Episodes

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I Was There ... When Radio Wales Began2018111320181230 (RW)

In celebration of Radio Wales' 40th anniversary, Chris Stuart reunites some of the key figures from the station's earliest days to relive the story of how it began. Guests include veteran broadcaster Vincent Kane whose daily current affairs show Meet For Lunch show became essential listening and presenter Anita Morgan, the first voice to be heard on the newly launched station in 1978. Mid-morning presenter Dan Damon - who now works for BBC World Service - also adds his recollections.

As well as insights from those who were in front of the microphone we'll hear anecdotes from those who worked behind the scenes of Radio Wales 40 years ago - Kate Fenton and John Geraint, who were then young researcher/producers fresh from university.

And we'll hear how the early days of Radio Wales were marked by controversy and disquiet - some of it emanating from BBC Wales itself - as rival factions of journalists and those who championed a more populist approach argued over the direction the new station should take.

In celebration of Radio Wales' 40th anniversary Chris Stuart reunites its first presenters

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

The Winter Of Discontent2019012420191027 (RW)
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20190127 (RW)

In a special programme to mark the 40th anniversary of The Winter of Discontent, Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of this turbulent time in British political and economic history. Public sector pay strikes brought the UK to a standstill as tens of thousands of workers showed their anger at the government's attempt to impose a 5% pay ceiling.

Cardiff was among the cities hosting mass demonstrations as workers ranging from NHS staff to grave diggers went on strike in the biggest display of industrial action since the General Strike in 1926. As rubbish piled up in the streets, the opposition - led by Margaret Thatcher - attacked the Labour Government over its refusal to call a state of emergency. It was a dispute that would have a seismic affect, leading to the downfall of Callaghan and his government and consigning Labour to opposition for the next 19 years.

Joining Chris in studio to discuss the Winter of Discontent 40 years on are Lynn Abell, a former nurse and union rep; Dr Kim Howells, then working with the National Union of Mineworkers; former political editor and broadcaster Glyn Mathias and historian Professor Dai Smith.

Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of The Winter of Discontent.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

In a special programme to mark the 40th anniversary of The Winter of Discontent, Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of this turbulent time in British political and economic history. Public sector pay strikes brought the UK to a standstill as tens of thousands of workers showed their anger at the government's attempt to impose a 5% pay ceiling.

Cardiff was among the cities hosting mass demonstrations as workers ranging from NHS staff to grave diggers went on strike in the biggest display of industrial action since the General Strike in 1926. As rubbish piled up in the streets, the opposition - led by Margaret Thatcher - attacked the Labour Government over its refusal to call a state of emergency. It was a dispute that would have a seismic affect, leading to the downfall of Callaghan and his government and consigning Labour to opposition for the next 19 years.

Joining Chris in studio to discuss the Winter of Discontent 40 years on are Lynn Abell, a former nurse and union rep; Dr Kim Howells, then working with the National Union of Mineworkers; former political editor and broadcaster Glyn Mathias and historian Professor Dai Smith.

Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of The Winter of Discontent.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

In a special programme to mark the 40th anniversary of The Winter of Discontent, Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of this turbulent time in British political and economic history. Public sector pay strikes brought the UK to a standstill as tens of thousands of workers showed their anger at the government's attempt to impose a 5% pay ceiling.

Cardiff was among the cities hosting mass demonstrations as workers ranging from NHS staff to grave diggers went on strike in the biggest display of industrial action since the General Strike in 1926. As rubbish piled up in the streets, the opposition - led by Margaret Thatcher - attacked the Labour Government over its refusal to call a state of emergency. It was a dispute that would have a seismic affect, leading to the downfall of Callaghan and his government and consigning Labour to opposition for the next 19 years.

Joining Chris in studio to discuss the Winter of Discontent 40 years on are Lynn Abell, a former nurse and union rep; Dr Kim Howells, then working with the National Union of Mineworkers; former political editor and broadcaster Glyn Mathias and historian Professor Dai Smith.

Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of The Winter of Discontent.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

In a special programme to mark the 40th anniversary of The Winter of Discontent, Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of this turbulent time in British political and economic history. Public sector pay strikes brought the UK to a standstill as tens of thousands of workers showed their anger at the government's attempt to impose a 5% pay ceiling.

Cardiff was among the cities hosting mass demonstrations as workers ranging from NHS staff to grave diggers went on strike in the biggest display of industrial action since the General Strike in 1926. As rubbish piled up in the streets, the opposition - led by Margaret Thatcher - attacked the Labour Government over its refusal to call a state of emergency. It was a dispute that would have a seismic affect, leading to the downfall of Callaghan and his government and consigning Labour to opposition for the next 19 years.

