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29 October 2014
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Gruth Is Uachdar broadcast across UK on BBC FOUR

BBC Scotland's acclaimed Gaelic serial drama, Gruth Is Uachdar (Crowdie and Cream), is to be broadcast across the UK on BBC Four from Saturday 29 June.

The series will be transmitted in three one hour programmes to be shown on Saturdays at 8.00pm and repeated on Sundays at 7.00pm.

When Gruth Is Uachdar was broadcast on BBC TWO Scotland in February, nearly a quarter of a million viewers tuned in for the first episode, surpassing all expectations for a period drama transmitted on this channel.

The enthusiastic audience response was matched by warm praise from the critics:

"…one of the most stunning, imaginative, and culturally significant experiences of the year... Gruth is Uachdar is… a visual delight… the extraordinary eye of the cameraman and the director is plain for all to see." (The Herald, 18.3.02)

"Gruth is Uachdar… is simply breathtaking." (The Daily Record, 16.2.02)

"The classy production is set to… make the crossover to a mainstream audience… the stunning scenery, sandy beaches and aquamarine waters... is sure to work its magic… and turn Crowdie and Cream into a ratings winner." (The Sun, 19.2.02)

"...a vivid… evocation of a vanished way of life." (The Scotsman, 25.2.02)

"...a heartfelt, expansive and impressive adaptation… the story has a subtle, intimate power, and the environment is rendered with… visual poetry." (The Sunday Herald, 24.2.02)

"Gruth is Uachdar is enchanting and a marvellous insight into the culture in the years leading up to the Second World War. Beautifully acted, it has a charm, and a depth, lacking in so much we watch. If you didn't have a lump in your throat when the Harris islanders sang a psalm as the ferry carrying the young men to the war pulled away from a darkened quay side, then I suggest you examine your soul." (The Sunday Express, 24.3.02)

" was with an incredulous sense of disbelief that I watched this stunning, beautiful programme… the most exquisite piece of period drama that I've seen in a number of years. The acting was faultless, the direction quite stunning and the photography verged on perfection... Quite simply, Gruth is Uachdar is brilliant, breathtaking and beautiful. I feel privileged to have watched it." (Off the Telly (Yahoo website), 8.4.02)

Gruth is Uachdar tells the story of a young Hebridean boy and his family's attempts to establish a new crofting community during the lean years of the 1930s.

Based on Finlay J Macdonald's classic autobiographical trilogy, the serial is a moving and evocative tale of a band of pioneers. Set against the stunning backdrop of the high mountains and white beaches of Harris, Gruth is Uachdar is a powerful and unforgettable drama: vivid, magical and tinged with bittersweet yearning.

The tale begins in 1930 when Finlay's family arrive to work their new croft, belatedly awarded to Finlay's father, Iain, for services to his country during the Great War.

Through the boy's eyes we witness the growth of this new community and its struggle to put down roots.

Set during the years of the Great Depression, with the Second World War looming ominously on the horizon, Gruth is Uachdar is a compelling tale of humour laced with tragedy.

As Finlay grows up, so does the new village, the optimism of the early years giving way to the economic hardships of the Great Depression, and the anxiety of impending war.

Despite the difficult times the community endures, with the cast of colourful characters bound together by an unquenchable sense of humour.

Gruth Is Uachdar is a family drama designed for an early evening prime-time slot. Subtitled in English, the vivid characterisation, comic energy and compelling story lines will attract viewers of all ages.

A distinctive feature of the drama is the dramatic Hebridean backdrop. Popularised by the phenomenon of Castaway 2000, the Island of Harris is an extraordinarily elemental and beautiful setting for the drama.

Donalda MacKinnon, Head of Gaelic, BBC Scotland, said: "It is testament to the quality of this production that, after a successful showing on BBC Scotland, Gruth Is Uachdar is being shown to a wider audience on BBC Four.

"I am delighted that we can bring this story of remote lives to a UK-wide audience. Gruth is Uachdar may be set in a small island on the fringe of Europe but it is universal in its themes. The films resonate with joy and poignancy. These are stories from the heart."

Produced by Seumas Mactaggart and directed by Bill MacLeod, the executive producer is Donalda MacKinnon. Gruth is Uachdar is a BBC Scotland production.

Notes to Editors



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