Iolo Williams

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Iolo Williams
Iolo Williams.jpg
Williams in 2008
Born (1962-08-22) 22 August 1962 (age 59)
NationalityWelsh
EducationLlanfyllin High School
Occupation
Years active1997–present
Employer
Known forWildlife presenter
Spouse(s)Ceri Williams
Children2 sons, Dewi and Tomos
Websitewww.iolowilliams.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Iolo Tudur Williams (/ˈjɒl/; Welsh pronunciation: ['jɔlɔ]; born 22 August 1962) is a Welsh nature observer, author and television presenter, best known for his BBC and S4C nature programmes, working in both English and his first language of Welsh. After a 14-year career with the RSPB, in 1999 Williams became a full-time TV presenter. He has written a number of books about the natural world.

Biography[edit]

Williams was born in Builth Wells, Breconshire, but his family moved to Pembrokeshire, before moving to Montgomeryshire when he was aged five to live in Llanwddyn near Lake Vyrnwy.[1] Educated at Llanfyllin High School, after gaining two A levels in Biology and French, he almost joined the British Army but instead went to the North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London), graduating with a degree in ecology.[1]

Career[edit]

After graduation, Williams worked on a farm and then in the timber trade, before joining the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in 1985, staying for 14 years working in the field and as a regional co-ordinator. This led to his making regular appearances in the media, making a name for himself as a leading expert on Welsh bird life.[1]

In 1997 he made Visions of Snowdonia with BBC Wales, which followed the lives of six people living and working on the slopes of the country's highest mountain. After making a second series, in 1999 Williams decided to leave the RSPB and pursue a full-time career in the media.[1]

In 2007 he presented Canals of Wales with Iolo Williams, a five-part series looking at the canals of Wales.[2] In 2008 he presented another series focusing on the Welsh landscape, Iolo's Natural History of Wales.[3]

Williams presented Rugged Wales, which aired on BBC Two on 13 and 20 March 2012. In 2013 he presented Iolo's Great Welsh Parks,[4] and in 2015 he presented a second series of the programme. He continued to present series for the BBC which focused on his native Wales, presenting The Brecon Beacons in 2016, then a third series on great Welsh parks. He continued to showcase Welsh wildlife by presenting Iolo's Snowdonia in 2018.[5] The same year saw him travel to Australia to film Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.[6]

In 2019 Williams became a regular presenter on Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch on BBC Two. In 2020 he presented Iolo: The Last Wilderness of Wales, about the wildlife of the Cambrian Mountains.[7] In 2021 he presented a four-part personal view of the natural world of Pembrokeshire in Iolo's Pembrokeshire.[8]

Awards[edit]

In 2007, Williams was awarded an honorary fellowship of Bangor University.[9] He received further honorary fellowships from Aberystwyth University in 2015[10] and the University of South Wales in 2017.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Williams and his wife Ceri live near the town of Newtown, Powys.[12] The couple have two sons (Dewi and Tomos);[1] and had two rescue dogs, Ianto and Gwen, who have both appeared in some of his television series.[13]

Known for frequently wearing shorts for his work, he has, as a result, become a Welsh cult gay icon.[12]

Williams and his wife have built a fully-insulated timber-framed home. They have a wildlife garden, and grow their own vegetables. They compost all their food waste, and recycle everything else, whilst always eating organic and local produce. As a result of this, in a 2011 World Wide Fund for Nature survey of carbon footprints of ecology personalities, Williams and his family were found to have a low rating of 1.81, compared to a Welsh average of 3.0.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Natur Gudd Cymru (S4C)
  • Bro (S4C)
  • Iolo yn Rwsia (S4C)
  • Gwyllt (S4C)
  • Natur Anghyfreithlon (S4C)
  • Crwydro (S4C)
  • Canals of Wales (BBC)[14]
  • Secret Life of Birds (BBC)
  • Wild Wales (BBC)
  • Wild Winter (BBC)
  • Iolo's Special Reserves (BBC)
  • Iolo's Natural History of Wales (BBC)
  • Iolo's Welsh Safari 2005 (BBC)
  • Iolo ac Indiaid America 2010 (S4C)
  • Springwatch 2010 (BBC)
  • Rugged Wales 2012 (BBC)
  • Iolo's Great Welsh Parks 2013 (BBC)
  • Iolo's Snowdonia 2018 (BBC)
  • Winterwatch 2019 (BBC)
  • Hydref Gwyllt Iolo 2020 (S4C)
  • Iolo's Pembrokeshire 2021 (BBC)

Written works[edit]

  • Blwyddyn Iolo, Gwasg Gwynedd, 2003[15]
  • Crwydro, Hughes a'i Fab, 2004
  • Wild about the Wild, Gwasg Gomer, 2005[16]
  • Wild Places Wales, Seren, 2016[17]
  • Wild Places UK, Seren, 2019[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Iolo Williams". gomer.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  2. ^ "BBC: Canals of Wales with Iolo Williams". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  3. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Natural History of Wales". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  4. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Great Welsh Parks". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  5. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Snowdonia". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  6. ^ "BBC: Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with Iolo Williams". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  7. ^ "BBC: Iolo: The Last Wilderness of Wales". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  8. ^ "BBC: Iolo's Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Bangor University: Honorary Fellows". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Wildlife television presenter Iolo Williams honoured as Fellow". Aberystwyth University. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams receives honorary fellowship". University of South Wales. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  12. ^ a b "TV's Iolo is a gay icon". Wales on Sunday. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Iolo Williams". World Wide Fund for Nature. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Canals of Wales". tiscali.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  15. ^ "National Library of Wales: Blwyddyn Iolo". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Gomer: Wild about the wild". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Seren: Wild Places: Wales' Top 40 Nature Sites". Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Wild Places UK: UK's Top 40 Nature Sites". Retrieved 26 July 2021.

Sources[edit]

  • Llyfr Natur Iolo by Paul Sterry – Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2007

External links[edit]