BBC celebrates century of broadcasting National Eisteddfod
The BBC will celebrate a century of broadcasting from the National Eisteddfod as the festival gets underway in Llŷn and Eifionydd this weekend.
Archive records show that the corporation broadcast from the Eisteddfod back in 1923 when they played the winning performance of the Violin Solo on the airwaves.
Master Willie Foxhall won that year with his rendition of ‘Sonatina in G’.
This year, those at home won’t miss a second of the festival as BBC Wales provides over 180 hours of radio and television, as well as coverage online.
Alongside highlights programmes with Sian Eleri on BBC One and Two Wales, BBC Radio Cymru will broadcast daily and Jennifer Jones will report from the field on BBC Wales Today.
The long-running partnership with S4C at the Eisteddfod continues as BBC Cymru Wales produce daily programmes from the festival for the channel and its digital platforms.
Today, the National Eisteddfod is the biggest outdoor broadcast event of the year for BBC Wales and this year the coverage will reflect the diversity and excitement of the week in Boduan, with over 90 hours of television programmes, nearly 90 hours of radio broadcasts and substantial coverage across news, digital and social platforms.
Rhuanedd Richards, Director of BBC Cymru Wales said: “Whether you’re in in Boduan or enjoying the festival from home, all the fun of the festival will be available to hear and see across our services.
“The Eisteddfod is BBC Wales’ biggest outdoor broadcast, with programmes and features across our radio stations, online, on BBC One Wales as well as our daily programmes for S4C.
“It’s a significant investment of over a million pounds by the BBC into the Welsh language and our culture, ensuring that the Eisteddfod isn’t only in the field but also seen and heard in our homes, workplaces and communities.
“I’d like to wish everyone involved in the event the best for this year. We’re proud of our partnership with the Eisteddfod and we’re looking forward to a special week.”
Betsan Moses, Chief Executive National Eisteddfod of Wales said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the Maes and to the different broadcast platforms this year, and we hope everyone enjoys the hours of competing and artistic provision that we have for you at the Llŷn and Eifionydd Eisteddfod.
“There’s much excitement across area that the big week is nearly here at last, and we’re looking forward to working with the BBC and all our partners to ensure an Eisteddfod to remember, be that on the Maes or from an armchair at home.”
BBC Radio Cymru
Each morning, Aled Hughes will be live from the Eisteddfod field, exploring each corner including the caravan site.
This year’s O’r Maes presenting team are Shan Cothi, Steffan Rhys Hughes and Ffion Emyr, and they will be broadcasting from the first Saturday to the last.
On Bore Sul live from the Maes, Iwan Griffiths will be joined by Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd, Dylan Iorwerth, Liz Saville Roberts AS, Rhys Tudur, Llyr Titus and Sioned Wyn. Iwan Griffiths will also bring all the day’s events to Tocyn Wythnos from Monday to Friday.
Dros Frecwast will be live everyday from the Eisteddfod with Kate Crockett presenting Monday and Tuesday, Dylan Ebenezer on Wednesday and Thursday and Gwenllian Grigg on Friday. Dros Ginio will be live with Jennifer Jones on Tuesday and Thursday; with Dewi Llwyd leading on Friday.
Radio Cymru will also broadcast Gig y Pafiliwn live on Thursday night and there will be an opportunity to enjoy highlights from Llwyfan y Maes and Tŷ Gwerin on the station’s evening programmes the following week, as well as Brwydr y Bandiau.
Throughout the week on S4C and S4C Clic, BBC Wales cameras will be all over the festival field – in the pavillions, the Babell Lên, Llwyfan y Maes and Tŷ Gwerin.
Tudur Owen, Heledd Cynwal and Nia Roberts will lead the audience through the events of the day, and the main ceremonies and competitions. Elin Fflur and Trystan Ellis Morris join Tudur Owen in the evenings, reflecting the highlights of the day.
There will be a special daily feed of Sedd o’r Pafiliwn Mawr on BBC iPlayer – the audience can reach it by going to the ‘Wales’ category on iPlayer.
BBC One Wales and BBC Two Wales
BBC Radio 1 presenter, Sian Eleri, will bring the week’s highlights and stories to BBC One Wales and BBC Two Wales, along with BBC Four. In the first programme, Sian will join the audience at a gig by Pedair and the Eisteddfod’s folk choir, she’ll meet makers of this year’s Crown and Chair – awarded to the main literary prize winners – and experience the diverse musical performances at the festival.
BBC Wales Today
On BBC Wales Today, Jennifer Jones will bring the latest stories from the festival, live each day (Monday to Friday) in the lunchtime and evening bulletins.
BBC Cymru Fyw
Cymru Fyw will reflect the latest stories and all the excitement from the Eisteddfod field. And all week it will feature video clips of highlights from the Pavillion.
BBC Radio Wales
Radio Wales will look ahead to the Eisteddfod in The Arts Show on Friday 4 August, with guests Aneurin Karadog, Ceri Wyn Jones and Betsan Moses, and will take a look at Y Lle Celf in a special programme on Friday 11 August. Huw Stephens will broadcast live from the festival on Wednesday, and James Williams will be live from site for Radio Wales Breakfast to start the week.
BBC Wales News
BBC Wales News online will have daily coverage from the festival all week.
The BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council funded project, Horizons/Gorwelion will have a series of Sesiynau Gwyllt, filmed around the area of the Eisteddfod with artists including Tara Bandito, Alffa and Pys Melyn. There will also be a week of sessions at Sain studios, and the project will also reflect the wide array of music that will be on the field and in the local area throughout the week.
On the Eisteddfod Field
At the Eisteddfod, alongside the daily coverage, Radio Cymru and S4C presenters will lead the crowds through the evening gigs on Llwyfan y Maes.
Ffion Dafis will be joined by Hywel Gwynfryn in a session looking back at his career at Y Babell Lên on Monday evening.
The BBC’s Interim Chair, Dame Elan Closs Stephens will join Dewi Llwyd at Pabell y Cymdeithasau on Tuesday as part of the events celebrating 100 years of BBC broadcasting in Wales. Dewi and Dame Closs Stephens will discuss her contribution to the world of broadcasting over the years and her thoughts on becoming the Corporation’s Interim Chair.
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