Obituary: Gethyn Stoodley Thomas

Gethyn Stoodley Thomas was one of Wales's best known television film-makers, contributing to a tradition of documentary film-making firmly rooted in the BBC's Welsh operation. He worked for the corporation for 30 years - in Belfast and London as well as Cardiff, to which he returned in 1959 despite efforts to keep him in London.

He began in 1950 as a radio producer for the BBC in Northern Ireland and was one of the first broadcasters to switch to television. In London, from 1957 he was the producer of the acclaimed Tonight current affairs programme where his chief was Donald Baverstock and his assistant producer Alasdair Milne, who later became the BBC's director-general. Back in his native Wales a string of documentaries marked him out as a film-maker par excellence. They included The Fire and the Fountain (1975), a vivid portrait of the artists Augustus John and his sister Gwen, and A Love Affair With Life (1969), which brought to the screen Sir Clough Williams- Ellis, the creator of the Italianate Welsh village Port Meirion. His much praised series on the history of the Rhondda, The Long Street (1965), is an important record of industrial south Wales which today has changed almost beyond recognition. Towers Out of Time (1970) paid tribute to the 19th-century architect William Burges who renovated Cardiff Castle and reconstructed Castell Coch (Red Castle), a medieval fantasy perched above the M4 a couple of miles north of the Welsh capital. One of his inspirations, the series Songs of Praise, still draws a faithful BBC1 audience on Sunday evenings 36 years on.

The son of a Pontypridd butcher, Stoodley Thomas was educated at Maesteg Grammar School and London University, graduating at University College Cardiff in Botany and Zoology in 1936. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Navy. After the war he taught in Cardiff and in his spare time wrote extensively for radio - an activity which paved the way for a long and fruitful career at the BBC.

When he retired some 20 years ago he became television critic at the Western Mail.

Gethyn Stoodley Thomas, film maker and producer: born Pontypridd, Glamorgan 11 October 1912; married 1942 Phyllis Evans (one son, two daughters); died Cardiff 18 March 1997.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot