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29 October 2014
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BBC Alba: Eilbheas 
Greg Hemphill as Eilbheas

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 programming.


The channel will broadcast up to seven hours a day and feature:




Sports coverage


Music and entertainment programmes


Daily news


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 Scotland."


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 weeks include:


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 afield.


Scottish and international documentaries will carry English subtitles.


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



The Introduction and FAQ are available in Gaelic in PDF format. You may need Adobe Acrobat software to read PDF files which can be obtained free from the
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