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Coastal adventures and home revelations: BBC Wales’ exciting new lineup

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BBC WALES is set to enchant viewers with a fresh slate of programming that spans a rich tapestry of Welsh culture, lifestyle, and adventure. Leading the charge are Wales’s beloved presenters, Wynne Evans and Joanna Page, who will take audiences on a scenic journey with their new show, Wynne Evans and Joanna Page: Lost at Sea. This program promises to be a celebration of the Welsh coastline, packed with culinary expeditions, musical interludes, and the spirit of discovery aboard their motor yacht.

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning at BBC Cymru Wales, expressed excitement over the diverse array of new and returning series that aim to mirror contemporary Welsh life in all its vibrancy. From the nuances of cooking and music to the intricacies of interior design and the rustic charm of sheep shearing, there’s an offering for every palette.

Lost at Sea will see Evans, celebrated as 2023’s Celebrity MasterChef winner, and Page delving into Wales’s coastal treasures, from quaint fishing villages to bustling towns, unearthing unique dining experiences and cooking up storms themselves.

Another anticipated return is Wales’ Home of the Year, now in its third season with a special Christmas edition on the horizon. Judges Owain Wyn Evans, Mandy Watkins, and Glen Thomas will traverse Wales to spotlight homes that stand out for their architectural and design ingenuity, culminating in the crowning of Wales’ Christmas Home of the Year.

In a gripping narrative departure, Hunting Mr Nice will chronicle the life of Howard Marks, a Welshman turned notorious cannabis smuggler. This two-part series for BBC Two and iPlayer is set against the backdrop of the War on Drugs, featuring exclusive interviews that piece together Marks’ enigmatic existence.

Music aficionados can look forward to Kelly Jones with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, where Kelly Jones, famed for his Stereophonics legacy, will premiere new solo work alongside timeless hits, reimagined with orchestral flair.

Chris Cooks Cymru introduces viewers to Chris ‘Flamebaster’ Roberts, who embarks on a culinary journey across Wales, celebrating local cuisine against stunning landscapes and communal cookouts.

The lineup also boasts a slew of returning favorites and new ventures that explore Welsh life’s breadth, from the competitive spirit of sheep shearing in Rockstar Shearers to the heartfelt community project in Dream Team, and the spiritual and ecological explorations of Skanda Vale Life.

Nick Andrews lauded the lineup, highlighting the joy and impact talent-fronted shows have on audiences. With such a rich and diverse offering, BBC Cymru Wales is poised to keep viewers hooked to their screens, celebrating Welsh culture, heritage, and the universal themes of exploration, creativity, and community spirit. These shows are expected to roll out on BBC Cymru Wales and iPlayer in the coming months, promising a blend of entertainment, insight, and celebration for viewers across the UK.

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Welsh actress to unveil new TV show at Cannes Film Festival

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WELSH actress Luana Ribeira will be at Cannes Film Festival this month to unveil her new TV show.

It’s Luana is a comedy series including spoof news, sketches, satire and music. Featuring Luana alongside a diverse cast, the show will be premiered at Cannes at the Pavillon Afriques on May 22.

The programme will appear on Dauntless TV, a new channel being released on Amazon Fire TV next month. And Luana, who lives in Anglesey, will be filming an episode of another of the channel’s shows – Dauntless Movie Hub – and interviewing up-and-coming actors and filmmakers at the festival.

Luana, who also is the founder of Dauntless PR – a PR firm which specialises in building personal brands, says: “Dauntless TV has been in the pipeline for a while now and I am so excited about unveiling our vision at Cannes and giving people a sneak peek of the channel’s flagship show It’s Luana. I originally set out to make just one type of programme but had so many ideas, we have ended up creating a whole channel.

“While I’m in Cannes, I’ll also be attending the screening of a TV drama pilot I star in called Deep Undercover. I play the role of Home Secretary Jasmine Gold and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.”

Dauntless TV will initially feature four different shows, although there is potential for more to be added to the lineup. As well as the comedy sketch show It’s Luana, there will be Dauntless Music Hub, Dauntless Lives and Dauntless Movie Hub.

