Rownd a Rownd
GenreSoap opera
Theme music composerJochen Eisentraut[1]
Country of originWales
Original languageWelsh
No. of series26
No. of episodes1,667
Production
Executive producerBedwyr Rees
ProducersCliff Jones
Manon Lewis Owen
Production locationsMenai Bridge
Bangor
Caernarfon
Llangefni
EditorsRhian Evans
Geraint Williams
Running time30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production companiesFfilmiau'r Nant (1995–2008)
Rondo Media (2008–)
DistributorBBC
Release
Original networkS4C
Picture format16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original release11 September 1995 (1995-09-11) –
present
Chronology
Related showsPobol y Cwm
External links
Website
Production website

Rownd a Rownd (English: "Round and Round") is a Welsh soap opera created by Rondo Media (formally Ffilmiau’r Nant) and shown on S4C since 11 September 1995. It was claimed to be the first Celtic-related language soap specifically directed at a youth audience. It is set in the fictional harbour town of Glanrafon in Anglesey.

At its inception, the soap was targeted towards an adolescent and young adult audience, but it now has broadened its appeal to all age groups. It has famously covered many taboo subjects ranging from arson to cancer. Beginning with a small cast of characters, the serial now has upwards of forty cast members.

The soap is consistently in the top 20 most watched programmes of the week on S4C.[2] The show currently averages around twenty thousand viewers per episode.[3] Two episodes are produced each week. Since February 2020 these have been broadcast at 20:25 on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with the previous episode being repeated at 18:30). In addition, a weekly omnibus with in-vision English language subtitles airs on Sunday daytime. Every summer Rownd a Rownd takes a two month seasonal break, finishing in mid-July and re-starting in September to coincide with the new season.

Background

Rownd a Rownd was first broadcast in September 1995 and was originally based on young people who did a paper round[4] (hence the programme's title, based on the wheels of a bicycle). It has since grown to include both their daily school life and their family life. Phil Redmond, creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks, acted as a consultant to the series on its launch in 1995, and again on its tenth anniversary. Rownd a Rownd also has a presence on social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on which they post weekly. In 2016, it celebrated its 21st birthday, with S4C broadcasting an anniversary special hosted by Tudur Owen.

Production

Rownd a Rownd set in 2019
Rownd a Rownd set in 2019

The series is filmed in Menai Bridge, Anglesey and Caernarfon, North Wales, and is produced by Rondo Media (previously known as Nant Films). When it began, the production company converted a disused garage in Dale Street (Welsh name: "Lôn Cilbedlam") in Menai Bridge into a fake row of shops, which include a café, a hairdresser, a newsagent, a taxi firm, a pizza place and a bar. There is a sign outside this set informing the public that the shops are not real. School scenes are filmed in Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni and Ysgol David Hughes. Hospital scenes are often filmed in nearby Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, usually in one of the staff hostels. The soap also regularly makes use of incidental music in their programme; in keeping with the show's style, this usually consists of indie-pop music sung in Welsh.

On 18 March 2020 it was announced that filming for Rownd a Rownd would be suspended in the light of the spread of COVID-19.[5] Filming resumed in August 2020 with social distancing guidelines in place. The show's cast were required to do their own hair and make-up, which is normally done by a make-up artist. Two additional filming sites were also added to Rownd a Rownd's set in Menai Bridge in order to keep people sufficiently apart; these are located in the near-by towns of Caernarfon and Llangefni.[6]

Cast

This includes characters who have been in the habit of returning after a long absence.

