Beeb wins battle of the bells

WHEN it came to ‘seeing in the New Year’ – aka the ‘Battle of the Bells’ – BBC Scotland secured almost 70 per cent of those watching television in Scotland at the time.

It was, in fact, a hugely successful run up to midnight for the station, with its comedy duo – Only an Excuse? and Still Game – pulling in big percentages also.

From 10.45pm to 11.15pm, the annual, football ‘piss-take’ that is Only an Excuse? drew an average Scottish audience of 937,000 – in other words, some 57.8 per cent of the viewing Scottish public.

Immediately in its wake, a Still Game Hogmanay special upped the numbers even more, with a Scottish average of 1.12 million, or 68.1 per cent of the viewing public.

It was to prove to be the most popular show of the evening.

From a quarter to midnight, the Jackie Bird-fronted Hogmanay show (which lasted an hour) drew an average Scottish audience of 861,000, or 60.9 per cent. But at midnight itself, the show peaked at 1.1 million, or 67 per cent.

Meanwhile, Hogmanay Stories with Colin and Justin, on Scottish/Grampian, between quarter to and quarter past midnight, drew an average 148,000 viewers – or 9.2 per cent.