Wales

Welsh BBC TV producer Ruth Price dies aged 95

Ruth Price
Image caption Ruth Price's programmes were a platform for singers such as Max Boyce, Mary Hopkin and Iris Williams

Pioneering Welsh TV producer Ruth Price has died at the age of 95.

In the 1970s, Price was instrumental in establishing the careers of some of Wales' best-loved performers.

Her programmes were a platform for singers and groups who became household names, including Max Boyce, Mary Hopkin and Iris Williams.

The 95 year old died peacefully at her home in Cardiff on Saturday, a family friend told BBC Wales.

Head teacher

Born in Mathry in Pembrokeshire in 1924, Price moved into broadcasting after first finding success as a teacher.

She had been head teacher of the first Welsh-medium school in Pontarddulais, and came to the attention of BBC managers during a campaign over the future of the school building.

She joined the BBC's team in Bangor, Gwynedd, in 1961, becoming a children's radio producer.

She was initially given responsibility for Awr y Plant - the children's hour - but later devised a pop music series for children - Clywch, Clywch.

Max Boyce

She later transferred those skills to television, joining the BBC's Welsh language light entertainment team in Cardiff in 1963.

She gave Max Boyce and Mary Hopkin their first TV appearances, and programmes under her command included Disc a Dawn, the first Welsh pop and rock programme.

It was regularly presented by Huw Jones, who was then a campaigning singer but would later become chief executive and chairman of S4C.

Price also nurtured the blossoming career of folk singer Meic Stevens.

For the folk music programme she produced, Hob y Deri Dando, Price booked the Welsh trio Hogia'r Wyddfa, who remain a staple of Welsh language entertainment shows.

She also auditioned an unsuspecting Iris Williams, who was visiting the BBC studios to support a friend when she was asked to perform for the producer.

Williams went on to achieve success in the US and remained lifelong friends with the producer who gave her a chance.

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