Rhodri Meilir honoured as Fellow

16 July 2014

Ms Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Vice-President of Aberystwyth University, presenting Rhodri Meilir as Fellow.
Ms Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Vice-President of Aberystwyth University, presenting Rhodri Meilir as Fellow.

Actor and Aberystwyth University alumnus, Rhodri Meilir has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

A graduate from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Rhodri has appeared in a number of popular television shows including playing the role of Alfie Butts in the long running BBC sitcom, My Family, ITV’s Afterlife and Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather on Sky One.

He has also featured in a number of films including The Baker, Kevin Allen’s Y Syrcas and appeared in the Doctor Who Christmas Special The Runaway Bride.

Later this year, he will appear on cinema screens in Pathé Films’ new film Pride. He is well known on Welsh television for his roles in Y Pris, Caerdydd, Teulu, Tipyn o Stad and as Rapsgaliwn.

He received a Best Actor BAFTA Cymru nomination in 2013 for his role as Trefor in Gwlad yr Astra Gwyn. Rhodri was recently part of the National Theatre of Wales’ highly acclaimed Mametz.

Rhodri Meilir was presented by Dr Jamie Medhurst, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University on Wednesday 16 July.

Dr Jamie Medhurst’s presentation to Rhodri Meilir:

“Madam

Is-Lywydd, Is-Ganghellor, Cyfeillion. Mae’n bleser o’r mwyaf cael cyflwyno'r actor, a’r cyn-fyfyriwr Drama yn Aberystwyth, Rhodri Meilir, i’w urddo yn Gymrawd yn y Brifysgol hon.

Madam Vice-President, Vice-Chancellor, Friends. It's a great pleasure to present the actor and former Aberystwyth Drama student, Rhodri Meilir, as a Fellow of this University.

Rhodri and I have one thing in common - apart, that is, from our striking good looks. We are both valleys boys, both of us having been born in Pontypool in south Wales, albeit 11years apart. I remained a south Walian – a ‘hwntw’ but Rhodri became a north Walian – a ‘gog’….

Ar ôl cyfnod o fyw mewn gwahanol ardaloedd yn sgîl y ffaith mai plismon oedd ei dad, fe ymgartrefodd y teulu yn Yr Wyddgrug ac yno aeth Rhodri i'r Ysgol Uwchradd, Ysgol Maes Garmon. Wedi gyrfa llwyddiannus yn yr ysgol honno, fe enillodd Rhodri ysgoloriaeth i astudio Drama yma yn Aberystwyth.

After completing his studies successfully at Ysgol Maes Garmon in Mold, Rhodri won a scholarship to study Drama here at Aberystwyth in 1997. The Department was then located in Laura Place near Old College and on the Buarth, a far cry from the comforts of the Parry-Williams Building on campus here. As it happens, and with thanks to our wonderful University Records Manager, I have Rhodri’s student file with me today. I tell you what, Rhodri, how about a couple of workshops with our students in exchange for my keeping the contents of this file to myself…?!

Gadawodd Rhodri yn y flwyddyn 2000 ac mae’n amlwg fod yr Adran a’r Brifysgol wedi creu argraff arno. Mewn erthygl yn y Western Mail  yn 2009, soniodd Rhodri am yr adran fel hyn: ‘I had an amazing set of lecturers there who gave me a fantastic grounding in drama. It was brilliant.’ Ac mae nifer ohonynt ar y llwyfan y tu ôl i mi heddiw.

And so started a flourishing career in theatre, film and television. Allow me to pick out some of Rhodri’s career highlights: Christmas Day 2006 was a particularly busy time for Rhodri, not only did he appear on the Dr Who Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride but he also appeared in the Christmas special of the long-running BBC One sitcom, My Family as Alfie and on the Welsh-language children’s strand Cyw (as Rapsgaliwn).

Mae wedi dysgu sut i farchogaeth ceffyl heb gyfrwy ar gyfer ei ran fel Bilious yn ffilm Terry Pratchett Hogfather ar Sky One, wedi dysgu sut i wneud y ‘moon walk’ ar gyfer ei gymeriad, Alfie, yn My Family ac wedi smwddio yn hanner noeth yng nghanol canolfan sglefrio iâ ar gyfer hysbyseb yng ngogledd America.

Yn y Gymraeg, mae Rhodri wedi chwarae rhannau amlwg yn nramau poblogaidd S4C megis Caerdydd, Pen Talar, Y Pris a Teulu.

He received a Best Actor BAFTA Cymru nomination in 2013 for his role as Trefor in S4C’s Gwlad yr Astra Gwyn and has recently appeared in National Theatre Wales’s critically-acclaimed production of Mametz. Later this year, he will play the part of Mr Ogmore in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood and will appear on cinema screens in Pathé Films’ new film Pride, starring Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton. And if that wasn’t enough, Rhodri is also the Ambassador for the Children and Young People's Assembly for Wales, Funky Dragon.

Medrwch weld, mae'n siwr, pam ein bod ni fel Adran ac fel Prifysgol, mor falch o Rhodri a'i yrfa hyd yma a dymunwn bob llwyddiant iddo ar gyfer y blynyddoedd i ddod. I think that it’s clear why we are proud of Rhodri and his career and we wish him every success in the future.

Madam Is-Lywydd, mae’n fraint ac yn bleser o'r mwyaf gennyf gyflwyno i chi Rhodri Meilir, yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.”

2014 Fellows
Eleven Fellows are being honoured this week by Aberystwyth University during this year’s Graduation ceremonies which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Monday 14 until Friday 18 July.

The title of Fellow is awarded to individuals who have a close association with Aberystwyth and the University, or who have made an outstanding contribution to professional or public life in Wales.

Also being honoured are:

  • D. Geraint Lewis, author, former Education and Children’s Librarian for Dyfed and Assistant Director of Education at Ceredigion County Council.
  • Professor John Harries, renowned atmospheric physicist and Wales’ first Chief Scientific Adviser.
  • Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor.
  • Sir Michael Moritz, Cardiff-born venture capitalist and philanthropist.
  • Ed Thomas, playwright, director and producer, and founder member and creative director of TV production company Fiction Factory.
  • Rhod Gilbert, comedian and radio and TV presenter.
  • Professor Bonnie Buntain, Assistant Dean Professor of Public Health at the University of Calgary in Canada and former Chief Public Health Veterinarian at the Food Safety and Inspection Service for the US Department of Agriculture.
  • Dr John Sheehy, Emeritus Head of Applied Photosynthesis and Systems Modelling Laboratory at the International Rice Research Institute and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.
  • Brian Jones, farmer, entrepreneur, and founder and Managing Director of Castell Howell Foods Ltd.
  • Baroness Kay Andrews, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, former Chair of English Heritage and an Aberystwyth alumna.

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Arthur Dafis
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01970 621763 / 07841 979 452 / aid@aber.ac.uk