WELSH television presenter Dai Jones has died aged 78, it has been announced.

The popular figure was best known as the presenter of S4C's farming programme Cefn Gwlad, which he had fronted for more than 35 years, but also presented entertainment show Noson Lawen and Sion a Sian.

Viewers, and people across Wales especially those in agriculture, knew him as Dai Jones Llanilar, his home village in Ceredigion. He also presented Rasus and S4C's Y Sioe Fawr coverage from the Royal Welsh Show.

He was show president in 2010 when Ceredigion was the 'feature' or organising county, an honour Jones described as his "greatest".

Geraint Evans, S4C director of content, said: "As we sympathise with his family and friends, we salute one of the most natural broadcasters in Welsh TV history."

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Jones had retired from presenting in 2020 on health grounds and at the time presenter Elinor Jones, who has worked alongside him, said: ""Dai is the countryside and the countryside is Dai. There is no doubt that he is the biggest asset S4C has ever had."

The presenter was born in London in 1943 but moved with his family of Welsh farmers to Ceredigion aged three.

S4C's Evans said: "Whilst born in London Dai was as closely connected to rural Wales as it is possible to be, but he appealed to everyone, rural and urban.

"From the farm yard to the eisteddfod stage, and from the tv studio to the mart, Dai was comfortable on all of them and with the ability to make everyone in his company feel at ease. Our broadcasting landscape and the countryside will be all the poorer without him.” 

Presenting Cefn Gwlad he created a unique genre, providing sensitive profiles of the people he met without using the conventional methods of interviewing.

He was also a commanding tenor singer and won the Blue Riband at the Ammanford National Eisteddfod in 1970.

When he retired in 2020 Jones said: "I would like to thank everybody for welcoming me into their homes and lives over the years.

"For half a century I have had the honour of opening the door on all the treasures of the Welsh countryside – the characters, the communities and not forgetting livestock of the highest standard. I have had a whale of a time and consider myself a very lucky man to have been able to do this for so long.

"But the time has finally come to hang up my wellies. You're a millionaire if you have good health, and this is truer now than ever."

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