U-turn boosts Welsh soap

Popular Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm is to revert to five episodes a week, less than a year since its Wednesday edition was cancelled. The show is made by the BBC and broadcast on S4C.

BBC Cymru Wales Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services Sian Gwynedd said: “This is great news for the production but mainly for the viewers. We saw during the 40th birthday celebrations last year how much the series means to viewers all over Wales. The next step is to discuss with the talent unions.”

WGGB is due to meet the producers to discuss the implications for members who write for the show. Work on the extra episodes will start almost immediately so that they are on the air by the end of 2015.

The reduction to four nights a week happened when S4C cancelled the omnibus edition. This had the consequence of reducing the production budget. All writers on the show are WGGB members, and in extended negotiations a new deal on fees and storylining payments was hammered out – although there was work for fewer writers.

WGGB General Secretary Bernie Corbett said: “Our members never believed the cut was a good policy, so we welcome this change of heart. But we need to ensure that writers don’t lose out either financially or by having too heavy a workload.”