The 1900 Island

BBC One Wales/Network

A new living history series follows the fortunes of four modern day families as they head back over 100 years to the start of the twentieth Century to try their hand at living as a rural fishing community on the dramatic and wild tidal island of Llanddwyn off the coast of Anglesey. It’s a time of hand to mouth existence as the 4 families come face to face with the harsh realities of one of the toughest ways to make a living in 1900 Britain.

In Episode 1 the families must adapt quickly to their new way of life but bad weather, lack of experience and limited rations lead to hunger and frustrations and it’s only a last minute effort by the women that saves the day. Aside from the practical details of living in 1900, the families strive to forge a community to help each other through tough times and survive the extreme weather.

As the families enter their second week, the weather finally turns in their favour and the men head out to sea to try for a successful catch. The women are left with unrelenting domestic chores and the children head to school. But the fragile sense of community starts to fray as rivalries and hunger take their toll on the adults. As the going gets tough it becomes a challenge for them to try and keep together. Gavin Davies, in particular, struggles to feed his family and it’s only when a cargo boat comes calling that they all finally earn some much needed cash. A newcomer joins the village as he jumps ship.

In their third week, the 4 modern day families are still struggling with the reality of life over a century ago. They may have settled into 1900 life, but that doesn’t make life any easier. At the start of the week, the community seems at its most fragile as different priorities and approaches to life start to take shape.

As the weather picks up, the men head out to sea for an extended 3 day and 2 night fishing trip, leaving their wives and children home alone. But out at sea the men struggle day after day to get a catch, while their wives have no way of knowing whether they are safe or not.

At the start of their fourth week, and with a last minute haul of fish, the 4 modern families face their last days. But as the outside world comes calling, modern mechanisation hits their rural idyll, prices plummet and there is a rude awakening for the men and women on Llanddwyn. They have to resort to cockling and gathering shellfish to makes ends meet. But as one family leave the island early, the others start to realise that their own demise isn’t far off and that their days on the 1900 island are numbered. It’s a fond if tearful farewell for them all, as they leave the warmth of the close relationships and community they have formed and head back to the modern world.

 

Series Producer / Director: Alexis Girardet

 

The 1900 Island in the press..

Broadcast – The 1900 Island: Behind The Scenes

Telegraph – Interview with The Powers

The Evening Standard – Everything you need to know about the families

iNews – The 1900 Island filming location: the history of Llanddwyn, and cast of families

Reality Tit Bit – The 1900 Island Narrator

Abbie Bolitho

With a background in current affairs and factual programmes, Abbie has been able to apply her research and organisational skills to a wide variety of projects in both English and Welsh. These include S4C's Nyrsys, Dim Byd i Wisgo and more recently Beasts - a series on the 'top 10' animals for children which is being sold internationally.

Alexia Barrett

Alexia graduated this year with a BA (Hons) in Journalism Communications and Politics from Cardiff University, and is now kickstarting her career in TV Production, working with Wildflame as a Researcher on their Adventure Living History Series, Ultimate Viking. Alexia will be working across our full range of factual output for UK and international broadcasters.

Cai Glover

Since joining Wildflame in the development team, Cai's worked on several productions using his skills as an editor, self-shooter and researcher including S4C's digital series Bwrw 'Mlan, BBC Bitesize History KS2, S4C's Dim i'w Wisgo and most recently as a shooting assistant producer on the second series of S4C's Nyrsys.

Carrie Smith

Carrie is an award-winning film-maker. She is a director, series producer and edit producer with experience across a wide range of popular factual content, including observational documentaries, popular factual and digital content. She is an expert access negotiator and has successfully secured access to several police forces across the UK, as well as multiple private businesses such as hotels and veterinary practices.

Carrie filmed, produced and directed The Greatest Gift which won Best Factual Series at the Bafta (Cymru) awards. Carrie has also produced behind-the-scenes content and created high-concept digital features for drama co-pro series for the BBC, Netflix & HBO, winning an International Webby award for her work on 'The Ballad of the Peaky Blinders'. Before joining Wildflame Productions, Carrie was a Senior Producer on a brand-new primetime competition format for Channel 4.

Catrin Jones-Shawe

Catrin’s career began in children’s television where she produced content for both S4C and CBBC.

