Iolo Williams

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Iolo Williams
Iolo Williams.jpg
Williams in 2008
Born (1962-08-22) 22 August 1962 (age 57)
EducationLlanfyllin High School
Years active1997–present
Known forWildlife presenter
Home townLlanwddyn, Powys
Spouse(s)Ceri Williams
Children2 sons, Dewi and Tomos

Iolo Tudur Williams (/ˈjɒl/; Welsh pronunciation: ['jɔlɔ]; born 22 August 1962, in Builth Wells, Breconshire) is a Welsh nature observer and television presenter, best known for his BBC and S4C nature shows, working in both English and his first language of Welsh.


The son of a headmaster school teacher, 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,[2] after gaining two A levels in Biology and French, he almost joined the British Army but instead went to North East London Polytechnic (NELP) – now the University of East London – graduating with a degree in ecology.[1]


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.[2]

He's also visited many schools and encouraged younger people.

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] He presently makes his main appearances on BBC Wales,[2] and with wider Welsh-focused programmes on S4C, in his first language of Welsh, made by independent TV company Telesgop.

Known for frequently wearing shorts for his work, he has, as a result, become a Welsh cult gay icon.[3] In 2007, Williams was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Bangor University.[4] He received further honorary fellowships from Aberystwyth University in 2015[5] and the University of South Wales in 2017.[6]

Williams presented Rugged Wales, which aired on BBC Two on 13 and 20 March 2012.

In 2019 Williams became a regular presenter on Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch on BBC Two.

Personal life[edit]

Williams and his wife Ceri live near the town of Newtown, Powys.[3] The couple have two sons (Dewi and Tomos);[1][2][7] and had two rescue dogs, Ianto and Gwen, who have both appeared in some of his television series.

Williams and his wife built a timber-framed home, fully insulated, double-glazed with energy-saving lightbulbs throughout. 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 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.[7]



  • Natur Gudd Cymru (S4C)
  • Bro (S4C)
  • Iolo yn Rwsia (S4C)
  • Gwyllt (S4C)
  • Natur Anghyfreithlon (S4C)
  • Crwydro (S4C)
  • Canals of Wales (BBC)[8]
  • 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)


  • Blwyddyn Iolo, Gwasg Gwynedd, 2003
  • Crwydro, Hughes a'i Fab, 2004
  • Wild about the Wild Gwasg Gomer, 2005
  • Cwm Glo Cwm Gwyrdd 2008


  1. ^ a b c d "Iolo Williams". Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d "Iolo Williams". BBC Mid-Wales. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  3. ^ a b "TV's Iolo is a gay icon". Wales on Sunday. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Film actor, Rhys Ifans among University's Honorary Fellows!". Bangor University. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  5. ^ "Wildlife television presenter Iolo Williams honoured as Fellow". Aberystwyth University. 17 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams receives honorary fellowship". University of South Wales. 14 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Iolo Williams". World Wide Fund for Nature. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Canals of Wales". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2008.


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

External links[edit]