NEWPORT adventurer Richard Parks’ latest challenge is delving into what it means to be Welsh and black.
After beating his own British record for reach the South Pole earlier this year, Mr Parks has now embarked on what he views as hie “most ambitious challenge yet”.
The special hour-long film features sporting stars Ryan Giggs and Ashton Hewitt, Professor Charlotte Williams – an expert in Welsh identity – and some of Wales brightest creative artists including actor Mali Ann Rees and musicians Sonny Double 1 and Mace the Great, as well as health minister Vaughan Gething.
The documentary is a story of national pride and belonging, Mr Parks shares his experiences and vulnerabilities as a successful black man and recent father who has flown the Welsh flag his whole life.
The documentary is due to air next Tuesday – October 27 – at 8pm on ITV Wales.
Inspired by recent events and seeing Wales as a new father, Mr Parks – who is of Welsh and Jamaican British heritage – will explore what it means to be black in modern Wales from a variety of different viewpoints.
During a moving conversation with bilingual actor Mali Ann Rees, they share personal stories, explore representation in the arts and discuss how the Welsh language defines Welsh identity.
In conversation with Welsh grime stars, Mace The Great and Sonny Double 1, Mr Parks considers what counts as ‘Welsh culture’ by looking at Wales’ urban music scene.
Welsh identity and Social Care expert Professor Williams connects from Australia via Zoom to dig into the research on identity and what it means to be Welsh.
She shares experiences growing up in North Wales and as a grandparent, before exploring the crux of Welsh identity.
Mr Gething also joins Mr Parks for a open and personal conversation.
As friends, they discuss parenthood, the biases in multicultural Wales today and look ahead to the Wales of their children.
Like many mixed-race and black children Mr Parks explains that he didn’t always see role models who reflected him growing up.
He talks with one of Wales’ most iconic mixed-race sporting heroes, Ryan Giggs.
In one of the film’s most intimate interviews, the Wales Football Team manager gives insight into his childhood in Cardiff and the passion within the national football team to stand up to racism.
Mr Parks also travels to one of his former clubs – Dragons Rugby, to talk with Ashton Hewitt who has become a beacon of anti-racism messages and education on social media.
This is Richard Parks’ debut ITV Cymru Wales documentary. The film was produced by Hello Deer Productions, in partnership with Silver Star Productions.