4 Episodes. First to broadcast on Tuesday 13th October 2015 on BBC 1 Wales at 10.35pm
A Very Welsh Undertaking is a behind the scenes portrait of the modern Welsh funeral director and the funerals of Wales.
For the Welsh, death is still very much a taboo subject, but times and attitudes are rapidly changing, the way we deal with our deceased is evolving with more and more people requesting the funeral of their loved one be an altogether more positive and uplifting celebration of their life. A tribute to the personality of the deceased with individual touches that reflect the way they lived their life. From a colourful coffin, a vintage tractor and trailer hearse to an RAF fly past, the series gives us an exclusive look at a number of funerals from all over South Wales with a huge range of themes.
Find out why our funeral directors do the job that others can’t even contemplate. What makes them tick and what happens day to day at the funeral home?
The funeral directors we had the pleasure of following through the series are-
Gemma O`Driscoll. Mother of six daughters, SAIF president and funeral director Gemma is a busy lady but directs a funeral where the whole congregation burst into laughter.
Baglan based funeral director Gareth Jenkins, his partner Craig Perfect and all the staff at Baglan Funeral home. A larger than life character Gareth is a perfectionist and is very well respected. He also has a sense of humour, a necessity when dealing with death on a daily basis.
James Tovey the sixth generation of Tovey to head up Tovey Brothers funeral business. James officiates over a funeral for an old farmer where the hearse is a vintage tractor and trailer, a biker funeral with a noisy cortege of motorbikes and a magical funeral for a past member of the magic circle.
Hefin Williams runs O G Harries a long established family firm nestled in the Gwendraeth Valley in West Wales. Hefin faces a childhood fear and rides on a horse drawn hearse and conducts the rather unique funeral of a local bee keeper.
Matthew Jones carriage master from Carmarthen also features in the series and guides us through the process of repatriation as he arranges for a Bulgarian National to return to his homeland.
We follow Stuart Booth from Peter Evans funeral directors Plashett, nr Pendine as he finishes off his brand new chapel of rest with an open day and he also officiates over a funeral for an old Air Man where the RAF conduct a fly over in memory of the old pilot.
Maldwyn Lewis of Lewis Funeral Home in West Wales buries an old lorry driver and mechanic. His hearse is Vintage Layland Beaver lorry.
We also witness a sea burial, a digital autopsy, a variety of unusual coffins from around the UK and as a last tribute we send the ashes of a young man up in fireworks.
BBC 1 Wales 10.35pm 13th October 2015
If you are outside Wales – watch on Virgin 864 / Sky 952 / Freesat 964 and of course on BBC iplayer.