednesday 2 November.
Channel 4’s popular programme, Gogglebox, has been licensed to S4C for a Welsh language version, and they also hope it will help to put the spotlight on other Welsh TV shows.
Now on its 20th series, Gogglebox will screen the special series on Wednesday 2 November with an all-Welsh cast.
“I’m an avid TV watcher and have enjoyed Gogglebox for years,” said Tudur Owen.
“But I rarely watch live television. Everyone’s viewing habits have changed now, haven’t they? Every time I turn on the TV, I’m amazed at the choice. Sometimes, I’ll end up just making a cuppa because I don’t know where to start.
“I’ll often use Gogglebox as an indicator of what to watch. I’ve watched a lot of good series because of it – and I hope that putting this spotlight on Welsh programmes will help them too.”
‘Hours of tapes’
The majority of Gogglebocs Cymru’s offering will be produced in Wales. A few productions from further afield will also appear so that the cast’s discussions and reactions can reflect what is happening in homes around the world.
“Gogglebox has managed to stand on its own two feet, whilst showcasing programmes that are drowning in a sea of choice,” Tudur Owen said.
“There’s so much great stuff being produced in Wales, this will be a brilliant way of drawing attention to shows people might not notice otherwise.”
He added that he was keen to highlight that he only has a small part to play in the grand scheme of things.
“I’m amazed at the work that’s involved,” he said. “Production companies Cwmni Da and Chwarel have hours of tapes to go through before I get a rough edit to work on my lines.
“But I’m not going to be a prominent part of it of course.
“From watching the Channel 4 programme, Craig’s (Cash) voice is used to host and transition from one piece to another. And that’s my job, to keep things moving.
“The success of the series ultimately depends on the casting – getting the right characters on board.
“I don’t know who they are yet, but I know they’re new faces. I’m looking forward to ‘meeting’ them, and like any relationship it’s going to take time to get to know them.
“A big part of Gogglebox’s success is finding people that other people like. Everyone has their favourites.
“As we are going into their homes, it’s important the characters are fun and we want to be there with them. They let us into their homes so we can experience the highs and the lows with them – it’s such a personal and intense relationship.
“I believe there are one or two households outside of Wales and that’s great. Wales’ border isn’t a line on the map.
“There are so many Welsh people living all over the place and it’s great to show that Wales based programmes are available to watch everywhere.”
‘Door is open’
The series is part of S4C’s birthday celebrations, marking 40 years of broadcasting.
Llinos Griffin-Williams, S4C’s Chief Content Officer, said: “It’s a great pleasure to have Gogglebocs Cymru as part of S4C’s 40th celebrations. It’s a fantastic TV format, which has captured the nation’s imagination.
“What better than a programme that brings us Welsh talent at grassroots level? Gogglebocs Cymru will extend a warm welcome into households around the country and beyond.
“We will meet several characters who reflect contemporary Wales in all its glory, new faces that give our diverse communities a voice.”
Although cast details haven’t been released yet, we understand cameras will visit homes in the Brynamman, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Caernarfon, Crymych, Denbigh, Llanelli, Maerdy, Manchester, Bridgend, Pwllheli, Talsarnau, Tregarth and Wrexham areas over the next few days to film the first ever episode.
“If you see yourself as someone people will enjoy watching, keep in mind that the door is always open for casting,” adds Llinos Griffin-Williams.
‘Stuffing my face’
And as someone who is used to being a public figure through his extensive television, radio and stand-up work – does Bangor-based Tudur have any advice for the cast?
“It will be a very odd experience to begin with,” he said. “We want to see you being yourselves, you are our eyes on the TV in a way.
“Sure it may be difficult to start, and however strange it is having lights and a camera in your lounge, just remember to respond honestly, enjoy each other’s company and don’t be too self-conscious. And I really hope you enjoy the experience.”
“I will be trying not to eat too much whilst watching, that’s my weakness – stuffing my face.
“You see a lot of the families with a plate full of cakes. I always have something on the go – usually a cup of tea, or maybe a glass of wine, depending which night of the week it is.”
Gogglebocs Cymru will be screened on Wednesday 2 November on S4C, S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.
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