Media Broth: One spoon or two?

BBC ALBA launched its Autumn schedule yesterday, with the ‘jewels in the crown’ arguably a three-part venture into the expensive genre of drama and further commitment to coverage of Scottish women’s football.

Producing the drama, Bannan/The Ties That Bind, is none other than Chris Young, whose biggest credit has to be the TV hit on Channel 4, The Inbetweeners.

Filming began on Monday and much of the drama is set outdoors, on a fictional island. But Isle of Skye-based Young told the glittering audience, gathered for the launch, that filming began in, typically, the pouring rain.

So, imagine the reaction when the two lead actors were told there had been a last-minute change of plan. We’re moving indoors, they’re told. It’s probably the “hardest” scene of the whole drama – confides Young. At 8am, it’s time for the… er, bedroom scene.

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BBC ALBA’s commitment to Scottish women’s football drew warm words from Shelley Alexander, described as having ‘editorial lead for women’s sport’ at the BBC.

But soon, she was quickly scrambling, to explain that it had been a long night on the sleeper train, north, to attend the launch.

Waxing lyrical about the boost to women’s sport afforded by last year’s Olympics and Paralympics, she focussed on the GB women’s football team and the huge crowds it attracted.

Except that a slip of the tongue had her saying ‘English’, rather than GB.

To the sound of forgiving oohs and aahs, she explained: The previous night she had just been working on BBC Two’s recent regular programming devoted to the women’s game. And lots of it had been about former England women’s coach, Hope Powell.

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STAYING with football and a fantastic discussion last night on BBC Radio Scotland, about the role of football agents, the just-closed transfer window in the men’s game, and how attractive are Scots and Scotland-based players to the wider football world.

So, how much – asked pundit, Chick Young – did Hamilton Accies make from the sale of former player, James McCarthy, from Wigan to Everton for a reported £13 million; courtesy of a sell-on clause in his contract when he moved south?

Quick as a flash, Hamilton Accies chair, Les Gray, explained the matter was bound by a confidentiality agreement – adding it would be like asking Young how much earned from the BBC.

Not much, by the sounds of it.

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RESPLENDENT in her purple shoes, the TV producer, Margot McCuaig, was at the BBC ALBA schedule launch, in her capacity as producer of an upcoming TV documentary on the history of Scottish women’s football.

Readers might recall that McCuaig’s company, Purple TV, is the outfit behind a recent, hugely watchable programme marking the 30th anniversary of Aberdeen Football Club winning the European Cup-Winners’ Cup.

And which includes a tale from the then Aberdeen manager, Alex Ferguson. A quiz among the players the night before the game, briefly descended into uproar. It’s not Hamilton Academicals, pointed out Ferguson, but Hamilton Academical.

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