Iolo Williams
Iolo Williams.jpg
Williams in 2008
Born (1962-08-22) 22 August 1962 (age 59)
NationalityWelsh
EducationLlanfyllin High School
Occupation
Years active1997–present
Employer
Known forWildlife presenter
Spouse(s)Ceri Williams
Children2 sons, Dewi and Tomos
Websitewww.iolowilliams.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Iolo Tudur Williams (/ˈjɒl/; Welsh pronunciation: ['jɔlɔ]; born 22 August 1962) is a Welsh ornithologist, nature observer, television presenter and author, best known for his BBC and S4C nature programmes, working in both English and his first language of Welsh. After a 14-year career with the RSPB, in 1999 Williams became a full-time TV presenter. He has written a number of books about the natural world.

Biography

Williams was born in Builth Wells, Breconshire, but his family moved to Pembrokeshire, before moving to Montgomeryshire, when he was aged five, to live in Llanwddyn near Lake Vyrnwy.[1] Educated at Llanfyllin High School, after gaining two A-Levels in Biology and French, he almost joined the British Army but instead went to the North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London), graduating with a degree in Ecology.[1]

Career

After graduation, Williams worked on a farm and then in the timber trade, before joining the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in 1985, staying for 14 years working in the field and as a regional co-ordinator. This led to his making regular appearances in the media, making a name for himself as a leading expert on Welsh bird life.[1]

In 1997 he made Visions of Snowdonia with BBC Wales, which followed the lives of six people living and working on the slopes of the country's highest mountain. After making a second series, in 1999 Williams decided to leave the RSPB and pursue a full-time career in the media.[1]

In 2007 he presented Canals of Wales with Iolo Williams, a five-part series looking at the canals of Wales.[2] In 2008 he presented another series focusing on the Welsh landscape, Iolo's Natural History of Wales.[3]

Williams presented Rugged Wales, which aired on BBC Two on 13 and 20 March 2012. In 2013 he presented Iolo's Great Welsh Parks,[4] and in 2015 he presented a second series of the programme. He continued to present series for the BBC which focused on his native Wales, presenting The Brecon Beacons in 2016, then a third series on great Welsh parks. He continued to showcase Welsh wildlife by presenting Iolo's Snowdonia in 2018.[5] The same year saw him travel to Australia to film Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.[6]

In 2019 Williams became a regular presenter on Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch on BBC Two. In 2020 he presented Iolo: The Last Wilderness of Wales, about the wildlife of the Cambrian Mountains.[7] In 2021 he presented a four-part personal view of the natural world of Pembrokeshire in Iolo's Pembrokeshire.[8]

Awards

In 2007 Williams was awarded an honorary fellowship of Bangor University.[9] He received further honorary fellowships from Aberystwyth University in 2015[10] and the University of South Wales in 2017.[11]

Personal life

Williams and his wife Ceri live near the town of Newtown, Powys.[12] The couple have two sons (Dewi and Tomos);[1] and had two rescue dogs, Ianto and Gwen, who have both appeared in some of his television series.[13]

Known for frequently wearing shorts for his work, he has, as a result, become a Welsh cult gay icon.[12]

Williams and his wife have built a fully-insulated timber-framed home. They have a wildlife garden, and grow their own vegetables. They compost all their food waste, and recycle everything else, whilst always eating organic and local produce. As a result of this, in a 2011 World Wide Fund for Nature survey of carbon footprints of ecology personalities, Williams and his family were found to have a low rating of 1.81, compared to a Welsh average of 3.0.[13]

Filmography

Television

Written works

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Iolo Williams". gomer.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  2. ^ "BBC: Canals of Wales with Iolo Williams". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  3. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Natural History of Wales". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  4. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Great Welsh Parks". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  5. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Snowdonia". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  6. ^ "BBC: Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  7. ^ "BBC: Iolo: The Last Wilderness of Wales". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  8. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Bangor University: Honorary Fellows". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Wildlife television presenter Iolo Williams honoured as Fellow". Aberystwyth University. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams receives honorary fellowship". University of South Wales. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  12. ^ a b "TV's Iolo is a gay icon". Wales on Sunday. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Iolo Williams". World Wide Fund for Nature. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Canals of Wales". tiscali.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  15. ^ "National Library of Wales: Blwyddyn Iolo". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Crwydro". Google Books. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Gomer: Wild about the wild". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Seren: Wild Places: Wales' Top 40 Nature Sites". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Wild Places UK: UK's Top 40 Nature Sites". Retrieved 26 July 2021.

Sources