Act of Union Debate is Ratings Winner

A televised debate about the Act of Union between Scotland and England, broadcast on Tuesday evening, was a ratings winner, especially among Scots.

The BBC Two Newsnight programme – broadcast across the whole of the UK on the 300th anniversary of the Act – drew in an average Scottish audience of 180,000 – some 12 per cent of the available TV audience on the night. Across the UK as a whole, the figure was a much more modest seven per cent.

Among the speakers were Alex Salmond, of the SNP; Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for Scotland; James Boyle, former head of Radio Four; actress, Elaine C. Smith; novelist, Ian Rankin; writer and commentator, Michael Fry; and musician, Ricky Ross.

Channel 4’s Shameless – which coincided with three-quarters of the Newsnight programme, was, however, responsible for an average audience of 340,000. The programme following it – I Love You, and You, And You – saw a drop to 87,000.