It is one of the three BBC national regions, together with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Northern Ireland. Headquartered in Glasgow, it employs approximately 1,250 staff as of 2017, to produce 15,000 hours of television and radio programming per year. Some £320 million of licence fee revenue is raised in Scotland, with expenditure on purely local content set to stand at £86 million by 2016-17. The remainder of licence fee revenue raised in the country is spent on networked programmes shown throughout the UK.
BBC Scotland operates the regional variants of BBC One, BBC Scotland (TV channel), BBC Radio Scotland, as well as radio and television outlets— Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC Alba—which broadcast in the Scottish Gaelic language.
BBC Scotland's area within the UK
|TV stations||BBC One Scotland,|
|Radio stations||BBC Radio Scotland,|
BBC Radio nan Gàidheal
|Headquarters||BBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow|
(Director, BBC Scotland)
|1 January 1968|
The first radio service in Scotland was launched by the British Broadcasting Company on 6 March 1923. Named 5SC and located in Bath Street in Glasgow, the services gradually expanded to include the new stations 2BD, 2DE and 2EH, based at Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh respectively. Around 1927, the new Corporation, as the BBC now was, decided to combine these local stations into regions under the generic banner of the BBC Regional Programme. Regional programmes throughout the UK were merged to form the BBC Home Service in 1939, and, with a break for the Second World War, national opt outs remained on the station and its successor BBC Radio 4 until the establishment of a separate BBC Radio Scotland in November 1978.
Television in Scotland began formally on 14 March 1952 using the 405-line television system broadcast from the Kirk o'Shotts transmitter. In the beginning all programmes came from London but some with Scottish content were made using an Outside Broadcast Unit. Eventually, BBC Scotland established the right to "opt out" of the network more and more. When BBC 2 arrived in Scotland in 1966 (having begun in London two years earlier and spread across the country), broadcasts began in black and white on 625-lines CCIR System I from the Black Hill transmitter. BBC2 upgraded to PAL colour in 1967 (including Scotland) across the UK, with BBC1 (network programmes only at first, with local output still in black-and-white) and STV following in December 1969 and in 1971 BBC Scotland's Queen Margaret Drive Studio "A" in Glasgow became one of the first regional studios in Britain to upgrade to colour.
In September 1998 BBC Choice Scotland was launched as BBC Scotland's first digital service.
For many years BBC Scotland has tried to increase the number of programmes it makes to be shown on the networks. This ambition was greatly aided by the move of BBC Scotland's headquarters in 2007 from Queen Margaret Drive to BBC Pacific Quay where state of the art digital studios were built and by the decision of the BBC centrally to move a number of programme departments, such as Children's, out of London.
BBC Scotland broadcasts three television services to Scottish audiences. BBC One Scotland is a separate channel able to opt out of the network feed of BBC One to broadcast its own schedule of regional programming in addition to networked productions. The flagship news programme Reporting Scotland is presented by Jackie Bird and Sally Magnusson.
BBC Scotland operates BBC Alba, broadcasting programming in Gaelic for up to seven hours a day. The channel is a joint partnership between BBC Scotland and MG Alba and is available across the UK on satellite services. Prior to digital switchover, some Gaelic programming was carried on BBC Two Scotland, however this ceased following the switchover.
Thirdly, the BBC Scotland Channel commenced broadcasting at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday 24 February 2019. On 22 February 2017, director general Tony Hall announced plans to launch a dedicated English-language BBC Scotland channel in 2018, which would replace the BBC Two Scotland opt-out. It would broadcast from 7:00 p.m. to midnight nightly, and feature a lineup composed entirely of new and archived Scottish programming, including a new hour-long 9:00 p.m. weeknight newscast that will be produced from Scotland. The proposed newscast been considered a response to the perennial proposals for a local opt-out of the BBC News at Six. Hall also announced that the BBC would increase its overall spending on factual and drama productions in Scotland by £20 million annually. The BBC Scotland channel was approved by Ofcom in June 2018, and subsequently launched on 24 February 2019. The channel is allocated £32 million in annual funding, and its SD variant has displaced BBC Four on the Freeview EPG.
