ITV Orders Doc to Commemorate Aberfan Disaster


LONDON: ITV has commissioned Shiver and ITV Cymru Wales to produce a documentary that marks the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

The hour-long film, tentatively titled Aberfan, will be directed by Marc Evans (Safe House, Hinterland, Collision, Jack to a King, House of America). It will be made by a Cardiff-based team under the newly created Shiver Cymru banner and will be produced by Jonathan Hill, editor of English-language programs at ITV Cymru Wales. The documentary will look at how the spirit of Aberfan has endured since the tragic day on October 21, 1966, when the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip killed 116 children and 28 adults in the village school. It will feature interviews with people affected by the tragedy and also make use of ITV’s archive footage of the disaster and its aftermath.

Mike Blair, executive producer for Shiver, said: “We’re pleased to be working with our colleagues at ITV Wales to produce this landmark film. It’s fitting that Shiver Cymru should be launched on a project that commemorates such a momentous chapter in the story of modern Wales.”

Hill said: “The Aberfan disaster was a tragedy on an unimaginable scale, an event that shocked the world. We hope that the film will reflect the dignity and spirit of the people of Aberfan over the past half century since that fateful day in 1966.”

Tom Giles, the controller of current affairs at ITV, added: “What happened in Aberfan 50 years ago was a national tragedy. We hope this film will also offer a fitting and powerful testament to a community that has quietly rebuilt itself. And that it will help younger generations, to whom the story of Aberfan may be less familiar, to understand the impact it still has today.”