VIEWERS will be able to see how a Wrexham actor helped make broadcasting history by becoming the first in the UK to complete a comedy drama series during the coronavirus lockdown.

Production of the new sitcom, Rybish (Rubbish), set in a recycling centre, was brought to a halt in March by the coronavirus crisis but undeterred Caernarfon-based Cwmni Da came up with a plan to carry on filming.

Members of the crew self-isolated for a fortnight before resuming and they were tested regularly throughout the shoot - now viewers can see the results on S4C at 9pm on Friday.

The Leader:


The cast includes Dyfed Thomas, a native of Rhos who now lives just outside Llangollen.

When they were not working, the team were holed up in an empty pub, The Beuno, in Clynnog Fawr on the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.

The company built their own recycling centre on an old landfill site at Carmel, near Caernarfon.

They used fixed cameras which were remotely controlled to film the remaining episodes in the six-part series which will be screened on S4C in the coming months.

The Leader:

The cast of Rybish, from left Mair Tomos Ifans (Val), Betsan Ceiriog (Bobbi), Dyfed Thomas (Eurwyn), Rhodri Trefor (Nigel), and Sion Pritchard (Clive)

With a career that spans decades, Dyfed Thomas told the Leader why his latest project is Rybish (Rubbish).

He said“I would say Rybish is halfway between Big Brother and scripted comedy rather than a sitcom series. It's an original idea, with lots of humour but that comes naturally from the characters without going for punchlines and an obvious plot.”

“Archie (writer and producer Barry 'Archie' Jones) wanted to make people think, 'Is this real, is it a fly on the wall?'. He deliberately avoided actors renowned for comedy, and for me personally, the opportunity to work in Welsh again was warmly welcomed”.

“In the days of Siop Siafins when everyone knew me as Brian Lloyd Jones, I thought the fame would never end. But it did, and that really got me down.”

The Leader:

Dyfed Thomas as Eurwyn

Over the last few years, Dyfed has focused on work behind the camera, adapting novels into movie scripts.

He added: “I’ve spent a lot of time in India and have sold some of my screenplays to Bollywood. I think that’s one reason why I enjoyed working on Rybish so much, because of the unexpected opportunity to be involved in the creative process.”

The Leader:

Dyfed Thomas

The comedy revolves around daily life at a remote recycling centre in Gwynedd and follows the six members of staff as they go about their daily work.

“Being on set by day and living in the Beuno at night was certainly a very exciting, constructive and creative experience. There were six to eight of us together all the time. Instead of going home, we would carry on discussing and pay attention to the job full time. That just doesn't happen usually, and there certainly isn’t an opportunity to get so close to the author and producers,” said Dyfed.

"Although the script was fantastic from the start, after a day of filming we would all pitch in, 'Let's try this and the other' and Archie would go away to write and come back ‘What about this?'. He would write endlessly, and this of course meant more work for us, as every change to the script meant learning the piece again before the next morning!"

The Leader:

Dyfed Thomas as Eurwyn in S4C's Rybish

He added: “My character, Eurwyn, is one of those traditional, ordinary and dear people who are devoted to Welsh culture. One of the quarry hut crew that could recite R Williams Parry without a problem. It’s very important to have people like that; genuine, hardworking and totally happy in their work and important that such characters exist on television to represent our unique Welsh culture and heritage.

“In playing the part, I almost feel like I've gone full circle in my career, returning to acting in my native Welsh and reminiscing about theatre work by being so close to the cast and crew. And in going back to an old-fashioned way of working, but with a modern twist, Cwmni Da has unintentionally reinforced its own message for a series about recycling – with a bit of care, everything can be given a second chance and new purpose.”

Rybish will be broadcast on Friday, October 30, at 9pm on S4C (English subtitles available) and on demand at S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms.