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2017: BBC Radio Cymru marks 40 years on air

BBC Radio Cymru, the UK’s longest running non-English radio station, will celebrate 40 years of broadcasting on 3rd January with one of the first voices of the station returning for one morning.

Forty years after presenting the news on Radio Cymru’s first morning, journalist Gwyn Llewelyn will be returning to the station for one morning only, to read the news bulletins. 

To mark the 40th anniversary year, Hywel Gwynfryn, who presented Helo Bobol during Radio Cymru’s first morning in 1977, joins the celebrations on the Aled Hughes programme at 8.30am. Dei Tomos and Richard Rees will also be guests – both joined the station from the beginning.

Ahead of Radio Cymru’s 40th anniversary, digital pop-up pilot station BBC Radio Cymru Mwy was launched as part of the national station’s digital developments. This was the first pop-up station for BBC Wales, running for a period of 15 weeks and ending with the 40th anniversary celebrations. Elements of Radio Cymru Mwy will continue on the national service during the celebratory year.

Ahead of the 40th anniversary celebrations, BBC personalities have been speaking out about the Welsh language station:

Broadcaster Huw Edwards said: 
“I can remember Radio Cymru’s launch in 1977; it was a momentous occasion in our house in Llangennech! Dad refused to switch off the radio for hours on end, every day! But I remember listening to news programmes of a very high standard and enjoying the service created for us, Welsh speakers. Welsh-language television wasn’t as it is now and Radio Cymru has played a vital part in supporting and promoting the Welsh language. I feel the changes made over the last few years have strengthened the service. Here’s to the next 40 at least!”

Huw Stephens, a familiar voice on Radio Cymru and Radio 1 says: 
“Radio Cymru has played an important part in the Welsh music scene, supporting musicians and uncovering emerging talent and new songs for the listeners – whether it’s for folk music fans, middle of the road or classical. It’s a pleasure to be part of the station which reflects Wales, and attracts listeners all over the world.”

Radio Cymru’s Editor, Betsan Powys says: 
“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to Radio Cymru’s success over the last 40 years. The station’s anniversary is an important milestone for Welsh broadcasting. We’re now looking forward to a special year, as we look back and celebrate the talent and loyalty of the past. But the focus, of course, will be on the future, as we continue to innovate, entertain and provide the best programmes for our audiences.”