AS 2021 draws to a close, BBC Scotland has a stocking full of festive goodies across television and radio to entertain audiences over the festive holidays.
A mix of heart-warming and uplifting stories, laughs, festive warmth and musical treats will be served up alongside opportunities for reflection, making BBC Scotland the perfect Christmas companion.
Shining a light on some of Scotland’s unsung heroes, Jackie Bird returns to BBC One Scotland with Scotland’s People 2021.
Jackie takes to the road once again to seek out, recognise and thank those who go above and beyond to help those around them.
Scotland’s People 2021: A Thank You will uncover inspiring tales of everyday heroism and selflessness. With the help of a few famous faces including Gary Lineker, Martin Compston, Mark Bonnar, Sharleen Spiteri, Greg Wise, Fran Healy, Scotland’s Andy Robertson, Del Amitri and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Jackie brings festive cheer – not to mention a few tears – to a host of deserving individuals.
Taking the time to reflect on the passing of legendary football manager Walter Smith, a special tribute programme will be screened on BBC One Scotland.
Heartfelt memories will be shared of Walter both on and off the pitch as players and those who knew him best talk about the legacy he has left and the personal impact he has had on their lives and careers.
Going down the chimneys of five festive ho-ho-homes, judges Anna Campbell-Jones, Michael Angus and Kate Spiers go in search of a Christmas cracker of a house in Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year.
From decorated doorways to tinselled trees and festooned fireplaces, the judges look at every detail before gifting the title to one winter wonderful winner.
In this one-off special, they’ll still be looking for architectural merit and stylish interior design but they’ll also be marking the five finalists on festive flare and Christmas spirit.
As well as searching for Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year, the judges also reveal their own festive traditions and the programme goes through the keyhole to lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers’ own home for some tips on seasonal style.
From house-proud to dog-proud, the canine quest to become Scotland’s Best Dog reaches its conclusion as five furry finalists are put through their paces in this special hour-long episode. Every dog has its day and this week – after a hotly-contested competition featuring some of the country’s most-cherished canine characters – one perfect pooch will win the coveted Golden Bone trophy.
A selection box of comedy old and new features across the schedule with another festive helping of the hit comedy, Two Doors Down.
This new episode will play out on the BBC Scotland channel following its premiere on BBC Two. Having been away in the Highlands last year, we’re back on home turf in Latimer Crescent. And it’s all merry and bright over at Michelle and Alan’s as they welcome the neighbours for a wee pre-Christmas get together… but the festive atmosphere soon turns a little fraught.
There’s a touch of nostalgia with two festive episodes of Growing Up Scottish. First up, it’s the Christmas memories that Scotland’s comedians and entertainers cast their minds back to, including the casting politics of school nativities, the presents we always wanted but never got, the food we couldn’t finish and the sheer joy of dragging our parents out of bed much earlier than expected.
Among those reminiscing and reflecting are Ashley Storrie, Karen Dunbar, Bash the Entertainer, Des Clarke, Judith Ralston and Jane McCarry.
In the Hogmanay episode, there’s a look back at the run up to the Bells as Scotland’s famous faces recall the pressure to have a great night, how to navigate the street parties, the excitement of the countdown and the failed attempts at New Year resolutions.
Contributors include Zara Janjua, Chris Forbes, TJ Singh and JoJo Sutherland.
The award-winning Breaking the News team takes a wander through 2021 with Breaking the Year on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland.
Host, Des Clarke, his old mate, Jim Smith, and special guests take a wry look back at the biggest stories and events of the year.
As we count down to 2022, Amy Irons hosts Not Quite End of Year Show with a mix of chat and music on the BBC Scotland channel. Special guests will join Amy to take a look back at Scotland’s highlights of the year from the worlds of music, film, TV and sport.
Strap in for Queen of the New Year a new Hogmanay sketch show on BBC One Scotland from the minds of Greg Hemphill and Robert Florence.
Featuring Greg and Robert alongside the best up-and-coming and established Scottish talent including; Barbara Rafferty, Clive Russell, Gayle Telfer Stevens, Louise McCarthy, John Gordon Sinclair and Juliet Cadzow, this end of year treat will cover the big talking points of 2021 from COP26 to Wild Swimming and many more.
Scot Squad is back and quashing crime for Auld Lang Syne, featuring everyone’s favourite comic cops and some surprise guest stars. The sirens are blaring and the bells are ringing as the nation’s favourite force work a new year’s shift.
These cops are honking horns for Hogmanay and banging up bams for the bells. On the streets, at functions, down the station and in cyberspace. Their duties include everything from checking ceilidhs to making sure steak pies are legal. Even Chief Miekelson is working hard on Hogmanay, urging all Scotland to party responsibly on the biggest blowout night of the year.
This year, for the first time, Edith Bowman takes us up to the bells with Hogmanay 2021.
Edith is joined by a host of talent to bring in the new year. Music guests include Texas, Emeli Sandé and Talisk.
A special rendition of Auld Lang Syne will be performed by Talisk and Clare Hastings, a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician winner from 2015. We will be live at Midnight from Edinburgh Castle with a Lone Piper and the Midnight Gun and fireworks from Stirling’s Wallace Monument will be accompanied by a music soundtrack of contemporary Scottish classics performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Reflection always plays a big part in BBC Scotland’s festive schedules and as the world continues to live with the ongoing effect of the pandemic, there will be the opportunity to look back on the year with a variety of programmes.
