In just 20 years, Russell T Davies has left an indelible mark on British television. From Queer as Folk, via Doctor Who, to this year’s dystopian chiller Years and Years, Davies has written unforgettable drama. His work – like the writer in person – is opinionated and loud, but also warm and human.
RTS Cymru Wales Chair Judith Winnan made the award at the end of a sold-out event at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to mark the RTS Centre’s 60th anniversary.
The multi-award-winning writer and regenerator of Doctor Who had been discussing his career with Gethin Jones. The TV presenter met Davies when he was working on Blue Peter 15 years ago – and went on to appear in Doctor Who, albeit as a Dalek and Cyberman.
For the third year running, the RTS centre was a partner in the pop-up cinema ‘Sinemaes’.
As part of RTS Cymru Wales’ 60th anniversary celebrations, the centre hosted a session on classic Welsh language TV comedy.
The first event – “The network speaks: beyond tokenism” – took place in Cardiff in early June to a full house of programme-makers from Wales’ unscripted production community, who took part in an in-depth conversation about diversity and representation on-screen.
The series of discussions aims to take the conversation about disability out of London and change how the industry works for everyone. It will focus on local issues and solutions, generated through intimate, accessible and open discussions.
We do enjoy a quiz at the RTS, so here’s a question for you: what notable moments in British television history took place in 1959? You get a point if you knew that it was the year that Juke Box Jury was first broadcast on the BBC (or, indeed, Noggin the Nog).
Two points to anyone who answered that it was the year that the ITV franchise Tyne Tees Television started broadcasting. But there’s another event that you almost certainly didn’t know about – and it’s why 1959 interests me: it was the year that the RTS formed its first committee in Wales.
Thank you to RTS Cymru Wales for inviting me to give this year’s lecture. It’s a privilege to be with you all here tonight, particularly as we’re here in this shiny building – the new home for Cardiff University’s prestigious school of journalism, media and cultural studies as well as, of course, BBC Wales.
Opportunities such as this give a rare chance to reflect publicly on what has been an incredible few years - a constant and glorious work in progress that myself and the other Bad Wolves are passionately driven and obsessed by.
The awards also saw the launch of two Industry Awards to recognise the work of individuals in behind-the camera roles at the start of their television careers.
Both awards went to ITV Cymru Wales employees: production specialist Ellis Clark received the Newcomer award and journalist Sian Thomas, the Industry Breakthrough award. The latter prize is for TV talent with a minimum of two years’ experience in the industry and at least one on-screen credit.
After she left the BBC she co-founded BAD WOLF, a global drama production company based in Cardiff that grew out of a long term collaboration with the creative community of Wales.
Front left: Sioned Wiliam, behind her Rhys Gwynfor, Barry Jones, Elen Rhys, and Daniel Glyn
Cardiff Bay was the venue for this year’s ‘Sinemaes’, a week-long pop-up cinema, held at the National Eisteddfod, supported by a partnership of film and TV organisations based in Wales. During the week over 3,300 attended screenings and sessions at Sinemaes, a 36% increase on the number in 2017.