Character Current actor Duration Details
Jim "Gym" Williams Iestyn Garlick 1995– Former physical education teacher. Headmaster of the local school between 2004-2019. Although retired from the position, he still makes occasional appearances in the soap.
Sophie Phillips Angharad Llwyd 1997– Glenda's daughter and Terry's adopted daughter. Bitchy, quarrelsome character. Mother to Owain and Mair. Used to be in a relationship with Martin, Elfyn, Vince, Gavin, Wyn, Mathew. Dating Dylan. Ex-wife to Eifion Davies (Owain's father). Used to run her own mobile hairdressing business, but lost her driving license after being caught drink driving following a collision with Arthur Thomas. Works at Sgram, the local café.
Glenda Prichard Phillips (née Owen) Elliw Haf 1997– Local gossip. She is married to Terry and is the mother of four daughters; twin girls Manon and Menna, Lucy (who is living in Australia) and Sophie. Former school nurse. Known to the locals as 'Glenda BCG'. Worked at Sgram, the local café for almost twenty years, before leaving to set up her own cake business: 'Becws Cacennau Glenda'.
Terry John Phillips John Glyn Owen 1997– Owner of construction company. Boss to Kelvin. Glenda's husband, adoptive father of Lucy, and biological father to Sophie, Manon and Menna. Has fostered children over the years with his wife.
Edwin Lloyd Phylip Hughes 1998– Resident of Glanrafon for many years. Respectable chapel organist. Known as 'Mr Lloyd' and is rarely called by his first name. Widower of Lena, who died in 2014. Retired driving instructor. Once a regular, he is now a recurring character.
Kelvin Walsh Kevin Williams 1999– Local builder. Only son of Ken and Kay. Ex-husband of Mari and Lowri, whom he both divorced following affairs. Father to Kate (born 2007) and Mia (born 2015), and adopted father to Robbie. Dating Mel since March 2020. Works with Terry. Jailed for 18 months in 2017 for unknowingly smuggling drugs after a lads' holiday in Spain.
Kenneth "Ken" Walsh Idris Morris Jones 1999– Owner of the local taxi firm K-Kabs with his wife Kay. Father to Kelvin, Klaire and Kylie. A kind man who often finds himself apologising for his wife's actions. Has also served time in prison in the past.
Kay Walsh (née Williams) Buddug Povey 1999– Ken's sharp-tongued wife. Previously had an affair with her college lecturer, Gareth Harries; but eventually went back to Ken. Daughter of the late Ron. Sister to Meical, and paternal half-sister to the late David. Mother to Kelvin, Klaire, (who moved away to become a nurse), and Kylie (to whom she gave birth in Sgram)
Kylie Walsh Leisa Gwenllian 2001– Ken and Kay's teenage daughter. Best friend and cousin to Britney. A lesbian. Works at Tŷ Pizza, after deciding to take a gap year before going to university.
Dani Keegan Ffion Medi Jones 2002– The manager of the salon. Daughter of Michelle and the late Wyn, who died on New Year's Eve 2020. Sister to Jonathan (who is living in Australia), maternal half-sister to Britney and paternal half-sister to Gruff, Sioned and Siwan. Maternal granddaughter to Madam Serena. Ex-girlfriend to Rhodri, Barry and David. Married Jac Thomas in October 2019, but later separated in January 2020 after she was unfaithful.
Britney Keegan Fflur Davies 2002– Michelle and Meical's daughter. Maternal half-sister to Dani and Jonathan. Paternal granddaughter to the late Ron. Currently studying nursing at Bangor University, but still living at home.
Owain Barclay Gwern Morus Williams Unknown Teenage son of Sophie Phillips and Eifion Davies. Adopted son of Vince. Maternal half-brother to Mair. Does the paper round. Best friend to Robbie.
Barry Hardy Gwion Tegid 2005–2010, 2013– An evasive and violent man, though looks after his brothers and mother well. Runs Tŷ Pizza and mobile business Y Tŷ Pizza Bach. Has one child, Tom, with ex-girlfriend Carys. Formerly in relationships with Dani, Kim and Klaire. Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2015.
Iris Hardy Karren Wynne 2005– Mother to Barry, Jason and Dale. Arthur's long-suffering partner. Separated from the boys' father, Ben. Worked in Sgram, the local café for years, but quit in 2019 in order to set up a nannying business at home.
Jason Hardy Iwan Fôn 2005–2015, 2017– Currently lives in Tŷ Pizza's flat. Has a share in Barry's pizza shop after winning £10,000 on a scratchcard in 2018, although he is often accused by his brother of not taking the business seriously. Used to be in a relationship with Angharad Thomas and Erin Richards. Now dating Anest Owen. Good friends with his workmates, Kylie and Iestyn.
Vincent "Vince" Barclay Huw Llŷr 2005– Caretaker at the school. Former postman and taxi driver. Friend of the Ks. Father to Callum (with former partner Julie) and Mair Phillips. Adopted father of Owain, though now separated from Sophie. Ex-boyfriend to Cathryn. Lives with Matthew and Iolo. Was previously in prison for burning his own warehouse for insurance money.
Siân Richards (née Hughes) Mari Wyn Roberts Unknown Detective Inspector at the local police station. Miscarried her first child in a car accident with Vince. Sister to Alwyn (the owner of the garage prior to her eventual husband) and aunt to Nel (who died on New Year's Eve 2015) and Dafydd. Wife of John Richards, whom she married in July 2019. Viciously stalked by former co-worker Mark Harris in 2020, and was held captive before escaping.
Mathew Parry Robin Ceiriog 2006– The oldest son of Phillip. Deputy headteacher and formerly a physical education teacher at the local school. Ex-fiancé to Siân, which ended as a result of an affair with fellow teacher Llio James. Ex-boyfriend to Sophie and Mel. Previously struggled from a gambling and prescription drug addiction.
Philip Parry Maldwyn John 2007– Owner of the salon, shop and café which he bought against Terry and Glenda. Father of three boys, Mathew, Sion and Dewi (the last two of which now live in Spain with his ex-wife Alwena). His first marriage finished after his wife died of cancer. In a relationship with Lowri, much to the shock of the locals owing to their age difference.
Arthur Thomas Gwyn Vaughan Jones 2007– Iris' partner, a courier who is obsessed with trains. A comical and scheming man. Unknowingly had a daughter, Angharad, whom Terry and Glenda fostered before her parentage was revealed. Grandfather to Dewi, Angharad's son (to whom she had with Dyfan Llywelyn). Had an affair with Julie (who has since left the show) in 2013 but went back to Iris after realising his mistake.
Mair Phillips Gwenno Llwyd Beech 2009– Quiet and well-behaved daughter of Sophie and Vince.
Lowri Walsh Lowri Gwynne 2010– Hard-working mother to Robbie and Mia. Good friends of Dani and Carys and often serves as an agony aunt to them. Married Kelvin in 2013 but separated in 2018. Their divorce was finalised in 2020. In a relationship with Philip.
Robbie Walsh Tomi Llywelyn 2010– Teenage son of Lowri and Griff. His father was abusive, and left when he was younger. Best friends with Owain.
Iolo Davies Tudur Lloyd Evans 2013– Philip's nephew and cousin to Mathew, Dewi and Sion. Worker at "Yr Iard" and barman at Copa. Ex-boyfriend to Kim, Llio and Cathryn.
Mia Walsh Erin Fflur Owen 2015– Young daughter of Lowri and Kelvin.
John Richards Huw Garmon 2016– Local businessman who owns the garage. Father to Rhys and twins Wil and Erin, who have all since moved out. Wil now lives in Toronto, studying mechanics, and Erin lives in Magaluf working as a barmaid. Married Siân in July 2019.
Rhys Richards Meilir Rhys Williams 2016– Glanrafon's mechanic. Old friend of Barry. Openly gay. Son of John and Delyth Richards. Previously struggled from an exercise addiction when his boyfriend died in a car crash in September 2017.
Dylan Roberts Dafydd Rhys Evans 2018– ICT teacher from South Wales. Dating Sophie, after a long on and off relationship. Well liked by the locals, to the chagrin of fellow teacher Mathew. Father to his seven-year-old son, Llew. Widower of Fflur, who passed away after a short battle with breast cancer in July 2020, whom he married only a month prior to her death.
Carwyn Owen Meilyr Siôn 2018– Owner of the Iard shop for nautical supplies and kayaks for rent. Family originally from South Wales.
Gwenno Owen Elen Gwynne 2018– Carwyn's wife, helps out in the shop and supply teacher at the school. Cousin to Lowri.
Anest Owen Heledd Roberts 2018– The daughter, helps out in the shop. Suffers from epilepsy. Dating Jason.
Iestyn Owen Josh Morgan 2018– The troublesome member of the family. Suspended from his old school for selling drugs, which meant they had to move to the village. Works part-time at Tŷ Pizza. Previously a Bangor University student, but left after his first year.
Elen Edwards Catrin Mara 2019– Headteacher of Glanrafon, the local school. Tough upbringing, with both parents abusing drugs.
Mali Edwards Luned Elfyn 2019– Environmentally conscious teenage daughter of Elen; a vegan. In the same year as Owain and Robbie. Maternal half-sister to Anna and paternal half-sister to Miriam.
Anna Edwards Gwenlli Dafydd 2019– Second daughter of Elen. Still in primary school. Maternal half-sister to Mali. Her father died in 2019.
Llew Stevens Gwion Llwyd 2019– Seven-year-old son of Dylan and the late Fflur, as a result of an affair - Fflur was married to another man at the time. His mother died in July 2020 after learning her cancer was terminal.
Melanie "Mel" Phoebe Roberts Elain Lloyd 2020– Initially introduced as Mathew's one night stand and girlfriend. Works at Sgram, the local café with Sophie.
Caitlin Collins Manw Robin 2021– A homeless girl found by Siân living rough in a tent in the woods after stealing from Philip's shop.

