IN A new three-part TV series, comedian and proud Welshman, Elis James meets some of the nation’s best comedy writers and performers to explore Welsh comedy history from pre-wartime to today.

Elis James: Funny Nation will look at how our relationship with stereotypes has changed overtime, and how Welsh comedians have moved from the working men’s club into the mainstream.

It will also look at the development of comedy on the airwaves from wartime – the favourites listened to by millions and TV sitcoms that were loved.


In the first episode, Mr James delves into the world of Welsh stereotypes.

Historically, there’s been no getting away from them in Welsh comedy.

Discussing his early stand-up comedy days, Rob Brydon recalls a gig in Greenwich in which he was relentlessly heckled by the English audience with a barrage of sheep noises.

Meanwhile, Rhod Gilbert explains how many of his early gigs in London were met with abuse due to his Welsh accent.

The episode looks at the development of the Welsh stereotypes through the years, from its first appearance in the 1949 comedy A Run for Your Money, to the latest that have included authentic Welsh characters such as Gavin and Stacey.

Elis James: Funny Nation will be airing on BBC One Wales on Monday, December 9 at 10:45pm.