BBC Alba – a new channel for Scotland
BBC Alba – the new Gaelic television channel – today unveiled the
premiere package that will celebrate the channel's launch on
Friday 19 September at 9.00pm.
The channel will go live with a new version of the classic Runrig song Alba, specially re-recorded for the occasion by a host of
Gaelic stars, including Karen Matheson from Capercaillie, Tony
Kearney from River City and traditional singers Arthur Cormack and Cathy-Ann MacPhee.
Children attending the Glasgow Gaelic
School will also feature in the video.
The launch of the channel will be celebrated with a major outside
broadcast – a live music special from the Isle of Skye featuring
Mary Ann Kennedy, Julie Fowlis, Skippinish and others – and a
launch party in Edinburgh.
This will be followed by an original drama, Eilbheas, set in Seventies
Lewis and starring Greg Hemphill as Elvis, and a gripping
drama/documentary, Peter Manuel – Deireadh an Uilc? (The End of
Evil?) starring Andrew Clark.
BBC Alba – a partnership service between MG ALBA and BBC Scotland
– will deliver high quality, distinctive home-produced
The channel will broadcast up to seven hours a day and
Music and entertainment programmes
Long-standing Gaelic brands including Eòrpa, Dè a-nis?and the CBeebies Gaelic block will find a new home on BBC Alba
while continuing to be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland.
Alan Esslemont, Head of Content for MG Alba, said today: "We are confident that viewers will find the package of
programmes attractive and the schedule will both match the
expectations of Gaels who have waited a very long time for this
milestone in broadcasting and appeal to a broad audience across
Margaret Mary Murray, Head of Service for BBC Alba, said: "The launch of BBC Alba is a landmark for Gaelic broadcasting and
the Gaelic community and it is hoped that this new channel will
also be a valued addition to the Scottish audience."
The regular faces of BBC Alba will be Fiona Mackenzie, from
Lewis, who will be the daily continuity presenter, weather
forecaster Kirsteen MacDonald, from Inverness, and sports reporter
Evelyn Coull from Lewis.
Some highlights from the BBC Alba schedule over the next few
Cuide ri Cathy (MNE) – 21 x 30 minutes
A new series in which Cathy MacDonald spends a day in the life of
some of Scotland's leading public figures and top celebrities
including First Minister Alex Salmond, golfer Colin Montgomerie
and author Irvine Welsh.
Turas Trump (Midas)
Who is the real Donald Trump and what is his Scottish connection?
Zinedine Zidane (MacTV)
A unique documentary about the life of the French football
superstar and his final world cup match.
Ola / Oil (BBC Gaidhlig)
A look at Scotland's oilmen – onshore, offshore and farther
Scottish and international documentaries will carry English
Sports coverage will include SPL and live SFL football, live
Scottish rugby and shinty.
Notes to Editors
This Introduction page and the FAQ page are available in Gaelic as a PDF through the links on the right-hand side of this press pack.
BBC Scotland Press Office