Dylan Thomas: First film footage found

The find comes as a series of events around Wales mark the centenary of Thomas's birth

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The first moving footage of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas has been found, ending years of searching by fans.

Swansea-based Thomas expert Jeff Towns has confirmed that a fleeting glimpse of an extra in a feature film is the poet on a beach in west Wales.

The find comes in Thomas's centenary year. Mr Towns said: "It couldn't be better. You couldn't script it."

The story of how he was picked out in the crowd is told by Cerys Matthews on BBC's The One Show on Tuesday.

Fans of the poet - who was born 100 years ago - had said tracking down moving pictures of him was the Holy Grail of Thomas memorabilia.

For despite making two films for the BBC and scores of personal appearances in Britain and the USA in his final years, no archive footage of Thomas had been found until now.

Mr Towns was able to pinpoint Thomas in a crowd scene in the 1951 Ava Gardner film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman co-starring James Mason.

He found it with the help of Matthews's uncle Colin Edwards.

The film was mostly shot in Spain but some of the final scenes were recorded on location at Pendine in Carmarthenshire, close to Thomas's home at Laugharne.

Thomas, whose works include Under Milk Wood, died in 1953.

The Dylan Thomas film is featured on The One Show on BBC One on Tuesday at 19:00 BST.

Dylan Thomas (left) Dylan Thomas (left) on the film set with Spanish actor Mario Cabre (right) and one of Thomas's friends

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