Y Talwrn



Gwyn Williams (1979-mid 80s)

Dic Jones (1985-99)

Gerallt Lloyd Owen (2000-2011, also adjudicator 1979-99)

Ceri Wyn Jones (2012-)

Stand-ins/guest hosts: Twm Morys, Meirion McIntyre, Tudur Dylan Jones


Scorers: Unknown (1979-98)


BBC Radio Cymru, 1979-present

Telesgôp for S4C, 2005-6


To put it simply, Y Talwrn is one of the oddest quiz shows around yet it's still one of the mainstays of Radio Cymru.

Over the course of ten rounds, two teams of poets have to come up with poems, lines and limericks about a given subject. The host then gives out points but not before a long (and we do mean long) summary of what he made of their material.

The series is a tournament affair involving as many as 64 teams from across Wales. Eventually, the top two teams from the series will go through to a final held in the Literary Pavilion (Y Babell Len) at the National Eisteddfod on the first Saturday of the festival.

On occasion, an televised contest has been broadcast to mark the all-Wales Cerdd Dant festival.


Round 1: Two-line couplet
Round 2: Satirical verse
Round 3: Four-line poem including a given line
Round 4: Song (in 20 lines or less)
Round 5: Poem (in 12 lines or less)
Round 6: Limerick
Round 7: Line including a given word
Round 8: Mise-en-scene
Round 9: Lyric
Round 10: Poem on a given subject


As part of the final, the Cledwyn Roberts Memorial Prize is given for the best lyric of the series.

The title translates as The Cockpit (as in an arena of combat).

Originally known as Talwrn y Beirdd (The Poets Cockpit)

Theme tune

Up until 1998, the theme was Strauss' Perpetuum Mobile. The current theme is a piece by the duo Rheinallt H. Rowlands.

Web links

BBC site in Welsh

Broadcasting the Bards - A Transdiffusion article on the series


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