BBC Scotland also operates two radio stations covering Scotland: BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. The former broadcasts English programming 24 hours a day on the frequencies 92-95 FM and 810 MW. The station has specific programming opt outs for Orkney and Shetland in addition to regional news opt outs for four additional sub regions - North East, Highlands & Islands, South West and Borders. BBC Radio nan Gàidheal in contrast is a Gaelic-language station broadcasting for the majority of the day on 103.5-105 FM and simulcasting Radio Scotland's MW service at other times.
BBC Scotland operates a mini site on BBC Online consisting of a portal to Scottish news, sport, programmes and items of cultural interest through BBC Online. The department also provides content from Scotland on these subjects to the website and for the BBC Red Button interactive TV service.
BBC Scotland previously offered a podcast download of the top news items of the week and the online streaming of several key sections of output. However following the widespread introduction of the BBC iPlayer service, which allowed the streaming and download of nearly all BBC programmes including news, these services were discontinued as defunct.
BBC The Social is a digital content stream from BBC Scotland aimed at 18-34 year olds. Working with new and emerging talent, The Social develops daily content on a range of subjects including issues, comedy, music, lifestyle and gaming. Launched in December 2015, The Social won a Royal Television Scotland award for Best Digital Innovation in 2016 and another RTS Innovation Award in 2018 for the shortform drama Kidder.
In June 2018, the BBC announced the formation of a third "digital hub" in Glasgow, which will facilitate design and engineering of BBC digital platforms.
When BBC Television first came to Scotland there were no dedicated studios and Scotland shared an outside broadcast unit with BBC North in Manchester. Apart from a limited News service all programmes about Scotland had to be transmitted from London and had to have an appeal to a UK audience.
When the new commercial broadcaster, Scottish Television, was about to arrive in 1957 BBC Scotland managed to produce slightly improved News coverage by a complicated arrangement involving the newsroom in Queen Margaret Drive in the west of the city and the former Black Cat Cinema in Springfield Road in the east where the White Heather Club was made.
In the early 60s the BBC acquired land adjacent to its Queen Margaret Drive base and eventually three colour studios were built together with significant radio facilities and a Film Unit with its own film processing. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra had access to a large sound studio - Studio 1.
A constant theme of the early days of BBC Scotland was where its headquarters should be sited - Edinburgh or Glasgow? On a number of occasions Edinburgh had victory snatched from its grasp.
BBC Scotland's headquarters are currently located at BBC Pacific Quay on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow. The studio centre was constructed between 2004 and 2006 and was opened in 2007. Designed by David Chipperfield and reportedly costing £188 million, the studio contains three television studios and five radio studios as well as the first HD newsroom used by the BBC.
Upon the launch of the BBC in Scotland in 1923, the service originally occupied Rex House at 202 Bath Street, Glasgow, before moving to properties in Blythswood Square and subsequently in West George Street. In 1929, the decision was made to move the headquarters operation to Queen Street, Edinburgh, where the Edinburgh station had been based since 1924 following a move from the original 79 George Street premises. However, in 1935 the headquarters operation moved back to Glasgow as it accompanied the Glasgow station at North Park House, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow, near to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. BBC Scotland remained based at these premises until the move to Pacific Quay in 2007. The Edinburgh operation remained on Queen Street until the move to The Tun in April 2002. The Tun building is near to the Scottish Parliament building and contains television and radio studios in addition to a newsroom.
In addition to the Glasgow and Edinburgh bases of the broadcaster, BBC Scotland also has offices and studios located in Aberdeen, Dundee, Portree, Stornoway, Inverness, Selkirk, Dumfries, Kirkwall and Lerwick. Of these, the latter two locations operate radio opt-outs from BBC Radio Scotland while the Aberdeen, Inverness, Selkirk and Dumfries newsrooms produce local radio bulletins for the North East, Highlands & Islands, Borders and South West respectively.
In addition to these premises, BBC Scotland operates a drama productions studio at Dumbarton on the site of a disused whisky distillery. It is the main Scottish drama facilities where programmes such as Still Game and River City are recorded. Also, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is resident at Glasgow City Halls having been based at Queen Margaret Drive until 2006.
