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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 March, 2004, 10:29 GMT
Celtic link-up for Welsh soap
Rhys ap William and Catrin Arwel
Emotions run high for Pobol y Cwm's Cai and Emma
The BBC's longest-running TV soap is about to make history - by becoming a tri-lingual drama series.

The Welsh language series Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley) - which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year - is joining forces with its Irish counterpart, Ros na Rún.

Cast and crew members travelled to the Irish-speaking town of Spiddal in Connemara, County Galway, to film a series of episodes which will be shown from Monday.

The week-long storyline will see six of the Welsh cast taking part in a cultural exchange - and getting involved with members of the cast of Ros Na Rún (the town of secrets).

Some useful phrases
Good morning / Bore da / Dia dhaoibh
Two pints please / Dau beint os gwelwch yn dda / Dhá phionta le do thoil
Can I have a kiss? / Ga i gusan? / An bhfeidir liom póg a fhail?
Scripts for each of the programmes will be a mixture of Welsh, Irish, and English.

The production has been achieved thanks to a unique alliance between BBC Wales, S4C, and TG4, the Irish language broadcaster.

The Irish soap is set in the west of Ireland against a rural and urban background of the Connemara coastline, which boasts mountain valleys and cosmopolitan seaside resorts.

Like most soaps, the series has spawned a mixed bag of characters guaranteed to keep audience attention, including a gay couple, some city folk adjusting to rural life, and a former nun.

Six of the Pobol y Cwm characters - Dai Ashurst (played by Emyr Wyn), Sabrina Daniels (Gillian Elisa) Siôn White (Jeremi Cockram) Macs White (Iwan Rheon), Emma Francis (Catrin Arwel) and Cai (Rhys ap William) feature in the Irish storyline.

Romantic complications arise when Macs finds he has more than a little in common with Roise De Baerca, a local radio presenter from Ros na Rún.

 Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (left) with Emyr Wyn
Peadar Ó Conghaile of Ros na Rún with Dai Sgaffalde
"They both lost their mothers at a young age and, as fans of the Stereophonics, they share the same taste in music," explained 18-year-old Iwan Rheon, who plays Macs.

"Roise helps Macs with his Irish lessons and he soon gets his tongue round the Irish for 'Can I have a kiss?'"

The idea for a Welsh-Irish co-production was conceived at the Celtic Film Festival in Belfast last year.

Bethan Jones, Pobol y Cwm's producer said she was hopeful that similar projects could be tried in the future.

Pobol y Cwm will be in the spotlight on Saturday night, when a special edition of the documentary series O Flaen Dy Lygaid takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenge of shooting the Irish episodes.

  • O Flaen Dy Lygaid, S4C, Saturday, 2050 GMT
  • Pobol y Cwm, S4C, Monday to Friday, 2000 GMT
  • Ros na Rún, TG4, Tuesday and Thursday, 2030 GMT

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