Media / Talk of the Trade: Dramatic explosion in Wales

BBC WALES is expanding its output of drama for mainstream British audiences, written and performed in English, though with a Welsh flavour. Ruth Caleb, head of drama in Cardiff, is capitalising on the BBC charter renewal manifesto, which commits the corporation to making more programmes outside London. Last year BBC Wales had a success with its hilarious adaptation of Kingsley Amis's The Old Devils. Lynda La Plante, author of Civvies and Prime Suspect, is heading a team of writers making a 10-part family drama series, Lifeboat, based in The Mumbles, near Swansea. Sir Anthony Hopkins is filming a dramatisation by Alan Plater of the life and work of the Welsh author Gwyn Thomas for BBC 2's Bookmark. On 21 February BBC 2's Screen Two season will include The Cormorant, an eerie tale of a man's destructive fascination with a seabird, filmed in Snowdonia. Ms Caleb is currently trying to persuade BBC 2 to show the weekly omnibus edition of Pobol y Cwm, the soap BBC Wales makes for Welsh Channel 4 (S4C). This would be screened with English sub-titles.