BBC Scotland continues to produce a high number of local programmes for the Scottish audiences. Its flagship news & current affair programmes are Reporting Scotland and Scotland 2016 which provides over an hour of content each weekday. Drama in the form of River City. With sport Radio Scotland, along with Sportscene, cover a large number of local sports including football, rugby and bowls. BBC Scotland also produces over 20 hours of comedy programmers for radio and television. While features and documentaries is BBC Scotland biggest input, with The Beechgrove Garden, Landward, Sport Monthly, The Adventure Show, The Mountain, BBC Scotland Investigates and many other covering all aspect of Scottish life.
Output for the British network has included such recent high-profile dramas as Shetland, Hope Springs, Waterloo Road and Single Father. BBC Scotland also produces a high number of gamesshows which feature The National Lottery Draws. BBC Scotland also produces the Scottish opt-out sections of British-wide programmes such as Sunday Politics and Children in Need.
Until 2010 a high number of Gaelic programmes were broadcast on BBC1 and 2 Scotland before transferring over to BBC Alba. Its flagship programmes which both started in 1993 are Dè a-nis? and Eòrpa. Eòrpa hit the headlines in May 2008, specially mentioned in the Scottish Broadcasting Commission's report. 'It was intriguing to note that without fail at every one of our public events BBC2 Scotland's Eòrpa programme was raised, unsolicited, and by non-Gaelic speakers, as an example of a positive, well-respected programme' - Blair Jenkins, Chair - Scottish Broadcasting Commission. and continues to be given a broadcast on BBC2 Scotland as the only Gaelic programme to do.
Over the years BBC Scotland made a number of well known and much loved radio and television programmes both for the BBC networks and for transmission in Scotland only. In television these were known within the BBC as "opt out" programmes.
At teatime in the beginning there was A Quick Look Round with Leonard Maguire. Then from 1968, as well as the flagship evening news programme Reporting Scotland presented by Mary Marquis and Douglas Kynoch with contributions from Renton Laidlaw in Edinburgh and Donny B MacLeod in Aberdeen, there were popular current affairs series like, Compass, Checkpoint with Professor Esmond Wright and Magnus Magnusson, Person to Person with Mary Marquis, Current Account, Public Account and Agenda.
Many comedy series have been made including Scotch and Wry, Rab C. Nesbitt, Naked Video and Still Game, while with dramas included Hamish Macbeth, Monarch of the Glen, and Sutherland's Law. In recent years, BBC Scotland comedy shows such as Mrs. Brown's Boys, Two Doors Down and Mountain Goats have been lambasted by critics.
BBC Scotland started using their own television continuity announcers voicing over specific BBC Scotland station idents for all evening and weekend afternoon junctions around 1977. Before this, announcers only introduced occasional opt-outs, which resulted in the London announcer being heard most of the time. The announcers were "self-op" - they had to speak and press the buttons to change the sound and picture and cue in telecine (film), videotape recordings (VTR) and live programmes.
From 1979, their duties were expanded to cover reading the lunchtime news bulletin in vision at 12:40, just before the network Midday News at 12:45.
There was one announcer who was never seen. Robert Logan was also a Conservative local councillor. Consequently, he never read the news summaries, nor did he ever give his name at closedown. From 1985, the announcing team started doing a news summary just before children's programmes at around 15:53, and within a few weeks, additional news summaries at 21:25 were introduced. From 31 October 1988, newsroom staff started to read the news summaries instead of the announcers.
Inevitably, though, viewers started to spot their little idiosyncrasies. Mark Stephen often came perilously close to sending up programmes with his good-natured humour; links of his included:
Directors and Controllers of BBC Scotland:
BBC Gàidhlig is the department of BBC Scotland that produces Scottish Gaelic-language (Gàidhlig) programming. This includes TV programmes for BBC Alba, BBC Two Alba, the BBC Radio nan Gàidheal radio station and the BBC Alba website. Its managing editor is Marion MacKinnon.BBC One Scotland
BBC One Scotland is a British free-to-air television channel operated by BBC Scotland. It is the Scottish variation of the UK-wide BBC One.For almost all of the time the channel is referred to on screen as BBC One Scotland, sometimes using overlays to replace the normal channel identifier. The station also has its own team of continuity announcers, provided by BBC Scotland, to accommodate for the variations seen in Scotland from the rest of the BBC One network, whilst also providing the channel with an added Scottish identity. The announcers, based in Glasgow, also double up as transmission directors.
