Media Release: BBC ALBA meets the band of radio volunteers keeping community stations on the airwaves


Monday 7 March at 9pm on BBC ALBA

WHERE do you turn for local information? An update on roadworks, is the bingo still on?

Missing pets, or to get the best deal on carpets? Add hours of music and entertainment to the mix and for many people across the length and breadth of Scotland, the local community radio station is the first point of call.

Trusadh: Community Radio, on BBC ALBA on Monday 7th March at 9pm, looks at the army of volunteers from all over Scotland who keep their local radio station broadcasting and provide an invaluable source of information and entertainment for their local community.

Although each community station is unique in profile and the programming it provides, the dedication of the volunteers is common to all the stations featured.

In Fort William, Nevis Radio’s longest-serving volunteer presenter is Calum Smith. Every Thursday evening for 16 years, Calum shares his own blend of traditional Gaelic songs from a personal collection of over 200 well-worn tape cassettes.

On the south side of Glasgow, the profiles of two community radio stations are significantly different. Sunny Govan continues to go from strength to strength, recently featuring on Channel 4’s ‘The Secret Millionaire’, where they received a significant donation towards the work they conduct in championing the underprivileged within their challenging broadcast area.

Also on the south side of Glasgow, Awaz FM was the first radio station in Scotland to be granted a licence which allowed them to serve their predominantly Asian audience.

We learn about how they’ve now expanded their service to embrace smaller immigrant communities in their area.

Two Lochs Radio in Gairloch, was the smallest station in the UK when it was created in 2003 and in its short lifespan has grown and gone from strength to strength.

We hear from retired school mistress Alice Mackenzie and her husband, Roddy, who have travelled throughout the Gairloch and Loch Ewe area to produce hundreds of hours of programming on local history in Gaelic.

Over in Skye, the diversity of volunteers on local stations is amply demonstrated by DA MacLeod from Portree, who is a pharmacist by day and a radio presenter by night! We see him in action as one of a group of three presenters of Balaich nam Port, a popular traditional dance music series programme which is broadcast every Friday night, and goes out on Cuillin FM and Two Lochs Radio.

John Joseph MacNeil first got into community radio as a founder of Siar FM on his native island of Barra.

Having moved to Glasgow recently, we meet John Joseph as he continues his passion for community radio with his own show in Glasgow on Celtic Music Radio, on the north side of the city.

We also catch up with Isles FM on Lewis, which is the most north westerly community radio station in the UK. Set up in 1998, it has been a great success leading to plans being put in place for a new purpose built building to replace their current home.

Trusadh: Community Radio, produced for mactv for BBC ALBA, offers a snapshot of local community radio stations and the enthusiastic army of volunteers who give their area a voice – and an insight into the amateur DJs who have become celebrities in their local region!


For further information please contact Gary McQueen at Media House on 0141 220 6040 or email

Notes to editors:

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Contact: Gary McQueen
Phone: 01412206040