Retired electrician John Williams, 79, has gained ‘celebrity status’ with his hilarious, unvarnished views on the Welsh language version of Gogglebox.
He’s teamed up with his 24 year old grandson, Cian, for S4C’s new hit show, Gogglebocs Cymru, that goes out on Wednesday nights at 9pm.
TV location manager Cian admits it’s his grandad who’s getting the lion’s share of the attention from the viewing public.
He said: “My grandad’s a local character and is already well-known around Porthmadog. He’s known for his humour and it’s nice to share a bit of it because I always think he’s a wasted talent.
“I normally get heckled locally about grandad and what he’s up to anyway. One person asked me the other day how it feels to live in my grandad’s shadow! There’s no doubt about it, he’s definitely the ‘favourite’ out of the both of us.”
John has a reputation for saying what he thinks which can leave his grandson sitting on the edge of his seat at times.
“With the nature of his age, sometimes he has a different view of the world than I do – I’m so glad it’s not live! Otherwise, he has been on his best behaviour and I do warn him a little before he starts filming!” admitted Cian.
“Wherever you are, it’s nice to look through people’s windows. The show’s not scripted and so people get to know you and when they do like you, it’s because of who you are.
“There’s a real mix from people learning Welsh to those who use it as a first language. It’s a great confidence boost for the people learning Welsh and for the people learning and watching this back home – I’ve seen lots of people on Twitter saying they’ve been watching Gogglebocs because they feel it makes it easier to learn the Welsh language.”
S4C commissioned independent production firms Cwmni Da and Chwarel, both based in North Wales, to co-produce the first ever Welsh language version of Channel 4’s and Studio Lambert’s top-rated format in the autumn.
Series producer Huw Maredudd said the show was already going down well with viewers.
“The first block was very successful and popular thanks in no small part to our cast and all the hard work of the crews,” he said.
“Obviously we were trying to represent as broad a spectrum of the Welsh community as possible and so we have people of all ages from John in his 70s through to our youngest cast member, Olivia, who’s 16.
“It feels as if we are watching with them, so they’ve really come into their own, and they’ve all enjoyed the experience which is the most important thing. We get to enjoy them enjoying themselves as viewers at home.
“A lot of work went into making sure the entire cast complemented each other and that they all worked on their own individually as well as a full patchwork too.”
Gogglebocs Cymru can be seen on S4C at 9pm on Wednesdays.