Joining Chris in studio to discuss the Winter of Discontent 40 years on are Dr Kim Howells, then a National Union of Mineworkers official, former political editor and broadcaster Glyn Mathias and historian Professor Dai Smith. We also hear from people who were caught up in the industrial action 40 years ago.

Chris Stuart asks his guests to share their memories of The Winter of Discontent

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

When Carrefour Came To Caerphilly2019062020191103 (RW)
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20190623 (RW)

Chris Stuart unites those who could say 'I Was There' at moments of Welsh social history. This episode recalls the arrival in 1972 of the UK's first hypermarket in Caerphilly - Carrefour - and how it changed the way we shop forever, heralding the movement of retail from the High Street to out-of-town developments.

Chris and his guests recall how the novelty of Wales' first hypermarket drew visitors from far and wide, captured headlines across Britain and used some left-field marketing tactics - including the placing of a giant mechanical gorilla in the car-park. Former goods manager Trevor Davies and till assistant Brenda Jarrett recall what it was like to work there while Ceri John Davies, who was a child in the 1970s, remembers the excitement of family outings to the store and the great distances customers would travel. Former BBC Wales reporter Jen Murray describes reporting on the giant gorilla for the UK news and posing Fay Wray-like on its hand - an image which ended up on the front page of The Times.

And Caerphilly councillor Lindsay Whittle - whose mother worked in the hypermarket's canteen - explores the impact on traders in the town and beyond and how the High Street was never the same again throughout Britain after Caerphilly Carrefour sparked a shopping revolution.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments of Welsh social history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart unites those who could say 'I Was There' at moments of Welsh social history. This episode recalls the arrival in 1972 of the UK's first hypermarket in Caerphilly - Carrefour - and how it changed the way we shop forever, heralding the movement of retail from the High Street to out-of-town developments.

Chris and his guests recall how the novelty of Wales' first hypermarket drew visitors from far and wide, captured headlines across Britain and used some left-field marketing tactics - including the placing of a giant mechanical gorilla in the car-park. Former goods manager Trevor Davies and till assistant Brenda Jarrett recall what it was like to work there while Ceri John Davies, who was a child in the 1970s, remembers the excitement of family outings to the store and the great distances customers would travel. Former BBC Wales reporter Jen Murray describes reporting on the giant gorilla for the UK news and posing Fay Wray-like on its hand - an image which ended up on the front page of The Times.

And Caerphilly councillor Lindsay Whittle - whose mother worked in the hypermarket's canteen - explores the impact on traders in the town and beyond and how the High Street was never the same again throughout Britain after Caerphilly Carrefour sparked a shopping revolution.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments of Welsh social history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart unites those who could say 'I Was There' at moments of Welsh social history. This episode recalls the arrival in 1972 of the UK's first hypermarket in Caerphilly - Carrefour - and how it changed the way we shop forever, heralding the movement of retail from the High Street to out-of-town developments.

Chris and his guests recall how the novelty of Wales' first hypermarket drew visitors from far and wide, captured headlines across Britain and used some left-field marketing tactics - including the placing of a giant mechanical gorilla in the car-park. Former goods manager Trevor Davies and till assistant Brenda Jarrett recall what it was like to work there while Ceri John Davies, who was a child in the 1970s, remembers the excitement of family outings to the store and the great distances customers would travel. Former BBC Wales reporter Jen Murray describes reporting on the giant gorilla for the UK news and posing Fay Wray-like on its hand - an image which ended up on the front page of The Times.

And Caerphilly councillor Lindsay Whittle - whose mother worked in the hypermarket's canteen - explores the impact on traders in the town and beyond and how the High Street was never the same again throughout Britain after Caerphilly Carrefour sparked a shopping revolution.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments of Welsh social history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart unites those who could say I Was There at moments of Welsh social history. This episode recalls the arrival in 1972 of the UK's first hypermarket in Caerphilly - Carrefour - and how it changed the way we shop forever, heralding the movement of retail from the High Street to out-of-town developments. Chris and his guests recall how the novelty of Wales' first hypermarket drew visitors from far and wide, captured headlines across Britain and used some left-field marketing tactics - including the placing of a giant mechanical gorilla in the car-park.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments of Welsh social history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart unites those who could say 'I Was There' at moments of Welsh social history. This episode recalls the arrival in 1972 of the UK's first hypermarket in Caerphilly - Carrefour - and how it changed the way we shop forever, heralding the movement of retail from the High Street to out-of-town developments.

