Good Morning Scotland role for Naughtie, during run-up to referendum

THE renowned Scots broadcaster, James Naughtie, is to join the BBC Radio Scotland morning news programme, Good Morning Scotland, to help cover the run-up to next year’s referendum on Scottish independence.

Naughtie is well known as one of the presenters on the GMS counterpart on BBC Radio 4, the Today programme.

Says a BBC media release: “James will join the Radio Scotland breakfast programme in the Autumn for the duration of the referendum campaign, where he will be a core part of the presenting team.”

He will continue to present on the Today programme.

Adds the release: “In addition to co-presenting Good Morning Scotland for two days a week, he will take on a chief reporter role across the leading Radio 4 news programmes, working on a wide range of content, including specially-commissioned documentaries and a series of debates from across Scotland. This follows the BBC’s announcement of a new £5 million investment package to help boost coverage of the Scottish independence referendum.”

Naughtie is quoted, as saying: “I am thrilled at this enhancement of my role on Today. The constitutional debate and the decision next year have great historic importance for Scotland and the whole of the UK, so I am excited to be in the thick of it, on both sides of the border, from start to finish.

“The opportunity to spend more time working in Scotland in ‘Referendum Year’ is something that I am looking forward to immensely. This is one of the great stories of our time and I’m delighted to be so involved in it.”

The release continues: “Following the referendum, James will resume presenting on the Today programme, full-time prior to the General Election in 2015.

“James has been a core part of the Today presenting since February 1994. Recent highlights have included reporting live from Cairo, commentating on the inauguration of the Pope for Radio 4, hosting live coverage of the US 2012 elections and presenting a special Edinburgh Fringe edition of the Today programme, which he will repeat next month.

“Prior to joining Today, he was a presenter on the World at One. He has also written and presented many documentaries for Radio 4 as well as anchoring numerous Radio 4 election specials and Presidential elections. For some years, he presented a Radio 3 programme on opera and has presented many concerts for BBC radio and television. He has also chaired Radio 4’s monthly Bookclub since it started in 1997.

“As part of the BBC’s Referendum coverage, BBC Scotland’s news and current affairs department are also about to offer journalism training for 15 trainees which will be supported and provided by the BBC’s College of Journalism.

“The successful candidates will be taught the rudiments of radio, TV and online news not just in a classroom setting in Glasgow but also on the job and they will work on a raft of referendum content for all BBC outlets. BBC Scotland is also currently advertising for an editor to head up the Referendum Unit, a production manager and three online Scottish political posts.”