The BBC is set to launch a new digital service for Wales which the corporation claims is the biggest broadcasting advance in the country since the launch of Welsh language channel S4C 20 years ago, writes Leigh Holmwood.
The new English language service, to be known as BBC 2W, will air on week nights between 20.30 and 22.00 from Monday (5 November), and will boast a raft of new programmes aimed at reflecting the 'culture, lives and aspirations' of the Welsh.The service, funded by the extra£11m granted to Wales by the BBC last year, is in addition to BBC 1 Wales and BBC 2 Wales. However, it will initially only be available to the 1.1 million viewers who currently have access to digital television in the country, although it is expected to reach half the Welsh population by the end of the year. Those living outside Wales will be able to pick it up on digital satellite.New programmes commissioned for the service include a 15-minute news bulletin at 21.00; comedy drama Not Getting Any and comedy show Pub Quiz.An initiative to screen films made by young people about their home town has also been launched.BBC Wales controller Menna Richards said it was an historic moment. 'This is the most significant development in Welsh broadcasting for decades,' she said, adding: 'We have created BBC 2W in response to the demand for more programming about Wales for Wales. The English-speaking audience in Wales has never been so well served.'