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Wales, Ireland and the Animation Trade

14 October 2008

Mike Young

Mike Young, the creator of SuperTed and Jakers!, will be visiting the University to give a free public lecture.

The lecture, entitled ‘Taking on the Mouse: Ireland, Wales and the Animation Trade’ will draw upon Mike’s experiences as co-founder of Mike Young Productions, one of the largest independent animation studios in the world.

Now an Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning creator of many highly successful television animation projects, Mike’s career began in Wales more than 30 years ago when he began to tell his four-year-old son tales of a crime-fighting teddy bear. SuperTed, the first ever programme to be broadcast on S4C, went on to become a huge success in the United Kingdom and was later licensed by Disney.

Mike Young Productions currently operates from both a digital production facility in Los Angeles and an international production studio in Merthyr Mawr – a 500-year old barn which has been converted into a state-of-the-art studio.

One of Mike’s most successful current productions is Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, an animated series which sees the title character entertaining his grandchildren with vivid tales of his childhood as a young pig growing up in 1950s Ireland.

The lecture is one of the highlights of a two-day symposium on ‘Ireland and Wales: Romantic Nations’ organised by the Ireland-Wales Research Network. Mike follows Pulitzer-winning poet Paul Muldoon and the first National Poet of Wales, Gwyneth Lewis, as the latest high-profile speaker attracted to the University by the Network.

The Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain, aims to develop a deeper awareness of the overlapping histories and cultures of Wales and Ireland and thereby contribute to a fuller understanding of the interconnected past and present of the two countries. It is run by Dr Claire Connolly and Dr Katie Gramich of Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy, in conjunction with Dr Paul O’Leary of the School of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University.

Mike’s lecture takes place on Friday 24 October at 6pm in Main Building, Park Place. The event is free but pre-booking is essential. For tickets, please email or phone 029 2087 6936.