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First S4C chief executive Owen Edwards has died, age 76

Owen Edwards was the first chief executive of of S4C

The first chief executive of S4C, Owen Edwards, has died age 76.

Mr Edwards led S4C from its pre-launch phase in 1981 through to 1989.

In a statement S4C chairman John Walter Jones  described him as “a colossus of Welsh broadcasting”.

His career began in the 1950s as a presenter on ITV Granada’s Welsh language programme Dewch i Mewn. From 1961 to 1966 he presented Heddiw, a Welsh language daily news programme broadcast by BBC Wales.

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones paid tribute to the former television executive applauding Mr. Edwards’ “rich” contribution to Wales cultural life;

“Owen Edwards made a very rich contribution to broadcasting in Wales. His work as the first Director of S4C after it was established was extremely important – steering the channel very cleverly through those early years.

“Although he was a familiar face as the presenter of programmes such as ‘Heddiw’, he took on historic responsibility as the first chief executive of S4C and he succeeded in laying solid foundations for the future.

“We saw a substantial increase in the number of Welsh language programmes thanks to his leadership.

“As well as being a very successful figure in broadcasting, he was also a very kind and compassionate man. He’ll be remembered as such by those of us who were fortunate enough to know him, and as a cultural innovator who succeeded in enriching the life of his nation.”

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