Gaelic language commissioning


Event Commissioning Round

Deadline for programme ideas – 29/04/2019

Deadline for MG ALBA/BBC partnership decisions – 17/05/2019

This commissioning round will deal specifically with submissions for programming based on a 2-hour live Hogmanay ceilidh for 31/12/19 and 31/12/20.



BBC ALBA’s Hogmanay ceilidh has become an established part of Scotland’s New Year celebrations since the launch of the channel in 2008. Rooted in Gaelic culture and musical traditions but embracing the wider Scottish experience, the ceilidh is an annual celebration highly appreciated by BBC ALBA audiences at home and abroad. It is at its best when hosted in a Gaelic-speaking community in a rural or urban setting. Recent locations include Glasgow, Isle of Skye, Stirling and Perthshire. The ceilidh may also be broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and to a worldwide audience online. The current look and feel of the Hogmanay ceilidh works well with the BBC ALBA audience but there is an appetite to see options for other models and to creatively refresh our output.

Proposals for a live 2-hour ceilidh to celebrate Hogmanay both in 2019 and 2020 are now invited.

Audience: General


Funding of up to a maximum of £500,000 over two years is available to the programmes. Proposals must demonstrate the added value and budget flexibility to be gained from a two-year contract period. Locations in Gaelic-speaking communities are paramount with a requirement over the two-year period to be based in the following locations i) in the Western Isles, and ii) mainland Scotland excluding the most recent locations.



Submissions of programme ideas must include;

- a creative summary detailing how the production company will develop and deliver popular, inclusive Hogmanay ceilidhs over the two-year period. Models based on the current Hogmanay ceilidh look and feel will be considered. We would also welcome new and confident treatments of this highly popular and key event in our schedule;

- details of key talent behind and in front of camera;

- details of key onscreen musical talent;

- details of musical director;

- ceilidh locations as per geographical requirements outlined above;

- detail of production company’s live broadcast experience in the entertainment genre;

- technical specifications including proposed O/B provider, number of cameras;

- a detailed budget


Submissions should not exceed three A4 pages. The opportunity to develop these submissions will be given through interviews with applicants.

Submissions or any questions on anything contained in this commissioning round should be addressed to Diorbhail Wentworth on or before 29/04/2019.


Who we are

Head of Service: Margaret Mary Murray

Director Strategy & Partnerships: Iseabail MacTaggart

Channel Editor: Margaret Cameron

Service Editor: Ishbel MacLennan