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BBC - River City Backstage Blog

Frequently Asked Questions

We frequently receive emails asking about auditions, autographs and tours so we've put all the useful information in one place. That'll save your inbox and ours!

Before you consider contacting us, please check through the questions below because it's highly likely we've already answered your question.

What is River City?

River City is BBC Scotland's soap opera, which you can see every Tuesday at 2000 on BBC One Scotland. It follows the lives and loves of the residents of Shieldinch, a fictional suburb of Glasgow. It's been running since September 2002, and attracts an average of 500,000 viewers a week! At the time of writing (May 2009), Shieldinch has experienced 4 births, 12 deaths, 9 marriages and has featured actors such as 'Neighbours' star Stefan Dennis, Hollywood's Maurice Roeves and Doctor Who's Louise Jameson. There have also been cameo appearances from GMTV's Lorraine Kelly and Radio 1's Scott Mills!

The show's going from strength to strength, and can now be seen anywhere in the UK, using the BBC iPlayer.

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When is River City on TV?

Usually, River City is on BBC One Scotland at 2000 on Tuesdays for one hour, and is repeated on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally (e.g. when football is shown) it moves around the schedule. Keep an eye on the River City news page for details if you can't find it in the TV listings.

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Where can I discuss River City?

Visit the Backstage Blog. If you were a member of the messageboard you can can add your comments to our blog posts and it's easy for new users to sign up and join in. To comment, just click on 'comment' underneath a blog post. It'll prompt you to sign in, accept the terms and conditions (if you haven't done so already), and have your say! Posts on the blog are reactively-moderated and please do make sure you're aware of the House Rules.

If you prefer messageboard chat, then Sarah will welcome you over on the Points Of View messageboard. River City has its own thread over there which you may like to bookmark. It's a busy board! Again, members of the old River City messageboard can use their existing logins for this. Now that the show's on iPlayer anyone in the UK can watch it so you could help spread the word and entice PoV users to Shieldinch!

There's a River City thread on Digital Spy's forum. Over on Facebook, there are two places to chat with fans: the River City group and the River City Fan page. Neither of these are official BBC pages but could be a great place for Facebook users to chat about the show. We are looking into other social networking places and more modern, progressive ways for interaction. As soon as anything new is announced, we'll post links here. Please note that the BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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I don't live in Scotland! How can I watch River City?

If you have Sky Digital, you can watch it on BBC ONE Scotland at its scheduled time, on channel 971. You can also watch River City anywhere in the UK, using the BBC iPlayer. River City is available for 7 days after transmission and can be watched online, or downloaded to your computer.

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How do I book a tour of the set?

The River City Tours only take place during the summer break in filming and must be booked in advance. More information about the next tours.

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Can I buy River City merchandise?

We're sorry but there is no merchandise available to buy.

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How can I get a part on River City?

Normally, to get a part on any BBC TV show, including River City, you would need to have had some kind of formal training and be represented by an agent. An agent will look for work on your behalf, leaving you to concentrate on developing your acting! Occasionally, casting directors might visit a school or a theatre group to search for actors. The best advice is to get as much experience as you can - get involved with local drama groups or community theatre. It's a difficult business to get into so you need a lot of determination!

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How can I be an extra?

River City recruits extras through agencies. We're afraid we can't recommend any specific companies but suggest you use industry publications for advice. Be careful who you give your personal details to and do make sure the agency is reputable before considering signing up.

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How can I get an autograph?

Autograph requests can only be made by post. Please write to: River City Production Office, BBC Scotland, Gooseholm Road, Dumbarton G82 2AP. Make sure you clearly mark your envelope 'Autograph Request', and bear with us as we get hundreds of requests!

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Where is Shieldinch? Is it a real place?

Shieldinch is actually a set consisting of four tenement blocks, a pub, shops and a boatyard. It is based on a number of different places in and around the west end of Glasgow, like Whiteinch and Partick. It was created especially for the show and took 8 months to build.

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Where is River City filmed?

The set is built on the site of old whisky warehouses in Dumbarton. Location shots are sometimes filmed around the city. For example, when Amber ran away, filming took place in the countryside near Loch Lomond, in Balloch and Leven Park in Dumbarton.

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When did River City begin?

The first episode aired on Tuesday, 24 September 2002, and featured Eileen and Tommy's wedding.

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Is the beer in the Tall Ship real?

Yes it is, but the actors only drink non-alcoholic beer when filming scenes.

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What subway station is used as the Shieldinch underground?

It really is Shieldinch station! The subway exterior was made especially for River City. Unfortunately it doesn't go anywhere.

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How can I get work experience at River City?

If you have left school, you can fill in a form online. Just visit for more information. However, if you are still at school then you have to write to us for a form. Please write to: Work Placement Co-Ordinator, Zone 1.02, BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DA. Please be aware that very few placements are available.

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How can I get a job at the BBC?

Vacancies are advertised on the BBC Jobs site.

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How can I contact you?

If all else fails, you use the enquiries contact form to reach us but please bear in mind we can't personally reply to all queries.

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