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Welsh stars of 2012: The ones to watch

We’re a talented bunch here in Wales. Many of our home grown stars have gone on to have success worldwide; Anthony Hopkins, Rhys Ifans, The Stereophonics come to mind. A new year brings new talent, so here are some of our own that have been highlighted as “ones to watch” for 2012.

The inaugural Welsh Music Prize highlighted some of the best music in Wales last year - 12 artists, 12 albums, one award - the very first award going to Gruff Rhys for his third solo album Hotel Shampoo. Wales Online have featured 40 Welsh bands to look out for in 2012. On the list, The Gentle Good (the work of Cardiff based folk singer-songwriter Gareth Bonello) who was recently given the opportunity to take part in a 6 week programme in Chengdu, China giving innovative British musicians the opportunity to explore new musical territory, reach new audiences, and write new material.

With less than 200 days to go until the Olympics, the spotlight is very much on our sports men and women. In the run up to the London 2012 four Welsh sporting stars have so far been confirmed as part of Team GB: boxing duo Andrew Selby and Fred Evans, plus sailor Hannah Mills. Sailor, Steve Thomas has been confirmed for the GB Paralympics Team. With more Team GB selection announcements to come, many more Welsh contenders are still hoping to compete in the world’s biggest sporting event.

Recently announced as the very first writer in residence at the Welsh Rugby Union, Owen Sheers is a poet, author and scriptwriter brought up in Abergavenny, South Wales. His first novel Resistance was translated into 10 languages and shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Book Award. Resistance was made in to a feature film starring Michael Sheen and released in November 2011 – HRH Prince Charles even attended the premiere.

With so many more talented people shining through; writers, actors, musicians, film makers, artists, sports stars (too many to list on our blog in fact), keep an eye out for Welsh stars in 2012. We like to make an impact.