BBC Scotland unwraps package of treats for audiences this Christmas and Hogmanay

There’s a fantastic range of programming for our audiences to enjoy this festive season."Donalda MacKinnon, Head of Programmes and Services
Date: 04.12.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.56
Category: Scotland
A sackful of goodies has been delivered by BBC Scotland for its audiences to enjoy throughout the festive schedules.

The broadcaster today, Wednesday 4 December, released a tasty mix of comedy, drama, music and factual programming in its festive fare for television, radio and online.

Fresh from winning his second Scottish BAFTA, Limmy gives his distinctive take on the season of goodwill. Limmy’s Show! Christmas Special, BBC Two Scotland, Sunday, 22 December, features favourite characters such as Jacqueline McCafferty, Dee Dee and Falconhoof.

Alex Norton goes on a Scottish accent safari in Dream Me Up Scotty!, BBC Two Scotland, Monday, 23 December. He hunts for the good, the bad and the totally ‘bowfin’ among Caledonian accents which have aired on the big and small screen.

In River City, BBC One Scotland, on Christmas Eve, Nicole (Holly Jack) decides to break loose from the pressure of being a mum for a stress-busting night out - but it’s a decision which has far reaching consequences. In the Hogmanay visit to Shieldinch a flirtatious relationship between Zinnie (Nalini Chetty) and Jamie (Mark Rowley) takes a shocking turn.

Also on BBC One Scotland on Christmas Eve, Sally Magnusson introduces Christmas Celebration from Dunfermline Abbey. Popular traditional carols are sung by the congregation and accompanied by brass quintet, Alba Brass, and organist Norman Mitchell, while Jamie McDougall sings a new carol from Paul Mealor, Professor of composition at Aberdeen University.

Cameron McNeish, takes the audience on a new journey through the beautiful Scottish countryside in a two-parter, The Pilgrim’s Trail – An Adventure Show Special. Airing on 26 and 27 December on BBC Two Scotland, the programmes follow a new coast-to-coast walk across the Highlands from Argyll to Easter Ross.

On BBC One Scotland on Friday 27 December, The Proclaimers Live At Stirling Castle delivers a fantastic set of their best loved tracks from a concert recorded live at Hogmanay 2012 on the Esplanade of the historic castle - one of Scotland’s most popular bands playing their classic tracks at one of the country’s most iconic locations.

Following the River City episode on Hogmanay, Two Doors Down, on BBC One Scotland and network, is a one-off comedy set in a chaotic New Year’s party thrown by Eric Baird (Alex Norton) and his wife Beth (Arabella Weir). Written by Simon Carlyle (Benidorm, No Holds Bard) the comedy’s stellar cast also includes Kevin Guthrie, Daniela Nardini, Jonathan Watson, Doon MacKichan and Greg McHugh.

It’s followed on BBC One Scotland by How Auld Lang Syne Took Over The World, a documentary looking at a song which has become one of Scotland’s biggest cultural exports, having featured in more than 170 films. Dougie Vipond presents and contributors include Sir Cliff Richard, Kevin McKidd and Alan Cumming.

Then, Only An Excuse? returns to take a satirical look at the past year with the customary nod to the world of football. Jonathan Watson leads the line as the team take another flying header at events and people that have made the headlines both on and off the pitch.

Jackie Bird leads the countdown to the bells on Princes Street in Edinburgh in Hogmanay Live! while the party continues with Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow, and Catriona Shearer joins the celebrations at Stirling Castle with performances from Deacon Blue.

There will also be a nationwide sing-a-long of Auld Lang Syne, which viewers are being asked to join in with now, by filming themselves singing the song and sending their performance to BBC Scotland. More information is available at

On New Year’s Day, Glasgow Big Night Out is a funny and affectionate portrait of a great city through the eyes of the stars who have played there and the audiences who loved them. Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, Danny Kaye, Stanley Baxter and Kevin Bridges are just a few of those who came, who saw and who conquered some of toughest audiences in the country.

On Thursday 2 January on BBC Two, Rab C Nesbitt faces hard times that are harder than ever. Inspired by Robin Hood, Rab restyles himself as a new breed of heroic outlaw and hides out in a local park. Not so much Robin Hood as 'Rab in Hoodie'.

And over on BBC Radio Scotland, there’s a sprinkling of stars across the schedule as Brian Cox, Niamh Cusack, Lorraine Kelly and Rod Stewart feature among the highlights.

On Christmas Day, in a special Stark Talk, Edi talks to Lorraine Kelly about her childhood, her days as a cub reporter, her break into breakfast television and about the loves of her life: husband Steve, daughter Rosie - and Dundee.

In Christmas Morning with Cathy MacDonald and Ricky Ross, the hosts are joined by Alexander McCall-Smith and Angus Peter Campbell for a celebration of music, Christmas-inspired writing and great conversation.

Edith Bowman looks back to 13 October 1963 when the Beatles headlined live at the London Palladium and ‘Beatlemania’ was born. The week before they were performing to screaming crowds in Kirkcaldy and in The Beatles in Fife, Edith talks to some of the lucky few who were there.

Then, Brian Cox and Niamh Cusack star in Lucy Gannon’s comic drama Topaz about poet William Topaz McGonagle who decides to walk from Dundee to Balmoral to see Queen Victoria.

There’s also music and reflection, as the day begins with the Watchnight Service at midnight on Christmas Eve. The Reverend Gayle Taylor and the Reverend Rolf Billes lead the congregation of Colinton Parish Church in Edinburgh in carols.

Also on Christmas Day, Jamie MacDougall joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (SSO) for their Christmas Classics concert, recorded at Aberdeen’s Music Hall under the baton of conductor Stephen Bell.

Finally, Bryan Burnett presents highlights from two special concerts from Emeli Sande and Rod Stewart, recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre in London earlier this year.

New Year on Radio Scotland continues the musical party starting with Vic Galloway’s Rockin’ Hogmanay! Then there’s Magic At The Movies with the SSO featuring highlights from their festive concert of some of the best-loved music from cinema, recorded at City Halls in Glasgow.

Bryan Burnett and Janice Forsyth will be partying into 2014 in style with The Hogmanay Show, live before an audience from BBC Scotland’s headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, with music from Ceilidh Minogue and The Shiverin Sheiks.

On New Year’s Day in the evening, there’s Bryan Burnett meets The Waterboys, with Bryan talking to the group’s frontman Mike Scott, followed by highlights from their Waterboys at Glasgow Barrowlands concert in December.

Cèilidh Na Bliadhn’ Ùire 2013, (Hogmanay Ceilidh 2013) is live from Partick Burgh Hall in Glasgow, on BBC ALBA and Radio nan Gàidheal, with a host of singers and musicians bidding a fond farewell to the old year and welcoming in 2014.

Presented by Cathy MacDonald and Kirsteen MacDonald, the programme includes performances from Barbara Dickson OBE, Mànran and BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2013, Paddy Callaghan.

Donalda MacKinnon, Head of Programmes and Services, said: “There’s a fantastic range of programming for our audiences to enjoy this festive season. Traditionally they have joined us in big numbers for Hogmanay and hopefully they’ll do so again as we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with laughs, song and dance.”

Pictures for Hogmanay Live!, Two Doors Down, Dream Me Up Scotty!, Proms in the Park Scotland and How Auld Lang Syne Took Over The World are available to download from