Peter Merfyn Edwards (1948-2016)

Photo – Peter Edwards, seated fifth from the right, in a production of the Crucible at the Gulbenkian, University of Hull, 1970

The alumni office at Hull has received a number of heartfelt tributes to Welsh filmmaker and TV drama producer Peter Edwards who died on 11 September 2016, aged 68.

Peter was the son of actor and writer Meredith Edwards, but went on to be a giant of Welsh drama and filmmaking in his own right as well as being a great supporter to colleagues during his four decades in the industry.

Peter studied American Studies and Drama at Hull between 1968 and 1971 before embarking on a highly successful career in film and television that included roles as the Head of Drama at ITV Wales, Chairman of Ffilm Cymru Wales, launch Director for Eastenders and latterly, Managing Director of Welsh independent production company Barefoot Rascals.

As well as his formative role at Eastenders, his credits included the police detective series A Mind to Kill (1994–2004), Welsh language drama Pum Cynnig i Gymro (1998) and gritty Valley’s Drama Nuts and Bolts (1999-2002) for which he won a Royal Television Society Award.

Peter played a key role in the revival of Welsh culture and language from the 1970s right up until his death. Huw Jones, Chairman of S4C recalled that:

“He had a strong commitment to film and to the efforts to develop and promote Welsh and Welsh language films. He believed that films held a deeper worth than purely entertainment, and that it played an important role in defining a nation and society”

Another defining feature of Peter’s character was the collegiality, support and altruism that he showed to his friends and to those with whom he collaborated. Pauline Burt, Chief Executive of Ffilm Cymru Wales recalled:

“He is a man who cared deeply and dedicated his life to getting unheard voices heard, both in front of and behind the camera. He was a personal support to the team here and to many, many writers, directors, producers, actors, crew, friends and family, and he will be deeply missed.”

Drama alumna and contemporary, Marilyn Le Conte remembered Peter fondly for his honesty and his gentle ability to nurture talent:

“Those who worked for him and alongside him, including me, found him to be the most genuine, truly enabling sort of man; he was well respected and held in affection by everybody.”

The feelings that he inspired in others are perhaps best captured in an obituary published by the Media Wales Group on 17 September, the notice simply advised those attending the funeral to “wear bright colours”

Peter Edwards is survived by his wife Delyth, children Mari and Rhys and siblings Ioan and Lisa.

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