paid tribute tonight to reporter Ali Abbasi, who died in the Western
Infirmary, Glasgow, following a short illness.
Ali joined BBC Scotland as a travel reporter in 1994 after a spell as
an art gallery assistant for Glasgow City Council.
Ken MacQuarrie, BBC Scotland's Controller, said: "Everyone
at BBC Scotland is absolutely devastated at the death of Ali, who was
hugely popular with staff and listeners alike.
"His wit quickly made him a firm favourite with
listeners to his travel bulletins on Radio Scotland.
"Ali was one of those characters who always had a word to say to
everyone who came into BBC Scotland and he was soon on first name terms
with scores of our contributors, who subsequently turned out in force
to support his charity book.
"The Glasgow Newsroom won't be the same place without him and our
thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very difficult time."
Karachi-born Ali Abbasi contributed enormously to BBC Scotland.
He was a keen promoter and supporter of the Gaelic
language and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Western Isles to improve
his command of the language.
Ali was appointed as Scotland's first Gaelic-speaking
reading champion by the Scottish Executive last October.
In addition to being a well known voice on Radio Scotland and Gaelic
advocate, Ali also had three books published - No Worry Curries and
two editions of The Ali Abbasi Joke Book.
Ali also appeared in Gaelic programmes as an animated newsreader in
the children's series De a-nis? and the comedy series Air Ais Air An
Ran Dan (Back on the Ran Dan).
Ali came to Glasgow with his family from Pakistan as a toddler in 1963.
He was 42-years-old.