Catrin has a passion for health-based documentaries and in 2019 won a BAFTA Cymru Award for best factual series for Velindre: Hospital of Hope (ITV Wales). Her most recent series, Nyrsys (S4C) is an observational documentary format highlighting the incredible work performed by nurses across Wales.

Celyn Williams

With a passion for history, Celyn has spent her time collecting and telling stories of extraordinary individuals from across Wales.

Her previous work includes a number of high-profile history productions including Time Team, and The Aberfan Wives Club (ITV).

For S4C, Celyn worked on the double Welsh BAFTA winning Adam Price a Streic y Glowyr and more recently, a living history series The 1900 Island (BBC).

Connie Fisher

Connie moved into the world of television after a career as a West End leading lady playing Maria Von Trapp in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Sound of Music.

With a passion for TV and entertainment, Connie leads the development of formats & features projects for Wildflame and works closely with broadcasters creating projects for both high-profile and emerging talent across the full range of factual programming.

Esme Horne

The last 10 years of Esme’s career has been dedicated to understanding the production process and supporting a creative vision from development to transmission. Since joining Wildflame in 2017, Esme has worked across the Wildflame slate: reinforcing the production management team and helping to assure all projects are run smoothly and efficiently.

Gareth Fisher

Gareth has extensive knowledge of the business of production across all genres. He has an outstanding track-record in controlling large production teams and multi-million-pound projects. Gareth has worked with all of the main UK Broadcasters as well as forging strong relationships with International Broadcasters and Co - Production partners.

Leona Cowley

Leona has been with Wildflame since its inception and has a wealth of experience in a senior production management role working on regional and high-profile documentaries being filmed in various exotic and remote locations across the globe. Her extensive experience spans some 25 years working across most programme genres.

Llinos Griffin-Williams

Bafta Cymru Winning Executive Producer, Llinos is Executive Producer, Factual and International Co-productions at Wildflame Productions. She leads on international content development, production and delivery of Factual Programming to Domestic and International Broadcasters and is part of the Wildflame Senior Management Board. Llinos is Vice Chair of RTS Cymru Wales and a member of Welsh Indies Council TAC. 

Manon Alice-Thomas

After graduating with a BA (Hons) from York St. John’s University Business School, Manon gained her first professional experience working in events management. She then completed an internship with Kate Borde at Cardiff based talent agency KBPM, and has recently undertaken a contract as Junior Assistant at the ‘InterTalent Group’, London, supporting the Chairman and Founder, Prof. Jonathan Shalit, OBE.  As a Television Production Coordinator for Wildflame, Manon supports the team across the slate of UK and international productions

Megan Roberts

With a background in Archaeology and Anthropology, Megan's passions lie with telling people's stories both past and present with real empathy and understanding. Having filmed in various locations all over the world, her previous work has included both award winning international productions such as The Wall and more recently delicate observational storytelling in Bois y Rhondda
Megan has joined the team on the international Vikings series and will be working across all Wildflame’s specialist factual programming

Mike Davies

Mike has accrued over a dozen years of experience in company and programme finance.  His expertise encompasses day-to-day financial transactions, managing company-wide spending against fiscal targets, preparation of monthly management accounts and forecasting. He is also responsible for day to day scheduling and running of Wildflame’s editing facilities.

Paul Islwyn Thomas

Paul is founder and CEO of Wildflame Productions and is responsible for the creative and business management of the company. With over 35 years’ experience in the industry, Paul has built an enviable reputation as one of the leading factual Executive Producers and TV Executives working in Wales. Throughout a distinguished career Paul has delivered hundreds of hours of programming for both UK and international broadcasters. He is currently Chair of the highly acclaimed ‘It’s My Shout’ Training Scheme which offers exciting pathways into the industry for all championing diversity and social inclusion.

Sam Lumley

Sam has worked extensively on some big format shows such as ‘The Great British Bake Off’, ‘The Voice’, BBC’s ‘Little Mix: The Search’, and more recently Channel 4’s new ‘Good With Wood’.  

Now at Wildflame, he has joined the development team and will use his editorial experience to help create and evolve future projects and shows alongside the list of broadcasters we work with.

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