BBC One Scotland updated its visual presentation style as part of the network BBC One revamp on 7 October 2006. The presentation style fits in with the national BBC One 'Circle' idents, but with the "Scotland" caption added to the network logo.
A HD (high-definition) simulcast of BBC One Scotland launched on 14 January 2013 on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. On 10 December 2013, BBC One Scotland HD was swapped with the SD channel on Sky's EPG for HD subscribers.BBC Pacific Quay
BBC Pacific Quay is BBC Scotland's television and radio studio complex at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, Scotland. Opened by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 20 September 2007, the studios are home to BBC Scotland's television, radio and online services and the headquarters of the BBC in Scotland.BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland is BBC Scotland's national English-language radio network. It broadcasts a wide variety of programmes. It replaced the Scottish BBC Radio 4 opt-out service of the same name from 23 November 1978.BBC Scotland (TV channel)
BBC Scotland is a Scottish English-language television station under the BBC Scotland division of the BBC. It airs a nightly lineup dedicated entirely to Scottish-originated programming. During daytime broadcast hours, the channel broadcasts a simulcast of BBC Two, but may opt out for news and sports events outside of its formal broadcast hours.
The channel launched 24 February 2019, replacing the BBC Two Scotland opt-out of BBC Two, but operating as an autonomous channel (displacing BBC Four on Freeview in Scotland).BBC Scotland Investigates
BBC Scotland Investigates is a current affairs programme broadcast in Scotland by BBC Scotland. It is broadcast regularly on BBC One Scotland on weekday nights, currently with varying timeslots.
Previously known as Frontline Scotland, the programme usually features current issues affecting the Scottish people. Most recent examples include gang warfare in Glasgow, problems with the NHS, the likely effects of increased gambling in Scottish cities and North Sea oil.
BBC Scotland Investigates' reporters include Samantha Poling and Ross McWilliam.
In most cases the entire programme is devoted to one topic, and consists entirely of an in-depth documentary piece from a single reporter (similar to the BBC's Panorama programme).
The programme is also available on the Internet from the BBC Scotland website, with episodes dating back to 2004 available to watch online.BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year
The BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year is the most prestigious annual sport award in Scotland. It is organised by BBC Scotland.BBC Two Scotland
BBC Two Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: BBC Dhà Alba) was the national variation of BBC Two for BBC Scotland. It was broadcast via digital television and was the sister Scottish channel of BBC One Scotland. Unlike BBC One Scotland, which broadcasts its own continuity with only rare exceptions, BBC Two Scotland would opt in and out of BBC Two network continuity throughout the day.Balamory
Balamory is a British educational live action children's series on BBC One, BBC Two and CBeebies for pre-school children, about a fictional small island community called Balamory in Scotland. It was produced between 2002 and 2005 by BBC Scotland, with 254 episodes made (including a DVD exclusive Christmas episode). The series was created by Brian Jameson.
Balamory was filmed mostly in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, with the exception of scenes at Archie's castle filmed at Fenton Tower in North Berwick, and other scenes such as the nursery and park, which were filmed in Glasgow.
A select series of episodes was shown for two brief seasons in the United States on the Discovery Kids channel. It was also shown on TLC. In Ireland, episodes were shown until recently on weekdays on RTÉ Two's The Den and continue to be shown on The Den's replacement, RTÉjr.Blue Heaven (2003 TV series)
Blue Heaven is a Scottish television documentary series filmed by BBC Scotland which followed aspiring young footballers at Rangers Football Club as they tried to forge a career in football. The series was originally broadcast in the winter of 2003 with a follow up episode in 2011.Current affairs (news format)
Current affairs is a genre of broadcast journalism.
This differs from regular news broadcasts that place emphasis on news reports presented for simple presentation as soon as possible, often with a minimum of analysis. It is also different from the news magazine show format, in that the events are discussed immediately.
