Coronavirus: S4C's Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd back on TV

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film set
Image caption,
Actors need to be aware of the distance between them on set

Two Welsh drama series are to return to S4C in September after months off-air.

Pobol y Cwm - the BBC's longest-running soap, and Rownd a Rownd, a drama series for young people, saw filming halted during lockdown.

Coronavirus restrictions mean only five minutes of Pobol y Cwm can currently be produced in a day.

Two additional filming sites have been added to Rownd a Rownd's long-term set in Menai Bridge on Anglesey.

"The crew have worked incredibly hard," says the series' executive producer, Bedwyr Rees.

"We had to rewrite the scripts so that they could be incorporated within Covid guidelines, but we also needed space.

"Our building in Menai Bridge is quite limited and we wanted to return with two film crews, so we've spread our wings.

"We now have a site here, in Llangefni and in Caernarfon to keep people sufficiently apart. But it's gone well, and everybody's worked incredibly hard."

'Things will never be the same'

Image caption,
Covid-19 has changed filming significantly, says Pobol Y Cwm producer Nest Gwenllian Roberts

Production restarted a week ago on Pobol y Cwm, following an agreement between BBC Wales and the producers BBC Studios.

The series is filmed at Roath Lock in Cardiff Bay.

"The filming process had changed significantly," said series producer Nest Gwenllian Roberts.

"We used to produce 16 minutes a day - now it's five minutes a day, so that's a big difference.

"The reason for that is the need to keep people two metres apart, cleaning props between actors, the normal procedure of checking make-up and costumes can't happen any more. But health and safety is the most important thing.

'Camera tricks'

"Things will never be the same after Covid so it needs to be a balance - learn from the past, create new things, and move on."

Although there is no intention to refer to coronavirus on Rownd a Rownd at present, the first few episodes of Pobol y Cwm will look at the characters' storylines during the lockdown period.

Actor Arwyn Davies, who plays Mark Jones, said: "We need to be aware of the distance between us but there are tricks we can do with the camera to make us look closer. But other than that it feels the same thing as usual."

S4C said both shows will be back on air the week commencing 8 September.