Bookmark and Share Menna Richards

11/10/2010 11:20:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The director of BBC Wales, Menna Richards, has announced that she is stepping down from the position after more than ten years guiding Welsh broadcasting.

It is of course during her tenure that Doctor Who finally returned to television as a series after some 16 years, and for many will be seen as one of her biggest achievements. The man behind the show's return, Russell T Davies said:
When I came back home, to work in Wales, it was amazing to meet Menna and to find a creative leader who was truly fearless. And great fun too! But she's a crusader for talent, and has opened up opportunities for so many people, in so many ways, leaving Welsh culture immeasurably better and richer and bolder.
Speaking on BBC Wales Today, Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cardiff University (where Richards is Vice-President) said:
Menna Richards is the land lady of the TARDIS. Without her, would Russell Davies's great idea of reviving Doctor Who in Wales actually have worked? Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures, Coalhouse, Snowdonia - things that have really put BBC back on the map in the UK context.

The Welsh secretary, Cheryl Gillan, summed up Richards's career at the BBC:
During a decade leading BBC Cymru Wales, Menna has been at the forefront of Welsh broadcasting and has made a major contribution to the thriving creative industries that are important to the economy of Wales. Under Menna's strong leadership, Wales has become a major creative centre for the BBC.

The fantastic successes of networked programmes such as Gavin and Stacey, Dr Who, Torchwood and Coalhouse has given BBC Cymru Wales a reputation for excellence and placed it in prime position to reap benefits from the transfer of more drama and factual programme production out of London.

The new BBC drama village, which begins production in Cardiff Bay next summer, will be a lasting legacy to Menna's vision and leadership of BBC Cymru Wales. I thank her for her huge contribution to broadcasting in Wales and wish her well for the future.