New book praises unsung hero of Welsh broadcasting

Posted on 15 June 2010

A History of Independent Television in Wales

It could be argued that Independent Television in Wales (ITV) has, since its inception in 1955, stood in the shadow of its more established counterpart, BBC Wales. Its contribution, however, to pioneering programmes in a multitude of formats – both in Welsh and English – and in moving independent television forward, has gone largely unaccredited and undocumented, until now.

Published by the University of Wales Press, a new book by Dr Jamie Medhurst, entitled ‘A History of Independent Television in Wales’, aims to address ITV’s unsung influence and achievements in Welsh broadcasting history. Dr Medhurst’s book holds that despite the growing body of work on the media in Wales, very little actually exists on the history of commercial television in Wales.

The book provides, for the first time, a detailed historical narrative and critical analysis of ITV in Wales, which has been a powerful force in British broadcasting since its launch. Compared with the BBC, it is a relative newcomer; its growth was slower than that of the BBC and it took until 1962 to complete the network across the UK. Once it arrived, ITV provided nurture for creative talent in both English and Welsh languages and produced some ground-breaking programmes which changed the face of Welsh television.

Focusing primarily on the critical years of the 1950s and 1960s, and drawing on key archival sources from Wales and beyond, the book locates the history of ITV within wider debates over national identity, language and culture in Wales.

In short, ‘A History of Independent Television in Wales’ is a jigsaw piece previously missing in the history of broadcasting in Britain, but adds to the growing literature on the significance of the nation and broadcasting-based struggles with national identity so central to the construction of culture in the twentieth century and beyond.


Notes to Editors:

The author, Dr Jamie Medhurst is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and Director of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University.

To find out more about this book or other publications of the University of Wales Press please visit:

For more information on The University of Wales please visit: For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales:



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