Unlocked: COVID Stories from Wales is a new ten-part podcast series hosted by broadcaster and presenter Dot Davies, exploring the impact of COVID-19 with some of the most recognisable and influential figures across Wales.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford, Louis Rees-Zammit, Sophie Evans, Ellis Lloyd Jones, and Dr Bnar Talabani MBE are among the guests that will share their experiences in a series of interviews. The podcast consists of five English language and five Welsh language interviews.
The series launches as the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in Wales are being lifted.
From frontline healthcare workers to sporting superstars, heroes from hospitality to the First Minister, the podcasts give listeners a behind the scenes insight into how the pandemic has affected individuals across Wales.
Each episode explores how each guest was affected by the public health crisis, how they dealt with it and how we came together as a nation to support and protect one another.
Podcast host, Dot Davies said: “I have loved getting the chance to speak to so many inspiring people about their unique experiences of the pandemic -it’s been a real eye-opening project. COVID-19 has impacted all our lives in so many ways, and these series of conversations have been both emotional and joyful to listen to.
“One thing that has been clear throughout the series is that the people of Wales care deeply about working together to keep one another safe, and that we can get through almost anything when we work as a team.”
In one episode, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, candidly opens-up about his bleak memories from his ‘darkest day’ of the pandemic, while in another episode Kasim discusses how he captured the imagination of the Welsh public when he brought the South Wales hospitality sector together to lead the volunteer-led initiative, ‘Feed the Heath.’
Meanwhile, newly engaged star couple Ellis Jenkins and Sophie Evans, laugh as they recall their lockdown DIY faux pas and how a long-distance relationship was suddenly transformed.
In another episode, Louis Rees-Zammit discusses how he went from an aspiring Gloucester Rugby player, to one of the nation’s most exciting rugby talents in the matter of months– and the obstacles he faced adjusting to life in the limelight during a pandemic.
Dr Bnar Talabani MBE, talks about her challenging beginnings as a refugee in Kurdistan, before she became one of the most-respected medical voices in the UK and tells how she used her platform to bust COVID-19 myths to global communities during the pandemic.
In the five Welsh Language episodes, guests include Mirain Iwerydd, who started a lockdown passion project that led to her becoming a BBC Wales radio host at just 19 years old.
Other guests include, frontline NHS workers Dr Meinir Jones and Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus, who were instrumental in setting up field hospitals during the pandemic.
Influencer Ellis Lloyd Jones explains how he perfected the art of the TikTok skit and supported the Welsh Government Keep Wales Safe campaign through his comedy, while Dr Eleri Davies MBE discusses her journey into medicine and how it felt to be recognised for her work in the COVID-19 response.
The podcast series is now available on all major podcast streaming platforms.