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South Wales Evening Post column, September 1, 2023

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy News, Newspaper columns South Wales Evening Post column, September 1, 2023

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South Wales Evening Post column, September 1, 2023

Posted By Robert Lloyd

CALL me daft (people frequently do), but I reckon I’ve come up with a new Game Show idea.

It’s called ‘Challenge the Chairman’ – and it could be coming to a TV near you very soon (once I’ve negotiated the lucrative rights, that is).

The game is based on regular appearances by our civic dignitaries – AKA The Chain Gang.

You know, the men and woman who are our civic leaders, who turn up at anything bigger than the opening of the envelope, wearing enough valuable metal bling to attract the attention of people who deal in industrial-size quantities of scrap.

Down the years, I’ve done a fair bit of teasing when it comes to The Chain Gang of Mayors, Mayoresses, Consorts and Chairmen/Chairwomen.

But, chwarae teg (fair play), they do add some sparkle and status to many civic events and charitable functions.

Some of them are darned good sports, who have survived years of public service with at least some of their sense of humour intact.

Take Councillor Louvain Roberts, the current Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council (I use the word ‘Chairman’ rather than ‘Chairwoman’ as I am old-fashioned and not necessarily politically correct in these things).

At the Bank Holiday Carmarthen River Festival, she was keen to try the ancient craft of coracle fishing – the coracle being a craft used on the famous Tywi since before Roman times.

Having once tried it myself, I can vouch for the fact that paddling and steering a coracle takes years of practice.

But Cllr Roberts is nothing if not bold.

They wouldn’t let her loose on the River Tywi, but she did try her hand on the coracle on a mini-pond at the festival site.

For that, she got a well-deserved round of applause – and the grateful thanks of yours truly for giving me the Challenge the Chairman idea.

Future episodes of this new series are likely to include Chris Peters-Bond, consort to the Mayor of Kidwelly and a member of the civic team at Swansea City Council, being challenged to eat 10 strips of liquorice (in line with the nursery rhyme theme of Hen fenyw fach Cydweli, Little old lady of Kidwelly, who used to sell ‘losin du’ in the ancient town).

This will probably be followed by the Mayor of Neath, Cllr Chris Williams, volunteering to take part in a charity rugby match and turning out at full-back for the Welsh All Blacks at The Gnoll.

Next up, of course, will be the Lord Mayor of Swansea, Cllr Graham Thomas, who will obviously volunteer for a spot of water-skiing off Mumbles Head!

Yes, I can see Challenge the Chairman has potential.

If you need me, I’ll be over at ITV HQ as I’m sure this TV idea can knock The Chase off the 5pm slot!



IT’S time for a quick diversion into the world of theatre and live entertainment, something which is making a slow and steady recovery from the barren years of coronavirus.

Concerts, plays, comedy night, they all need our support now, more than ever before. Switch off that telly one night and venture out to your local theatre and concert venue. You won’t regret it.

For example, you could try this concert, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Saturday, September 9, in aid of Neuroendocrine Cancer UK.

Welsh singer-songwriter Cat Llewelyn has spent some time working with Maggie’s in Swansea and is recovering from Neuroendocrine Cancer.

Cat has joined forces with Bex Hazard to form an innovative duo called Zirenz.

They specialise in trance music, pop, and opera, with re-imagined arrangements of well-known opera arias, making “pOpera for the people”.

The concert is being billed as ‘Neuroendocrine Cancer UK presents pOpera by Candleight – Zirenz In Concert’. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Cat and Bex kicked off their career together winning an Honourable Mention Award from the world-renowned John Lennon Song writing competition USA in 2003, with their song Underworld Nation.

In 2021, their track Edge of Space became part of trance music history when it was included in the official A State Of Trance All Time TOP 1000 list ,which is the holy grail of trance and compiled by the five-time ranked world No1 DJ Armin van Buuren.

The show includes a fascinating and eclectic line-up, with the highly-regarded Cantamus Girls Choir from Nottinghamshire, the ever-popular Rock Choir, the Celtic crossover band The Meadows, the multi-award-winning composer and musician Lisa Mears, all joining the enigmatic, award-winning recording artists Zirenz.

Finally, it’s hats off to Swansea actor and author Richard Mylan. His play, Sorter, has been shortlisted for a gong at The Stage Debut Awards. The play, which debuted earlier this year, is based on the Welsh actor’s own experiences with heroin addiction. Richard is in the running for Best Writer at the awards.

Sorter tells the stories of two very different people with addiction in Swansea. The play was the first production from the new theatre company Grand Ambition and was performed at Swansea’s Grand Theatre.

Twitter: @rlloydpr

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