Including New Every Sunday on BBC Radio Scotland and Reflections at the Quay on BBC One Scotland.
Christmas Celebration on BBC One Scotland, brings a mix of words and music presented by Sally Magnusson to take us from last moments of Christmas Eve in to Christmas Morning.
The programme comes from Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, where the first ever worship happened on Christmas Day 1620.
Greyfriars is marking the moment now as it was unable to celebrate the 400th anniversary last year because of Covid.
A socially-distanced small congregation, led by a choir from neighbouring George Heriot’s School, sing familiar Christmas Carols – led by Alba Brass.
Other music will be sung by the National Youth Choirs of Scotland Chamber Choir, by internationally-renowned Dunedin Consort, and by gospel singer Grace Agbana. Readings are by pupils of George Heriot’s, and include newly-commissioned poems by Glasgow writer, Mary Neal.
Christmas Reflections at the Quay on Christmas Day is led by Canon Michael McMahon and Rev Maggie McTernan, with a poem by Fiona Stewart. From the foyer of BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters, David Strachan talks to Oxford Physics Professor Ard Louis about how he reconciles his scientific work with Christian faith in the Christmas story.
Familiar carols, recorded in Greyfriars Kirk, are led by a massed choir of alumni of the National Youth Choir of Scotland with four new carols sung by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Choir.
Over on BBC Radio Scotland, a festive mix of music and chat will be the perfect Christmas companion. On Christmas Eve, Merry Mixmas sees Radio Scotland presenters choose their favourite Christmas tracks and tell the stories that go with them.
Also on Christmas Eve, join Des Clarke for Breaking the News: The Best of Unbroadcast. Des and a host of the show’s regulars reveal the bold, bizarre and often baffling material that for a variety of reasons never quite made it to your ears first time round.
Get last-minute gift wrapping done with a Christmas Classics soundtrack from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Recorded at The Music Hall in Aberdeen and conducted by Richard Dunk, the BBC SSO invites you to an evening of orchestral magic.
From music as bracing and exhilarating as a midnight sleigh-ride, to the comforts of familiar seasonal favourites, host Jamie MacDougall guides you through a rich mix of classics that includes the rousing spirit of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Yuletide carols, and all those festive songs from the Great American Songbook that everyone knows.
The Christmas Watchnight Service brings carols and reflection with prayers and readings to draw Christmas Eve to a close.
On Christmas morning, join Cathy MacDonald, Tony Kearney and guests as they share their Hebridean island memories of Christmas past, discuss the start of new traditions and the hope of light returning after the long, dark nights.
Bryan Burnett picks up the Christmas baton with a three hour live serving of Get it On which is followed by Christmas at the Quay. First broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel, Roddy Hart steps into Christmas with Wet Wet Wet, Kyle Falconer and Bow Anderson soundtracking the celebrations.
Roddy and his special guests get your party started with all the hits and some exclusive festive covers to get you dancing wherever you are.
Next up, is BBC SSO at the Movies conducted by Richard Dunk. Jamie MacDougall presents the annual burst of the big screen magic with a programme packed with the sumptuous sounds of Hollywood’s Golden Age, John Williams blockbusters, Disney favourites and the occasional surprise.
Away from music, there is plenty of chat. Ahead of the BBC Centenary in 2022, Michelle McManus launches 100 Years of Scotland’s Stories and hears from some of Scotland’s best-loved names who reveal how stories passed down within their family have been a source of inspiration to them.
Singer songwriter, Emili Sandé, reveals why she has such strong commitment to education, actor and comedian Sanjeev Kohli shares a story of family courage and Scottish poet and playwright, Liz Lochhead, remembers her inspirational granny.
Actor, Robert Carlyle, joins Edi Stark for a special festive edition of Stark Talk. In a whistle-stop tour of his life, we hear about Robert’s upbringing in Maryhill, drama school in Glasgow, founding the Raindog theatre company and how playing a Liverpool psychopath in the drama series, Cracker, changed his path… professionally and personally.
On Boxing Day, some laughs are served up by comedian, Chris Forbes, who presents My Comedy Choice in an hour-long festive archive treat, where some of the station’s presenters pick their favourite comedy moment from the BBC Scotland vaults.
Classic sketches, panel show routines, whatever tickled their funny bone through the years our presenters will explain why it made them laugh and share personal stories they may have relating to the clip.
Making their choice for the show will be Kaye Adams, Stuart Cosgrove, Janice Forsyth, Tam Cowan and Des Clarke and shows featured include Naked Radio, Only An Excuse?, and Chewin’ The Fat.
The Hogmanay party on BBC Radio Scotland kicks off with Grant Stott’s Hogmanay Vinyl Collective before handing over to Bryan Burnett for a special live Get it On…. Through the Bells.
Bryan will be on hand to play audience requests to take us in to 2022.
Over on BBC ALBA, the New Year will be ushered in by O.M.C.! a brand new sketch show that promises laughs, surprises and some unexpected guests followed by Hogmanay Ceilidh 2022.
Join Niall Iain MacDonald and Cathy MacDonald for arguably the best ceilidh on telly with an amazing selection of musicians joining the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band for a party like no other.
Steve Carson, director BBC Scotland, said: “At the end of another challenging year for many people, we hope audiences enjoy our seasonal package of reflection, music, comedy and entertainment as we see out 2021 in style and look forward to the New Year.”
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