Bumper festive package of comedy, documentaries, drama and music unwrapped by BBC Scotland
There’s something for everyone in our package of seasonal programming. It’s a great line-up of content across radio, television and online that will bring added sparkle to the festivities for our audiences.Donalda MacKinnon
BBC Scotland is treating its audiences to a selection box of television and radio goodies which includes the return of a comedy favourite for a Hogmanay special.
Gary McLintoch of Tank Commander fame turns documentary filmmaker as he goes to Los Angeles to explore the ups and downs of life in Tinseltown and meet the Scots who’ve relocated there.
In Gary Goes to Hollywood, the alter-ego of actor Greg McHugh meets Guardians of the Galaxy star Karen Gillan and showbiz legend Ross King to find out why they moved away, what they make of La La Land and what they miss about home.
Gary’s stateside venture is part of the Hogmanay offering on BBC One Scotland which features Jonathan Watson and the Only An Excuse? team putting the boot into the headlines that have dominated Scottish football and life over the past 12 months.
In Hogmanay Live 2018 Jackie Bird will bring in the New Year from the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow with a line-up of guests which includes singers Alesha Dixon and Karine Polwart and actor Gregor Fisher who’ll celebrate the 40th anniversary of Scotch & Wry by paying homage to the late, great Rikki Fulton and his famous character, Rev I.M Jolly.
Another comedy legend, Billy Connolly, will be celebrated in a two part documentary series. The first episode of Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland which is built around intimate interviews with the great man himself plus the views of contributors including Val McDermid, Sharleen Spiteri and Eddie Izzard airs on Friday 28 December on BBC Two and the concluding episode is on Friday 4 January.
There’s another traditional double helping of Roads Less Travelled and this year Scotland’s best-known outdoors man Cameron McNeish is on the Atlantic Way. In the episodes which air on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 December on BBC Two Scotland Cameron journeys up the western seaboard from the Mull of Kintyre to Mallaig.
It’s an eventful yuletide in River City on Tuesday 27 December and Wednesday 2 January on BBC One Scotland. In the first episode Christmas Day cheer disappears after Lenny (Frank Gallagher) uncovers a devastating secret and in the second festive episode Stevie (Iain Robertson) takes drastic action to silence Poppy (Lindsey Campbell) who has overheard an incriminating conversation.
BBC Scotland will also commemorate what is arguably the greatest sea tragedy ever to befall the west of Scotland. On January 1 1919, having survived the First World War, more than 250 naval men were returning home on the HMY Iolaire - but in a rising gale the ship sank within yards of the Lewis coast. Programmes marking the 100th anniversary of the tragedy include In Sight of Home: The Iolaire on BBC Two Scotland and Cuimhneachan - An Iolaire and An Iolaire – Bidh sinn a’ cuimhneachadh (Remembering the Iolaire) on BBC Alba.
In an extended feature for BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday Morning With on 23 December, Cathy McDonald marks the centenary of the tragedy. The feature will also be available on the BBC’s WW1@Home website and on 2 January, Anna Murray presents Remembering Iolaire, looking at the impact on the community and the way in which artists have responded.
Among the other highlights on BBC Radio Scotland there’s Christmas Classics on Christmas Eve. Jazz superstar Clare Teal sings and presents a swingin' Christmas Concert from City Halls Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Bringing in Christmas Day is Our Christmas with Michelle McManus as the singer and broadcaster hears stories of family traditions that make Christmas special and meaningful.
On Christmas Day there’s also a nostalgic look back at the history of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh which will be closing its doors for two years in 2021 to undergo a facelift. In The Old Lady of Leven Street, Grant Stott, who does a regular turn as a Panto baddie, interviews some of the famous names who have also performed there including living legend Stanley Baxter.
There’s the first of two episodes of Oh Yes It Is, Oh No It Isn’t! in which Billy Differ hosts a quiz with two teams of Scotland's favourite panto stars taking each other on with panto questions and improvised party pieces. Episode two airs on New Year’s Day.
And Bryan Burnett hosts another joyous show as Radio Scotland brings in the New Year on The Hogmanay Show from Edinburgh’s Old Town with the Cask Strength Ceilidh Band and singer Fiona Hunter.
BBC Alba’s Cèilidh Na Bliadhn’ Ùire 2018 (Hogmanay Ceilidh 2018) comes from Govan Old Town Hall and features an array of outstanding Gaelic singers and musicians to take viewers through the bells. Cathy Macdonald and Niall Ian Macdonald are the hosts and the guests include the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band and the Govan Gaelic Choir.
Donalda MacKinnon, Director, BBC Scotland, says: "There’s something for everyone in our package of seasonal programming. It’s a great line-up of content across radio, television and online that will bring added sparkle to the festivities for our audiences."