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BBC ALBA announces first high-end Gaelic drama series set to hit international screens in 2025

15 March 2024

Black Camel Pictures will produce An t-Eilean (The Island), created by Nicholas Osborne and co-written by Patsi Mackenzie, with Tom Sullivan as director

BBC ALBA has commissioned a brand-new TV crime thriller (4 x 60’) which will be the biggest and most high-profile Gaelic drama series in the channel’s history.

With a budget of over £1 million per episode, the ambitious four-part series, An t-Eilean (The Island), is set to put Gaelic-language drama on the global map with a gripping storyline from screenwriter/creator Nicholas Osborne (producer of Remember Me and License to Wed), co-written by screenwriter Patsi Mackenzie (Buidheagain and An Clò Mòr).

Produced by BAFTA-winning Black Camel Pictures (makers of hit TV show Annika) and directed by Tom Sullivan (best known for his award-winning film Arracht), An t-Eilean (The Island) is set to air to an international audience with support from MG ALBA and global distributor, All3Media International. Development of the project has been supported by Screen Scotland.

Set against the elemental landscape of the Outer Hebrides, An t-Eilean (The Island) is a compelling crime story that follows a family caught up in a murder investigation very close to home. When their mother is found murdered in the family castle, four adult children return to the Scottish island of their birth as their father is questioned over her death.

Bill Macleod, commissioning editor at BBC ALBA, commented: “An t-Eilean is a game-changer for BBC ALBA as our biggest budget and most prestigious TV drama to date.

“We’re in the process of bringing together an amazing cast and breathtaking filming locations to help bring this enthralling Gaelic story to life on a global stage.”

Filming is expected to begin on location against the stunning backdrop of the Western Isles in spring 2024, with more information on casting to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Arabella Page Croft, executive producer at Black Camel Pictures, said: “We are hugely proud to produce An t-Eilean, another ambitious TV drama series from Black Camel and the first ever high-end Gaelic-language drama made in Scotland!

“It has been such a joy and inspiration to develop this gripping thriller together with BBC ALBA and the whole team are looking forward to beginning principal photography on the spectacular Hebridean isles of Lewis and Harris next month.”