Chris and his guests recall how the novelty of Wales' first hypermarket drew visitors from far and wide, captured headlines across Britain and used some left-field marketing tactics - including the placing of a giant mechanical gorilla in the car-park. Former goods manager Trevor Davies and till assistant Brenda Jarrett recall what it was like to work there while Ceri John Davies, who was a child in the 1970s, remembers the excitement of family outings to the store and the great distances customers would travel. Former BBC Wales reporter Jen Murray describes reporting on the giant gorilla for the UK news and posing Fay Wray-like on its hand - an image which ended up on the front page of The Times.

And Caerphilly councillor Lindsay Whittle - whose mother worked in the hypermarket's canteen - explores the impact on traders in the town and beyond and how the High Street was never the same again throughout Britain after Caerphilly Carrefour sparked a shopping revolution.

When Hollywood Came To Fishguard2019071120190712 (RW)
20190714 (RW)

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a significant moment in Welsh social history. In this episode he travels to Fishguard to recall the time in 1971 when Richard Burton, Peter Toole and their production crew descended on the town to create the first ever filmed version of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices Under Milk Wood.
In The Ship Inn – which proved a favourite watering hole for the Hollywood actors – he gathers Ruth Madoc, who was among the young Welsh talent in the cast, Hedydd Hughes who was a four-year-old extra in the film and Dylan Thomas Jeff Towns, who attended the premiere of Under Milk Wood and got to know its director Andrew Sinclair.
Chris also meets 96-year-old Jessie Reynolds who helped welcome the cast and would bring Peter O’Toole a coffee every morning as he sat on her doorstep.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a moment in Welsh social history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a significant moment in Welsh social history. In this episode he travels to Fishguard to recall the time in 1971 when Richard Burton, Peter Toole and their production crew descended on the town to create the first ever filmed version of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices Under Milk Wood.

In The Ship Inn – which proved a favourite watering hole for the Hollywood actors – he gathers Ruth Madoc, who was among the many Welsh actors in the cast, Hedydd Hughes who was a four-year-old extra in the film and Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns, who attended the premiere of Under Milk Wood and got to know its director Andrew Sinclair.

Chris also meets 96-year-old Jessie Williams who helped welcome the cast and would bring Peter O’Toole a coffee every morning as he sat on her doorstep. We hear how just about every Welsh actor of the time appeared in the film - including Ryan Davies, Victor Spinetti, Glynis Johns, Angharad Rees and Ray Smith and how Ruth Madoc shared her scenes with a young David Jason.

We also discover why Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be in Under Milk Wood and explore the camaraderie that developed between cast and crew and the people of Fishguard - the film featured locals from small children to pensioners, while their pets and farm animals were also given cameo roles.

Chris Stuart and guests recall Richard Burton filming Under Milk Wood in Fishguard.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a significant moment in Welsh social history. In this episode he travels to Fishguard to recall the time in 1971 when Richard Burton, Peter Toole and their production crew descended on the town to create the first ever filmed version of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices Under Milk Wood.

In The Ship Inn – which proved a favourite watering hole for the Hollywood actors – he gathers Ruth Madoc, who was among the many Welsh actors in the cast, Hedydd Hughes who was a four-year-old extra in the film and Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns, who attended the premiere of Under Milk Wood and got to know its director Andrew Sinclair.

Chris also meets 96-year-old Jessie Williams who helped welcome the cast and would bring Peter O’Toole a coffee every morning as he sat on her doorstep. We hear how just about every Welsh actor of the time appeared in the film - including Ryan Davies, Victor Spinetti, Glynis Johns, Angharad Rees and Ray Smith and how Ruth Madoc shared her scenes with a young David Jason.

We also discover why Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be in Under Milk Wood and explore the camaraderie that developed between cast and crew and the people of Fishguard - the film featured locals from small children to pensioners, while their pets and farm animals were also given cameo roles.

Chris Stuart and guests recall Richard Burton filming Under Milk Wood in Fishguard.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a significant moment in Welsh social history. In this episode he travels to Fishguard to recall the time in 1971 when Richard Burton, Peter Toole and their production crew descended on the town to create the first ever filmed version of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices Under Milk Wood.

In The Ship Inn – which proved a favourite watering hole for the Hollywood actors – he gathers Ruth Madoc, who was among the many Welsh actors in the cast, Hedydd Hughes who was a four-year-old extra in the film and Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns, who attended the premiere of Under Milk Wood and got to know its director Andrew Sinclair.

Chris also meets 96-year-old Jessie Williams who helped welcome the cast and would bring Peter O’Toole a coffee every morning as he sat on her doorstep. We hear how just about every Welsh actor of the time appeared in the film - including Ryan Davies, Victor Spinetti, Glynis Johns, Angharad Rees and Ray Smith and how Ruth Madoc shared her scenes with a young David Jason.