Buildings

Building Information
Bridge Kebab house
Copa Bar (formerly Bob Beics, a bike shop, then Q's; a youth centre)
Dani Salon (formerly called Crib Goch and Nikki's)
Ho Wah Chinese take-away
K-Kabs Taxi firm (formerly called B J Cabs; originally Bryn Jones, a funeral director's)
Llys Menai Retirement home
Menai Bridge Suspension bridge
Menai Bridge Post Office Post office
Parry's General store (formerly called Mortons)
Penrallt Church
Richard's Garage (formerly Alwyn Hughes a'i Ferch)
Sgram Café
Tŷ Pizza Pizza take-out restaurant (formerly Print Man, a print shop)
Ysgol Glanrafon Comprehensive secondary school
Ysgol Gymraeg Glanrafon Primary school
Yr Iard Shop for nautical supplies and kayaks for rent

References

  1. ^ "Theme music composer". Jochen Eisentraut. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Viewing Figures Archive". S4C. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  4. ^ "Pen-blwydd Rownd a Rownd", BBC Cymru Fyw (in Welsh), 9 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Coronafeirws: gohirio ffilmio 'Pobol y Cwm' a 'Rownd a Rownd'". Golwg (in Welsh). 18 March 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Coronavirus: S4C's Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd back on TV". BBC News. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.