Media release: BBC Radio nan Gàidheal launches new schedule


BBC Radio nan Gàidheal will launch a new schedule on Monday 4th April, offering listeners fresh opportunities to consider the issues of the day in a Gaelic-speaking environment, increasing the variety of programming available to young people and increasing its rich and diverse range of content for listeners.

The changes include two, new daily topical shows, new evening music strands focussing on young talent development and the consolidation of resources for Gaelic learners within the schedule.

Each weekday, the station’s topical programming facilitates and reflects a community in conversation. As the long-established morning show, Prògram Choinnich comes to an end, presenter, Kenny MacIver, will rekindle an element of the show halted by the pandemic and which has been much-missed.

During the coming months Coinneach will visit commmunities around the country, meeting and recording both established and new contributors, to understand what life is now like for people in these locations.

The programmes will be broadcast over the summer.

Well-known broadcaster, Cathy MacDonald, will host a new show, Naoi gu Deich (Nine -Ten) Monday to Thursday, exploring and developing the discussion points of the day.

In that same slot on Fridays, Maureen MacLeod and her contributors will undertake an informative and entertaining review of the week’s news.

Each lunchtime, award-winning broadcasters, Niall Iain MacDonald and Emma Lamont, will usher in the afternoon with Feasgar an-diugh (This Afternoon) which promises to be a lively, informative and sometimes provocative cross-generational meeting space, with people at different ages and stages of life offering their perspectives on everything that’s going on.

A fresh emphasis on new voices and the diverse musical interests of younger
audiences are at the heart of changes to the evening schedule. BBC Radio nan
Gàidheal’s long-running music show Rapal returns to its roots as a home for new and emerging musical talent with a two hour show each Tuesday night.

Monday nights will see a new show, Cruinn (Together) mixing music, conversation and discussion for younger audiences. Cruinn will be presented by a pool of young stars who have been honing their presentation skills over the last year in on-air ‘take-overs’.

Later in the spring, a new programme will launch showcasing the vibrant traditional music scene.

For learners of Gaelic, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal is a place where they can hear the language spoken on a daily basis and now, working closely with the multimedia, SpeakGaelic project, finding resources in the schedule to support their learning journey will be easier.

The station’s Sunday lunchtime learning zone will be consolidated and during the week synergies between existing programming which is popular with non-Gaelic speakers and SpeakGaelic content will be pursued to showcase the learning opportunities.

Speaking about the planned changes, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal’s service editor, Ishbel Maclennan, said: “The relationship between BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and the audience is a special one, as their voices and stories are the hearbeat of the service every day.

“During the pandemic they’ve shown us again and again how much they value the service and we’ve been glad to be able to respond to their changing needs. It’s now time to take the next step, reflecting our community as it is now, facilitating that cross-generational conversation, celebrating the wealth of talent on and off-air and utilising the opportunities afforded by different platforms and formats to build relationships with new audiences.”

Notes for editors:

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal provides a Gaelic-speaking environment every day for
listeners wherever they are in the world and whatever their ability in the language.


Cathy Macdonald is a well-known and popular bilingual broadcaster and producer across a wide range of genres ranging from news to the arts, on TV and on radio. She has presented the daily live topical lunchtime show Feasgar on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal for the past thirteen years and is one of the regular presenters on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Sunday Morning with…” series.

She is a regular presenter on the BBC ALBA channel.

Maureen Macleod is a broadcaster, television producer / director and writer based in Glasgow. Originally from Ness in the Isle of Lewis, Maureen includes Eòrpa and the award-winning Dystonia: Beatha air Fhiaradh among her television production credits.

Maureen has also published two books – Banais na Bliadhna and A’ Toirt Mo Chasan Leam, the latter of which is based upon her extensive travels all over the world.

Born in Aberdeen and brought up in Inverness, Niall Iain MacDonald is a radio and television presenter who lives in Stornoway. Niall Iain has previously hosted Rapal and A’ Mhadainn on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and has presented live coverage of music festivals for BBC ALBA, including Belladrum and TRNSMT, as well as fronting BBC ALBA’s Hogmanay cèilidh and the Gaelic short film competition, FilmG.

Emma Lamont is from North Uist and now lives and works in Stornoway. She has
presented BBC Radio nan Gàidheal’s award-winning new music radio show, Rapal, since 2009 and, alongside Vic Galloway, was the face of the show when it transferred to television.

Coinneach MacÌomhair (Kenny MacIver) celebrates 50 years in Gaelic broadcasting in June 2022. Hailing from Back on the Isle of Lewis, Coinneach has had a long and distinguished career as a broadcaster, a journalist and newspaper editor, as well as being elected to the Western Isles Council three times.

He has fronted the morning daily topical show, Prògram Choinnich, on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal since 1994. He was awarded an OBE in 2014.

Schedule notes:

Monday – Friday
0903 – 1000: Naoi gu Deich, presented by Cathy MacDonald and Maureen MacLeod.
1203 – 1330: Feasgar an-diugh, presented by Niall Iain MacDonald and Emma Lamont.

1900 – 2100: Cruinn, presented by a pool of new young talent.
1900 – 2100: Rapal

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