We also discover why Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be in Under Milk Wood and explore the camaraderie that developed between cast and crew and the people of Fishguard - the film featured locals from small children to pensioners, while their pets and farm animals were also given cameo roles.

Chris Stuart and guests recall Richard Burton filming Under Milk Wood in Fishguard.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

When South Wales Got Its First Welsh Medium Secondary School2019062720191107 (RW)
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Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments in Welsh social history. This episode looks back at the start of South Wales' first Welsh Medium Secondary School - Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, which opened its doors for the first time in 1962. Reminiscing with those who were among its first intake of just 80 pupils, Chris explores how the school attracted youngsters from all over South Wales and was seen as a major milestone in the history of Welsh language education.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments in Welsh social history. This episode looks back at the start of South Wales' first Welsh Medium Secondary School - Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, which opened its doors for the first time in 1962. Reminiscing with those who were among its first intake of just 80 pupils, Chris explores how the school attracted youngsters from all over South Wales and was seen as a major milestone in the history of Welsh language education.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at moments in Welsh social history. This episode looks back at the start of South Wales' first Welsh Medium Secondary School - Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, which opened its doors for the first time in 1962. Reminiscing with those who were among its first intake of just 80 pupils, Chris explores how the school attracted youngsters from all over South Wales and was seen as a major milestone in the history of Welsh language education.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

When The National Assembly For Wales Made Waves Across The World2019070420190707 (RW)
20190705 (RW)

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say 'I Was There' at a moment in Welsh history. This week the show recalls the day in 2003 when the Welsh Assembly become the first legislative body in the world to have equal numbers of men and women. To recall the impact achieving the 50:50 gender balance made Chris gathers together four women from across the political spectrum who were elected to the Assembly in that ground-breaking election - former AMs Jane Davidson (Labour), Lisa Francis (Conservative) and current AMs Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) and Kirsty Williams (Liberal Democrat).

The women discuss the often controversial methods of positive action - "twinning" and "zipping" - that were taken by the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru respectively at the time to achieve a better gender balance and how the presence of equal numbers of women changed the tone of debate and the kind of issues and policies brought to the fore.

They reflect on the network of sisterly support that could transcend the political divide and reflect on whether things have got worse for females in Welsh politics more recently against a backdrop of toxic social media abuse and a more aggressive political climate.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a moment in Welsh history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say 'I Was There' at a moment in Welsh history. This week the show recalls the day in 2003 when the Welsh Assembly become the first legislative body in the world to have equal numbers of men and women. To recall the impact achieving the 50:50 gender balance made Chris gathers together four women from across the political spectrum who were elected to the Assembly in that ground-breaking election - former AMs Jane Davidson (Labour), Lisa Francis (Conservative) and current AMs Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) and Kirsty Williams (Liberal Democrat).

The women discuss the often controversial methods of positive action - "twinning" and "zipping" - that were taken by the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru respectively at the time to achieve a better gender balance and how the presence of equal numbers of women changed the tone of debate and the kind of issues and policies brought to the fore.

They reflect on the network of sisterly support that could transcend the political divide and reflect on whether things have got worse for females in Welsh politics more recently against a backdrop of toxic social media abuse and a more aggressive political climate.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a moment in Welsh history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say 'I Was There' at a moment in Welsh history. This week the show recalls the day in 2003 when the Welsh Assembly become the first legislative body in the world to have equal numbers of men and women. To recall the impact achieving the 50:50 gender balance made Chris gathers together four women from across the political spectrum who were elected to the Assembly in that ground-breaking election - former AMs Jane Davidson (Labour), Lisa Francis (Conservative) and current AMs Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) and Kirsty Williams (Liberal Democrat).

The women discuss the often controversial methods of positive action - "twinning" and "zipping" - that were taken by the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru respectively at the time to achieve a better gender balance and how the presence of equal numbers of women changed the tone of debate and the kind of issues and policies brought to the fore.

They reflect on the network of sisterly support that could transcend the political divide and reflect on whether things have got worse for females in Welsh politics more recently against a backdrop of toxic social media abuse and a more aggressive political climate.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a moment in Welsh history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".

When The Welsh Assembly Made Waves Across The World2019070420190705 (RW)
20190707 (RW)

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say 'I Was There' at a moment in Welsh history. This week the show recalls the day in 2003 when the Welsh Assembly become the first legislative body in the world to have equal numbers of men and women. To recall the impact achieving the 50:50 gender balance made Chris gathers together four women from across the political spectrum who were elected to the Assembly in that ground-breaking election - Jane Davidson, Lisa Francis, Elin Jones and Kirsty Williams.

Chris Stuart reunites those who could say I Was There at a moment in Welsh history.

A look back in time with the voices of the people who can say "I was there".