The UK's Office programmes such as This World, Panorama, Real Story, BBC Scotland Investigates, Spotlight, Week In Week Out, and Inside Out also fit the definition.In Canada, CBC Radio produces a number of current affairs show both nationally such as The Current and As it Happens as well as regionally with morning current affairs shows such as Information Morning, a focus the radio network developed in the 1970s as a way to recapture audience from television.Additionally, newspapers such as the Private Eye, the Economist, Monocle, the Spectator, the Week, the Oldie, the Investors Chronicle, Prospect, MoneyWeek, the New Statesman, TIME, Fortune, the BBC History Magazine and History Today are all sometimes referred to as current affairs magazines.Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life
Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1993) is a short comic film for BBC Scotland. Written and directed by Peter Capaldi, it stars Richard E. Grant as Franz Kafka and co-stars Ken Stott.
The title refers to the name of the writer Franz Kafka and the film It's a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra, and the plot takes the concept of the two to absurd depths. The great writer is about to write his famous work, The Metamorphosis, but inspiration is lacking, and he suffers continual interruptions.
The film features a rendition of "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" from the operetta Naughty Marietta.
In 1994, the short won a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film. The following year it tied for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film with Trevor.Only an Excuse?
Only an Excuse? is an annual Scottish comedy sketch show that airs on BBC One Scotland each Hogmanay.
Starring actor and comedian Jonathan Watson, the show features impressions of some of Scottish football's great characters such as Denis Law, Tommy Burns, Barry Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Frank McAvennie, Walter Smith and Graeme Souness, as well as caricatures of the "stereotypical" Old Firm fan.Reporting Scotland
Reporting Scotland is BBC Scotland's national television news programme, broadcast seven days a week on BBC One Scotland from the headquarters of BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.
The programme's editor is Andrew Browne.Scotch and Wry
Scotch and Wry was a Scottish television comedy sketch show produced by BBC Scotland and starring Rikki Fulton and a revolving ensemble cast which over the years included Gregor Fisher, Tony Roper, Claire Nielson, Juliet Cadzow and John Bett.
Initially running for two series from 1978 to 1979, the show went on to become a top-rating annual Hogmanay special for over a decade. The series also gave early exposure to emerging Scottish actors such as Gerard Kelly and Miriam Margolyes. In later years, cast members from sister BBC Scotland comedy show Naked Video would also make sporadic appearances.Scottish League Cup
The Scottish League Cup, currently known as the Betfred Cup for sponsorship reasons, is a football competition open to all Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs. The competition had a straight knockout format but became a group and knockout competition from 2016–17.
Rangers are the record holders of the cup, winning 27 times. Celtic are the current holders, after beating Aberdeen 1–0 at Hampden Park on 2 December 2018.
Currently, the domestic television rights are held by BT Sport who replaced BBC Scotland from the 2016–17 season.Sportscene
Sportscene is the name of a range of Scottish sports television programmes produced by BBC Scotland.Still Game
Still Game is an Scottish sitcom, produced by The Comedy Unit with BBC Scotland. It was created by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, who play the lead characters, Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade, two Glaswegian pensioners. The characters first appeared in the pair's previous TV sketch show Chewin' the Fat, which aired in Scotland from January 1999 until December 2005.
Following its debut on 6 September 2002, 62 episodes of Still Game were aired, including Christmas and Hogmanay specials. The first three series were broadcast only on BBC One Scotland, though five episodes selected from the first two series were later broadcast throughout the UK on BBC Two from January – February 2004. From the fourth series, Still Game was broadcast across the UK on BBC Two. With the seventh series in 2016, the programme began to be broadcast on BBC One.
It was announced on 13 July 2018 that a ninth and final series would be produced later in the year which would see the characters go into "comedy retirement". The last day of production was on 14 September 2018, and it started airing on 24 February 2019, being one of the first programmes to be shown on the brand new BBC Scotland channel.The Beechgrove Garden
The Beechgrove Garden is a television programme broadcast since 1978 on BBC Scotland. Over the years it has been broadcast on both BBC One Scotland and BBC Two Scotland.
BBC Scotland current television programmes
|Gaelic (BBC Alba)|
|News and current affairs|