Ryan Reynolds, the Hollywood actor and co-owner of Wrexham football club, has announced the launch of ‘Welsh Wednesdays’ on his new TV channel. Starting this Wednesday, six hours of Welsh language programmes will be broadcast to audiences across the US each week. The programming lineup includes popular series such as ‘The Red Wall’ (Y Wal Goch), ‘Wrexham Our Club’ (Wrecsam Clwb Ni), and the short film ‘Gareth Bale: Living the Dream’ (Gareth Bale: Byw’r Freuddwyd). Additionally, viewers can look forward to other shows like the bilingual crime drama ‘Bang,’ the car-focused ‘Petrol Head’ (Pen Petrol), and ‘Vets’ (Y fets), which follows Ystwyth Vets in Aberystwyth.
The launch of ‘Welsh Wednesdays’ comes after Ryan Reynolds’ production company, Maximum Effort, struck a deal with streaming service Fubo to launch the Maximum Effort Channel earlier this month. Reynolds and his business partner, Rob McElhenney, have been promoting Welsh language and culture since buying Wrexham football club in 2020, earning them the unofficial title of ambassadors to Wales.
Ryan Reynolds expressed his excitement about bringing Welsh content to American viewers, stating, “As many have noted, there is an alarming lack of Welsh content available for American viewing pleasure. That stops today. Well, actually Wednesdays.” Reynolds also thanked S4C, the Welsh language television channel, for their assistance in bringing Welsh programming to a wider audience and reassured viewers that subtitles would be available.
All the programmes for ‘Welsh Wednesdays’ have been acquired from S4C as part of a long-term partnership. S4C, which has been broadcasting Welsh language content since 1982, will supply Maximum Effort Channel with weekly programming, including dramas, documentaries, and entertainment shows. The deal is expected to generate income for S4C and the production companies behind the shows, while also facilitating further investment in Wales’ creative sector.
Llinos Griffin-Williams, S4C’s chief content officer, highlighted the Wednesday takeover as an opportunity to showcase “Welsh culture, language, and talent on the international stage.” She expressed her enthusiasm for the curated slate of shows, stating that the commercial deal would benefit the entire creative sector and talent pool in Wales.
The Welsh Government’s deputy arts, sport, and tourism minister, Dawn Bowden, hailed the deal as fantastic news for Wales, emphasizing the strength of the Welsh creative sector and the international interest in Welsh content. Bowden confirmed that the Welsh Government would work with S4C through Creative Wales to capitalize on global opportunities.
The Welsh Wednesdays programming will debut on the Maximum Effort Channel on Wednesday, June 28. Outside of Welsh Wednesdays, the channel’s content, curated by Ryan Reynolds, will primarily feature comedy shows such as ‘Alf,’ ‘Absolutely Fabulous,’ ‘The Kids In The Hall,’ and Reynolds’ own show ‘Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place.’