Dauntless Lives aims to shines a spotlight on ordinary people living extraordinary lives. As the host, Luana talks to inspiring guests who want to make an impact and share their experiences and message with the world.

Dauntless Movie Hub will showcase feature films, short movies and television pilots from independent filmmakers, while Dauntless Music Hub will feature musical artists from around the world. Whether they are a band, DJ or solo artist, they will perform on the show and engage in discussions with the show’s host, Luana.

Luana will be taking her 15-year-old daughter Seren Cohen with her to Cannes Film Festival. Seren, who attends Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni, wants to become a voice over actress and will be attending the event to meet industry professionals and make contacts to kickstart her career.

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Historical discovery event returns to Carew Castle

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CAREW CASTLE will see the return of a popular history and archaeology-themed event later this month, offering a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of Pembrokeshire and how it has shaped the region over time.

Unearthing History: Pembrokeshire’s Past has been organised in collaboration with Dyfed Archaeological Trust, who will be joined by several other local museums and history groups to present a wide range of talks, museum collections, artefact displays, and hands-on archaeology activities for visitors of all ages.

During the event, visitors will have the chance to engage with experts and enthusiasts from various fields, as well as participate in Knight School and Have-A-Go Archery sessions.

Talks throughout the day will feature topics such as the history of siege weapons, the history of Carew Castle, and the HMS Erebus – constructed at Pembroke Dock and renowned for the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and catastrophe in the Arctic.

There will also be two scheduled performances by Greenala Music, showcasing medieval, folk and Celtic music. In addition to this, there will be demonstrations of a range of traditional and historical instruments and the chance to explore some of the lyrics of medieval songs.

Manager of Carew Castle Daisy Hughes said: “If you’re fascinated by all things related to Pembrokeshire’s rich past, then the Unearthing History event is one not to be missed!

“We look forward to working once more with Dyfed Archaeological Trust and other local groups to bring this event to life and raise awareness of the fascinating historical and archaeological discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the past.”

Organisations attending will include Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Pembrokeshire Prospectors, Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, Pembroke Town Walls Trust, Pembroke and Monkton Local History Society, Friends of Friendless Churches and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, who will be on hand for some Iron Age slingshot and face-painting activities.

Unearthing History: Pembrokeshire’s Past will take place on Saturday 1 June 2024 from 10am to 4pm at Carew Castle. The event is open to all ages and is included free with normal Castle admission.

For more information, please visit www.carewcastle.com or contact the Castle directly at [email protected].

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Dolly Parton ‘tickled pink’ by curiosity about her Welsh roots

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DOLLY Parton has expressed her delight over the interest in her Welsh heritage, saying she is “tickled pink” about the curiosity. The country music star traced her ancestry to South Wales for a TV programme.

In a brief clip played on Radio 4’s Today Programme, Parton mentioned she couldn’t “give away all the secrets yet”. She added that “all the juicy details” will be revealed when her documentaries air later this year.

Parton, born in Tennessee, has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Her niece, singer Jada Star, found it “a lot of fun” to discover their Welsh roots.

“Finding out about that side of our family is really extraordinary,” Jada said. “Especially with everything we’re uncovering about our musical connections—how it’s always been with us—is wonderful.”

Jada suggested that some of Parton’s music, and her own, may have been inspired by their Welsh heritage. “A lot of music, especially from the Appalachians and east Tennessee where we come from, reflects where those people settled. The skill of hearing a story and then relaying it memorably, so it lives on forever, is a big part of Welsh music. These are stories passed down for centuries.”

Jada also mentioned she is currently learning Welsh and hopes to use it when she visits the country. “I’m trying my best. I’ve got that little owl on Duolingo working double time for me. I can do some morning and afternoon greetings. I’m trying not to butcher it, and I hope everyone can help me when I get there.”

This isn’t the first time the “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” singer has been linked to Wales. During a 2008 concert at the Cardiff International Arena, Parton reportedly told fans she had Welsh ancestry.

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