A series of films made for the BBC Wales coverage of the 6 Nations rugby tournament in 2000
BBC Wales - Phil Moss/Dylan Griffith
Squint Films/Ed Talfan
Steve Black (Voice)
Jonathan Edwards, Huw Edwards, the Stereophonics (voices)
Leigh Hodgkinson (animation in episode 1)
As a pastiche of the Hanna Barbera animations from between the 60s-80s these films were all written and produced between each match of the 6 Nations Rugby in 2000.
Phil and Dylan would write the scripts, get the VO recorded (with Black providing his own voice and all others by a great VO artist whom I can't remember the name of) and then Ed and I would make the films in about a week. Leigh helped us out on the first one especially with probably one of the best bits of animation in the whole lot which was the pitch being rolled up.
Phil and Dylan's idea was to parody the Hanna Barbera days of US animation and follow the coach, Kiwi Graham Henry, and the fitness coach, Steve Black (who voiced his own character and was an absolute star), through the campaign making films between each match. This meant they were able to write current events and results from the previous week into it which was a great idea but then presented us with quite irksome problems as the Welsh squad started to fall apart.
However, it was a fantastic time and I look back on it fondly, especially the 24 hour days in Bute Street and spending Christmas with Ed and Elizabeth and Gerraint, Ed's parents, over the millenium.
Episode 01 - Wales vs France (above)
The very sharp turn-around provided slightly interesting moments for us, for instance with this first episode, the day before it was to be broadcast I remember Ed taking a call from Phil who said the captain had been dropped where-upon we had to re-animate the section with the squad at the start to drop in new characters and new lines.
Episode 02 - Wales vs Italy
One of the many things that made the series so good were the sound effects and music created and engineered by Soundworks in Cardiff. I think this episode highlights that.
Episode 03 - England vs Wales
With this episode Phil called in a favour from Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics, who had made a brilliant promo with him for the previous year's 5 Nations, and who provided his own voice, hence the storyline.
It was also shown through the UK on Chris Evans' TFI friday that week.
Episode 04 - Wales vs Scotland
With this episode Phil managed to corner Jonathan Davies and Bill McLaren at the start of some other sporting event and get them to put their voices onto the growing cast.
I think this was also shown in England on Grandstand too.
Probably one of my favourites of the series due to the 'Jonathan, give me a town in Wales' 'Urr..'Gwauncaegurwen?' line.
Bill McLaren, the veteran commentator, passed away in January of 2010 and will be sorely missed.
Episode 05 - Ireland vs Wales
Finally the end of the 6 Nations brought with it a nice big cart load of problems for us to deal with when suddenly Steve Black, the fitness coach who had voiced his character throughout, resigned after weeks of being under pressure from supporters to carry the can for a variety of issues including their poor performance and allegations that some of the squad's tenous link to being Welsh (and thus being able to play for the team) were too weak for them to have been allowed to take part (insinuated by the 'You're as Welsh as anyone who's worn that shirt' to the Kiwi Henry).
We found out the news about five days before the broadcast and rustled this up rather neatly. I think by this point we were in full flow.
Again, Phil managed to get Huw Edwards to provide his voice for his character. Excellent!
BBC Wales - Henry's Heroes