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Series / Pobol y Cwm

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A Welsh-language opera sebon produced and broadcast by The BBC, Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley) takes place in the fictional village of Cwmderi, in southwest Wales.

Most episodes center on the small businesses and houses surrounding the village pub, Y Deri, and local farm Penrhewl. In addition to the native characters, the show also features incomers from across Wales, with various accents and abilities in Welsh, and even the occasional sais wandering in from England and looking around in terror.

Pobol y Cwm began broadcasting in October 1974, making it the longest-running Soap Opera produced by The BBC. It is also broadcast to British armed forces members serving overseas through BFBS TV.

You can watch it with subtitles through BBC iPlayerand check out the online extras here (English website), ac yma (y wefan Cymraeg).


This show provides examples of:

  • Babysitter from Hell: One child's regular babysitter slaps him, and steals money and alcohol from the house. She coldly blackmails the boy into not telling his parents until he develops night terrors and bed wetting.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Nationwide money laundering schemes are nothing compared to one accidental tablet of ecstasy.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played straight and averted. Gaynor makes the right choice for herself, but errs when she lies to her partner about the pregnancy and abortion, and tries to manipulate others. Teenager Lois wants to keep her baby, and the changes it will mean for her relationships and education are discussed. The show spells out clearly that advice should come from medical professionals (contact information is provided on the website) and not internet blogs.
  • Advertisement:
  • Gold Digger: Sioned.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted. Three members of the leading cast are out and the show featured a marriage storyline, same-sex civil unions being legal in the UK.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Of course, it is a Soap Opera after all.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: When Mark and Colin get Cwm FM to host a radio call-in contest to vote on the name of their comedy act, each of them calls in himself to vote for the name he favours. Mark disguises his voice and puts on a fake Northern accent, claiming that he's calling from Anglesey. He is, in fact, standing right outside Y Deri, so when Jinx asks him his name, he comes up with "Elis Maenan" from the signs he sees in the street (for Tomos ac Elis and Apêl Maenan). When pressed, he admits that he's not actually from Anglesey; his eye falls on the sign above the fish (pysgod) and chip shop, and he says he's originally from Dinbych y Pysgod…which, being in the far southwest, doesn't match the accent at all.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Yvonne and Gwyneth.
  • Long Runner
  • Manipulative Bitch
  • Mistaken for Junkie
  • Stigmatic Pregnancy Euphemism: Lois' mother, the village headmistress, keeps her out of school with "glandular fever" when she gets pregnant. Once classes end for the year, she's too busy "revising for her exams" to see friends.
  • Straight Gay: Scott and Alun, both in the closet.
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Villains Out Shopping: Garry Monk is a thug and a criminal, but he's also a loving father.