Media Release: BBC ALBA follows funnyman, Sanjeev Kohli’s six-month quest to master the Gaelic cànan


An Dùbhlan – Sanjeev Kohli does Gaelic

BBC ALBA – Thursday 9 April 9.00 – 10.00pm

SANJEEV Kohli of ‘Still Game’ fame has already proven he has the gift of the gab, but can the acclaimed Scottish comedian, actor and writer turn his hand to Gaelic?

In An Dùbhlan – Sanjeev Kohli does Gaelic – produced for BBC ALBA by HG Productions and to be transmitted on Thursday 9th April – we will follow Sanjeev over the course of six months as he throws himself into the Gaelic world with gusto and works to earn his stripes in order to meet his self-imposed challenge – to present an entire music show on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

Along the way, he’ll have supporters and conspirators galore. Recording artist and Mòd gold medallist, Mairi MacArthur, is a charismatic cultural force to be reckoned with, and Sanjeev is lucky enough to have her at the reins as his Gaelic teacher. She’ll be putting him through his paces (and putting up with him!) over his mad six month dash to learn the lingo.

Sanjeev’s wife’s family are Gaels, and she and the clan will be waiting in the wings to comment as we see his progress.

But while it’s all very well taking Gaelic classes in the big city, how will Sanjeev cope in the real home of Gaelic – the Outer Hebrides?

We’ll see his quest take him and the family on a Gaelic road-trip to the Isle of Lewis, taking on some challenges along the way as he seeks to master the language.

He’ll catch up with his wife’s family, who do their best to help him with the language whilst taking him on a fishing trip – but will it turn out to be all fish and no language? The journey is rounded off with a right old clan Macleod family island gathering and Sanjeev’s progress is put to the test by his inherited family. They certainly have some choice tips for him!

Sanjeev’s goal is to kick BBC Radio nan Gàidheal funnyman Derek ‘Pluto’ Murray off the airwaves, taking control of his show and proving he can make the cut.

But when he meets Pluto, he’s taken aback by how friendly he is – is sabotage on the cards

Renowned musician, Rona Lightfoot, will also give Sanjeev a crash course in canntaireachd (chanting) in an effort to help his pronunciation, and cheeky chaps, The Vatersay Boys, try to give him some encouragement along the way at the biggest cèilidh of the year at the Glasgow Barrowlands. Gaelic comedienne and Lewis lass, Carina MacLeod, will also be on hand to pass on some tips.

As the live show looms and tensions mount, how will Sanjeev cope under the pressure? It’s one thing to have a script planned, but will he be able to keep a hold on his newly learned Gaelic in a live situation? It’s no sure thing that he’ll pull it off unscathed!

Only time and a lot of hard work will tell, but language tips and laughs aplenty are guaranteed, and we’ll be with Sanjeev every step of the way as he sets out into a new Gaelic world.

An Dùbhlan – Sanjeev Kohli does Gaelic, produced for BBC ALBA by HG Productions, will be transmitted on Thursday 9th April at 9.00pm until 10.00pm and will be repeated on Wednesday 15th April at 11.00pm until midnight. It will also be available after transmission on the BBC iPlayer.


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


BBC ALBA is available on the following platforms:

  • Sky 143 (UK)
  • Freeview / You View 8 (Scotland only)
  • Virgin Media 161 (UK)
  • Freesat 110 (UK)
  • BT Vision 8 (Scotland only)
  • Smallworld 170 (Ayrshire and North West England)
  • BBC iPlayer

BBC ALBA is run by MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC. MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Media Service. Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at or visit for scheduling and programme information.

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Contact: Gary McQueen
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