John Hefin: TV director and ex-BBC Wales drama head dies

John Hefin was described as an 'inspirational' TV director

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John Hefin, the TV director and former head of drama at BBC Wales, has died at the age of 71 from cancer.

Hefin, from Borth, near Aberystwyth, was one of the creators of the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm.

He also worked on The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, and Grand Slam.

"Throughout his life, John had so much pleasure working in the world of television, film and the media," his family said in a statement following his death on Monday.

Start Quote

[Hefin] inspired a generation of producers, writers and actors with his mercurial and generous leadership, and that immense creative legacy will undoubtedly stand the test of time”

End Quote Rhodri Talfan Davies Director, BBC Cymru Wales

"As a producer and director, he was proud of the chance to work alongside so much talent in Wales - both on and off screen," the family said.

"He spent a large part of his life educating and inspiring others - something that pleased him immensely."

Hefin's family said he had been delighted to receive awards from Bafta Cymru and the media project Cyfrwng in recent months, and that his loss would be "greatly felt".

Following the Bafta Cymru award for his outstanding contribution to television drama, Hefin said it was thanks to all the people he had worked with who said "yes" to his requests rather than the "jobsworths" who refused.

"It was, and still is, better sometimes to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission," he said at the awards in October.

'Unparalleled'

"This award is for cast and crews that said 'yes' and I'm deeply grateful."

Hefin was awarded the MBE in 2009 and had been honoured with the white robes of the Gorsedd of the Bards at the National Eisteddfod.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales, said Hefin's contribution to drama and film making in Wales had been "unparalleled".

"He understood his audiences better than anybody - and was equally adept at both classical and popular drama in both languages," he said.

"He also inspired a generation of producers, writers and actors with his mercurial and generous leadership, and that immense creative legacy will undoubtedly stand the test of time."

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