Made Here: Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands

GRAND Tours of the Scottish Islands returns to our TV screens for its second series – this evening on BBC One Scotland, at 1930 – with presenter, Paul Murton, visiting Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides.

Here, Arlene Jeffrey, producer at the series makers, Timeline Films, answers the questions…

Who commissioned the series?

BBC Scotland’s Ewan Angus commissioned the series and the programme is executive produced by David Harron. The BBC commissioning team have always been 100 per cent behind the production and we have a great programme schedule slot and wonderful promotion trails.

Explain the thinking behind the programme’s ‘look and feel’

The wider Grand Tours of Scotland is in its fifth series and has become a brand. The programme regularly gets 30 per cent of the viewing public watching it. The knowledge and love of Scotland of our presenter, Paul, gives it its distinct feel. The sheer beauty and diversity of Scotland gives it its look.

Who are the key personnel? How were they recruited?

Richard Paterson is our sound recordist and Richard Cook is our director of photography; he’s an Emmy Award-winning cameraman. I had worked with them individually before and put them together as our shooting team. They have an incredible can-do attitude. They need it! Grand Tours is a very physical shoot, they often have to lug kit up various mountains. This series they climbed the Paps of Jura.

Our editors are Bill Gill and Noel Nelis. The programmes success is, in part, due to the dedication and talent of our small team.

What kit and software?

Richard Cook shoots on a Panasonic P2 camera, in HD.

We edit at 422 Facilities. We are well-supported by everyone there and they have become part of the production team. Ian Ballantyne grades and John Cobhan is our dubbing mixer.

Playdead do our GFX. Kev and Jonny do a great job for us.

What were the main production challenges?

The logistics in getting to some remote islands and that it’s a demanding, physical challenge. The entire programme is shot outside on location so we have to deal with the vagaries of the Scottish weather. We shoot in rain or shine. Thankfully, this summer was kind to us.

What did you most learn and enjoy from the experience?

I learned how fortunate we are to live in a country with such beautiful islands to explore. It was a privilege meeting the island communities and learning about their lives.