Media release: BBC Radio Scotland celebrates milestone with packed seasonal schedule and a new station sound


BBC Radio Scotland is marking the start of its 40th year of broadcasting with the launch of an exciting winter schedule that has something for everyone and a new sound for the station.

From tomorrow, St Andrew’s Day, through to Burns Night and beyond the season will feature new formats, weekly drama and comedy and hours of live music.

Listeners will also hear the new station sound – a package of idents performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – from tomorrow morning.

And at 9.00 pm, the station will broadcast a three-hour St Andrew’s Night Special from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Phil Cunningham and Jenn Butterworth will lead musicians from the Traditional Music course and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Brass department alongside special guest, renowned singer, Siobhan Miller, for a night of folk-inspired music both new and old, presented by Gary Innes.

Among the winter treats in store in December and January will be:

* The Fountainbridge Spy:  A brand new drama imagining how a young Sean Connery secured the role of James Bond.

* Sheena Easton Today: Sheena talks about how she spends her time between appearances in London’s West End, family life and how her singing ambitions began in Bellshill.

* Stan Laurel’s Glasgow: Ahead of the new movie being made about Laurel & Hardy, actor Alex Norton revisits his fascination with Laurel’s early life in Glasgow.

* Alistair MacLean – Master Storyteller: Greg Hemphill tells the story of Alistair MacLean, the schoolteacher who shot to international fame as a best-selling author.

* Picking up the Pieces: The story of the Average White Band.

* Harry Potter’s Edinburgh: A documentary which looks at the places that inspired J.K. Rowling and the wizard world of Hogwarts.

* The Death and Resurrection of Robert Burns: Keara Murphy tells the story of how Burns’ body was exhumed from his modest grave and relocated to a mausoleum deemed fit for a poet whose reputation was soaring across Scotland and around the world.

* The Mystical Mutt: The story of how illustrator and author, Jackson and McNicol, quit their nine-to-five jobs to pursue their publishing dreams and create a series of successful children’s books featuring Badger, a magical dog.

Among the new formats being launched in December will be Winter Weekend when, every Friday afternoon, Edi Stark invites guests to join her around the fireside for good conversation and hot tips for weekend activities. It will be followed with a new regular weekly slot for original drama.

The season also features a raft of music documentaries featuring bands such as Deacon Blue, the Blue Nile, Wet, Wet, Wet and The Proclaimers.

And nightly coverage of the Celtic Connections festivals culminates, as ever, with the final of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician competition.

Head of Radio at BBC Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, hopes listeners will enjoy the fresh sound of BBC Radio Scotland and a season bookended by two big dates in the Scottish calendar.

He said: “When winter strikes, we know listeners come to us for all the important information about weather and travel conditions.  But on top of our regular news and sport programmes, we hope listeners will be kept entertained through the colder months by these fascinating stories and fantastic performances.”


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