A hit children’s TV series made in North Wales is in the running for a major international award.
Deian a Loli, which recounts the adventures of a pair of mischievous twins with magical powers, has been shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious 2019 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.
The glittering Oscars-style ceremony will be held in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 9, and the other finalists from the UK include network favourites Peaky Blinders and The Durrells.
In all there are entries from more than 40 countries across the world.
The S4C show made by Caernarfon-based television production company Cwmni Da has already won a Highly Commended award at the recent UK Broadcast Awards where it was up against the biggest names in the children’s TV, Disney Junior, CBeebies and Nick Jr.
The show’s runaway success has been rewarded with news that S4C have commissioned a third 26-part series for their children’s platform, Cyw.
The programme was also honoured with an award at BAFTA Cymru in 2017 and has been nominated for several other awards.
By saying the magic word, “Ribidirew!”, Deian and Loli are able to freeze their parents while they go off on fantastic adventures.
The first two series have already established Deian and Loli as a firm favourite with Welsh youngsters and their parents.
As the original Deian a Loli, played by Erin Gwilym and Moi Hallam, were growing up, it was decided to recast the roles for the show’s current series.
The title roles are now played by Gwern Jones,11, from Llanrug, near Caernarfon and Lowri Jarman,10, from Llanuwchllyn, near Bala.
Meanwhile, real-life husband and wife Rhian Blythe and Simon Watts were drafted in as the new mum and dad to replace the original parents played by Sian Beca and Carwyn Jones.
Producer Angharad Elen is “hugely proud” of the accolade at the UK Broadcast Awards and to be joining the glitterati of global television as a finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.
Angharad was inspired to create the Deian a Loli series by her own children, Cain, seven, and Syfi, five, who are frequently consulted about potential story lines.
She said: “It is wonderful that Deian a Loli received recognition at the Broadcast Awards – we didn’t expect in a million years that the series would be shortlisted, let alone win an award.
“It is also very humbling to be pitted against some of the giants of the television world at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards. But although it’s fantastic to win awards and have the praise of the broadcast world it’s getting the feedback from our young viewers that really counts.
“We are also delighted that S4C have commissioned a third series. There is so much potential for new stories. We are only limited by our writes’ imagination and at the moment they are in no rush to slow down.
“The timing is perfect because we have just signed a contract with an international distributor who are working hard to sell the format, so we are keeping our fingers crossed something will come of that.
“We are a small but perfectly formed team and the crew feel like a family now. “Everything has clicked into place and I think that’s what creates the magic on the screen. We all feel very lucky to be part of the show. It doesn’t feel like work.”
According to Cwmni Da managing director Dylan Huws, the awards recognition and news about a third series being commission were a timely boost.
The company is in the process of being handed over to the staff, with Dylan as the sole owner selling all his shares into a new Employee Ownership Trust.
Dylan said: “I’d like to congratulate Angharad and all the team involved in making Deian a Loli into such a special, magical series that’s captured the hearts and the imaginations of the children who love it so much. This recognition is richly deserved.
“The television industry can be an uncertain business so it was great to have confirmation that S4C are commissioning a third series because it gives the company stability and a sense of certainty as we embark on an exciting new chapter in the Cwmni Da story.”