What do pop megastar Rihanna and country singer the Welsh Whisperer have in common?
Both artistes turned to Ifor Williams Trailers when they needed to transport their kit while on tour.
Rihanna’s team opted for a box van wrapped with tour branding for the 14,000 mile marathon across Europe while rising star the Welsh Whisperer, aka Andrew Walton, chose a livestock trailer to film his first ever television series, gigging in six communities across Wales.
As well as being used to transport all his gear, the iconic trailer towed by a trusty Land Rover Defender, features in the title sequence travelling the highways and byways of Wales and forms the backdrop for the concert at the end of each programme.
According to the singer, he and the crew had a particularly warm welcome in Llanrhaeadr, just outside Denbigh.
They filmed at the village school and met Barry Evans, a third generation partner in a local institution, car dealership Pentre Motors.
The Welsh Whisperer also hooked up with comedy singing trio, Y Tri Digri (The Three Funny Ones), which includes Ruthin auctioneer Glyn Owens, Denbigh builder John Sellers and Llannefydd farmer Dilwyn Pierce, who also perform individually as stand-up comedians.
The three funny men joined the Welsh Whisperer to perform a song praising the local community which was written specially for the socially-distanced concert at the end of the programme.
As part of the series, made by Llanelli-based production company Tinopolis, the Welsh Whisperer and the team are also visiting Sarn Mellteyrn in Gwynedd, Pontyberem and Llandboidy in Carmarthenshire and Llangeitho in Ceredigion.
The Welsh Whisperer, originally from Cwmfelin Mynach in Carmarthenshire and now living in Bethesda in Gwynedd, can’t wait for the Saturday night show, called Welsh Whisperer: Ni’n Teitho Nawr (We’re Travelling Now), to start on S4C next Spring.
He said: “I’ve made a lot of television appearances but this is my first series and it’s been fantastic travelling around Wales, especially during this period.
“It’s been challenging, of course, but it’s remarkable how much we have been able to do outside.
“We’re visiting six communities across the country, meeting with all kinds of colourful characters and I’m really looking forward to getting this on the screen.
“We’ve had such a warm welcome in Llanrhaeadr and it’s a wonderful area I must say.
“We have a livestock trailer from Ifor Williams as part of the set and that turns up in every area and transports the kit, the hay bales, the lights and everything. I wouldn’t want any other trailer because it’s so iconic.
“I’ve sung about transport company Mansel Davies and now I think I’m going to have to write a song about Ifor Williams Trailers.
“I must confess I wasn’t aware of the Rihanna connection until now so I’m obviously in good company – but I doubt somehow whether we will ever share the same stage.”
Dilwyn Pierce also had a ball performing in Llanrhaedr.
He said: “All our gigs with Y Tri Digri have been cancelled until the middle of next year.
“We were supposed to be in Spain over the summer but there are worse places to be than here.
“The concert this evening was a lot of fun and the special song for Llanrhaeadr went down a treat. It’s a very catchy song and everyone enjoyed it.
“I’m out in the fresh air every day so at a time like this you realise how lucky you are to live in places like Llanrhaeadr or Llannefydd where I come from.
“As a farmer I’m very familiar with Ifor Williams Trailers. I don’t think there’s a country in the world where you won’t see one of their trailers.”
According to Glyn Owens, the famous livestock trailers are also a ubiquitous sight in his day job at Ruthin Mart.
He said: “I’m glad to say the mart is full of them and I have one myself.
“We’ve enjoyed ourselves with the Welsh. He’s a special talent, he’s so funny and he’s really kind. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him before and he’s great.”
Ifor Williams Trailers projects coordinator Lois Wynne thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
She said: “We were only too pleased to let the Welsh Whisperer use one of our livestock trailers for the series which is essentially a celebration of our wonderful communities across Wales.
“As a community based company, the series chimes perfectly with our own ethos.
“It never ceases to amaze us to see the different uses people find for our trailers.
“As well as being used for the Rihanna tour, the makers of the MTV programme Pimp My Ride UK contacted us to provide a trailer to be featured in the show.
“Our trailers have also been filmed with Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Phillips, and a computer generated unicorn for a TV ad promoting the national lottery.
“Others have been converted into into the world’s smallest mobile mini-cheese making factory, a mobile sauna and a snow-making machine in Norway.
“But it was lovely to see the livestock trailer being used closer to home by the Welsh Whisperer and we are sure his first TV series will be a hit with viewers on S4C.”