Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Twitter you know is a fascinating thing. Currently my timeline is mainly Brexit related with general politics and sport issues added on. But one subject matter that’s made an appearance is a forthcoming BBC Wales drama series called Pitching In. In fact if it wasn’t for Brexit /rugby it might be the number one issue around Welsh Twitter. For people have seen the trailer….and they don’t like it (which is of course not what trailers are supposed to do).
It stars Gavin and Stacey star Larry Lamb as an owner of a caravan park in North Wales. This is the first thing that has annoyed people. “English colonialism” are some of the more polite words banded about here.
Well I’m going to park the issue aside for a while. Partly because I would wouldn’t I? But also because the trailer does not make clear what has led him to North Wales. It could be for example that his wife was Welsh (it’s made clear he’s a widower) so it’s best to wait till it’s broadcast in that regard.
In all other respects though if the trailer is anything to go by the complaints seem justified to me. After all you have an English owner who whilst learning about life thanks to the kindhearted Welsh folk is still the boss. I’ve seen variations on this theme all my life. It’s the sort of cliché Wales peg that only independence can throw away.
Twitter also advises me that for a drama that’s set in North Wales the accents of the Welsh characters are South Walian valleys. Now I don’t know for sure what I’m going to say is the case, but it suggests that the casting director is English. Before I moved to Wales I just assumed that there was just one “Welsh” accent. Now I know different. There’s a Cardiff accent, a Swansea accent and so forth. For there to be just a central casting Welsh accent strikes me as an English mindset (and to be clear I’m talking about someone who does not live in Wales.
And why should we be surprised if the casting director is English? The production company is from Liverpool and the director is English. And yet the commissioning editor for BBC Wales agreed to it? Surely there were other commissions from Welsh based companies he could have signed on the dotted line to agree to? But for some reason he chose this.
Also the trailer says that it stars “Larry Lamb and Hayley Mills” (Got to say the fact that she’s in it stunned me) but no mention of the Welsh actors and actresses in it? Why not?
Perhaps this Twitter attack on the trailer is a good thing. For it shows people are not prepared to take this cliché view of Wales and it’s people anymore. That can only be applauded.
Whilst I am going to have a look at the first episode (February 12th – BBC1) I’d be lying if I said my mind was open on this show given the trailer.
The trailer that makes me hostile to a series. Not the greatest of starts.
Until the next time.