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Teleri Bevan: Founding editor of BBC Radio Wales dies

image captionTeleri Bevan spent almost 40 years working for the BBC

The founding editor of BBC Radio Wales, Teleri Bevan, has been described as a "pioneer" of broadcasting following her death at the age of 89.

She launched the national radio station in 1978 and spent almost four decades working for the BBC.

After retiring as head of programmes in 1991, she wrote books including an autobiography and historical works.

BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies paid tribute to her, saying she was a "force of nature".

"Teleri Bevan was a pioneer in the development of broadcasting in Wales," he added.

Ms Bevan interviewed leading figures from entertainment and politics, including Sir Tom Jones and the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Born on a farm near Aberystwyth in 1931, Ms Bevan went to Bangor University before joining the BBC in 1955.

Her roles included presenting, producing and editing programmes.

image captionTeleri Bevan's new morning schedule for Radio Wales caused "huge controversy"

Ms Bevan was a producer of programmes for BBC Radio 4 when she was appointed the first editor of BBC Radio Wales ahead of its launch in November 1978.

Until that time, programmes from Wales had been broadcast as an opt-out service on Radio 4's Welsh frequencies.

The late controller of BBC Wales, Gareth Price, wrote that Ms Bevan's appointment and the new morning schedule for the station caused "huge controversy".

In his book, Broadcasters of BBC Wales, Mr Price said Ms Bevan was "caught in the headlights on two counts".

"She had dared to challenge the powerful opposition in the newsroom to the dropping of Good Morning Wales, particularly its influential editor Gareth Bowen," he wrote.

"Teleri had also handed the dissenters extra ammunition by replacing it with a new early morning programme, AM."

Despite the shaky start, and the eventual return of Good Morning Wales in place of the lighter-toned AM, Ms Bevan oversaw increasing listener figures in Radio Wales' early years and became an influential senior figure at BBC Wales.

image captionDuring retirement, she wrote about her recollections of life at the BBC

In 1981 she became deputy head of programmes, later taking full responsibility for programming in 1985.

In retirement, Ms Bevan wrote about her recollections of life at the BBC.

She also championed other great Welsh women, with works on Esme Kirby, who founded the Snowdonia National Park Society, and the three generations of women behind Rachel's Dairy in Aberystwyth.

Related Topics

  • BBC
  • Aberystwyth
  • Bangor University
  • Wales culture
  • Radio