BBC going big on Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games

SOME of the best-known BBC presenters – including Scots, Hazel Irvine (pictured), Fred MacAulay, Ken Bruce and Dougie Vipond – have been lined up to feature as part of the Corporation’s coverage of next year’s Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow.

From BBC Scotland’s HQ at Pacific Quay, the BBC’s coverage will include of the opening and closing ceremonies, involving irvine, Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Huw Edwards.

Says a BBC media release: “A raft of key BBC shows, including The One Show, BBC Breakfast, The Ken Bruce Show, A Question of Sport and Who Do You Think You Are? will come from Pacific Quay during Games time – and more will follow as part of a daily schedule of live programmes and off-air events aimed at making the venue one of the main Glasgow festival hubs during the tournament.

“In addition to bringing all the action from the Games, the BBC also aims to boost the accompanying cultural festivities by using some of its leading presenters for both on and off-air programmes – including 16 days of major events from a pop-up BBC@The Quay venue alongside the existing BBC Scotland riverside HQ.”

The release quotes Bruce Malcolm, BBC’s head of Commonwealth Games, as saying: “As you’d expect, BBC Sport will provide the kind of coverage they did so brilliantly during the Olympics but we also want to join in the year-long celebrations both here in Glasgow and throughout the rest of Scotland by bringing our audiences a string of live events, concerts and Commonwealth-themed programmes. Both BBC Scotland and BBC Sport’s Games team will be based here in Glasgow for the duration with PQ acting as our Commonwealth Games broadcast engine room.”

Says the BBC:

* Coverage throughout the day will feature live sport with venue presenters on site including Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and John Inverdale;

* Coverage  will start each day in BBC Breakfast, before Mishal Husain presents the morning action from 0900-1200;

* Jason Mohammad hosts from 1200 – 1500 followed by Hazel Irvine from 1500 – 1900 with Gary Lineker taking up the reins for the evening show; and

* Mark Chapman will then bring together all the sports and late night events in a highlights programme with Clare Balding co-presenting from various Glasgow locations.

The release continues: “As happened with the Olympics, subject to any necessary approvals, the ambition on BBC Three is to have an extended schedule devoted to live Games action and presented by a combination of Dougie Vipond, Lee McKenzie, Manish Bhasin and Dan Walker.

“Radio 5 live will be broadcasting from Glasgow everyday throughout the games. Nicky Campbell will lead the breakfast coverage from 0600 with Mark Pougatch presenting the live evening coverage.

“Delivering the first strand of Commonwealth coverage, Radio 5 live will launch its weekly programme, ‘Get set Glasgow’, with Eleanor Oldroyd and Fred MacAulay co-presenting the first show and broadcasting live from Glasgow from 1930 – 2100 on Thursday 12 December.

“In addition to the unprecedented television coverage, Glasgow 2014 will be delivered seamlessly across mobile, tablet, desktop and connected TVs meaning audiences can get closer to the action, wherever they are.”

Commonwealth-related programming during 2014 includes major music concerts, documentaries and events. Documentaries planned include Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made the Commonwealth and Commonwealth City, which will look at the regeneration of the East End of Glasgow.

“Highlights include Radio 2’s mid-morning Ken Bruce Show, Good Morning Sunday with Clare Balding, which is already featuring content from the Queen’s Baton Relay and will continue to look at cultural aspects of the Games in the run-up, along with another series exploring what Scotland has given the Commonwealth through music and interviews. There will also be a unique one-hour documentary presented by Lulu which will explore a musical map of Glasgow. Along with this, there will be a special Friday Night is Music Night with the 70-piece BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, joined by guests from the world of sport and music, to perform memorable orchestral music inspired by sport. This special concert will feature music from film scores, TV themes and the classics – everything from John Williams’ ‘Olympic Fanfare’ to Vangelis’s score of ‘Chariots of Fire’.

“Radio 3 will be at BBC@TheQuay with World on 3 Live, and they will also have a 26-part series with unique new recordings of roots music from 26 Commonwealth countries, made by BBC Scotland. Radio 4 will also have live programmes from Glasgow during the Games, including Tina C’s Commonwealth of Nations: The Empire Strikes Back – written and performed by Christopher Green to a live audience in Glasgow. 4Xtra’s The 4 O’Clock Show will record a series of programmes for families at BBC@TheQuay and The Asian Network will be live in Glasgow for the duration of the games, culminating in a live Bollywood style musical evening at BBC@TheQuay.

“Elsewhere, Nations and English regions radio services, including Radio Wales and Radio Ulster, will be broadcasting from a hub within the SECC precinct, covering stories relevant to their areas.

“Other highlights include Glasgow Girls on BBC Three, a musical drama telling the true story of a group of girls who banded together in 2005 to save their friend from deportation, and the final of The BBC Young Musician in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on 18 May 2014 – with the final broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3.

“The coverage doesn’t wait until 2014 though, as presenter Mark Beaumont is currently following the journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the BBC as it travels across 70 nations and territories – all produced by a team at BBC Scotland. The BBC are also already involved in a year-long learning project with the British Council and Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Class, which is a special initiative that provides teaching resources, online debates and interactive activities for schools to mark the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

Specifically, at BBC Scotland, in a partnership with BBC Radio 5 live, the Radio Scotland afternoon schedule will change to host a daily co-production with Fred MacAulay and Eleanor Oldroyd.

“The excitement won’t slow down in the evening when Radio Scotland head to live music events at BBC@thequay. There will be also be a special edition of Sportsound every night which will cover and reflect on the day’s events, as well as previewing upcoming key moments.

“Reporting Scotland will have specially extended bulletins to reflect the news and sport stories at the Games and there will be reporters dedicated to bringing the best of the action every day to viewers. BBC Two Scotland’s Sport Nation will be featuring Commonwealth activity during the run-up and Games time and there will also be regular news and games updates on An Là and across Radio Nan Gaidheal’s daily strands.

“BBC Scotland’s continuing drama, River City, is also getting into the Games spirit, with script writers currently in the process of planning some exciting scenes which will air next summer.

“On BBC ALBA, documentary pieces planned include Kerry MacPhee, the South Uist triathlete and her journey to Glasgow 2014, and A gu U mu Ghlaschu – ABC of Glasgow – looking at the host city through the eyes of the Gaelic community.

“For classical music fans, the BBC SSO mark 2014 with violinist, Nicola Benedetti, and composer, James MacMillan, joining the orchestra and students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on their first tour of India next year. The visit, in partnership with the British Council, is the centrepiece of the orchestra’s activities leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“Finally, BBC Scotland recently welcomed ten new apprentices, the third intake since the launch of the scheme in 2011, with apprentices working alongside the Commonwealth Games production teams in the delivery of BBC Scotland’s cultural and sporting programme.”

Pic: Alan Peebles.