While some may be eagerly awaiting the Baftas and Oscars, Scotland’s Gaelic communities are busy preparing for Gaelic film’s biggest night of the year: the FilmG Awards.
Over 50 films have been shortlisted for the FilmG Awards, a night celebrating the best Gaelic storytellers and filmmakers in Scotland and beyond. Winners will be crowned in categories such as Best Performance, Best Production Design, Technical Excellence, and the Best Film Award.
Leading the way with four nominations in the Under-18 competition is ‘A Bheil Thu An Sin?‘, a psychological drama by the new independent filmmaking group Lost Rollerskate Pictures from Glasgow Gaelic School.
In the Over-18 competition, Inverness charity FC Sonas’s ‘Blàr nan Gàidheal’, which tells the story of the first-ever official football match in Gaelic, also has four nominations, closely followed by Isle of Lewis-based Tormod MacLeod’s funeral farce ‘An Tiodhlaiceadh’ (three nominations).
With the judges’ job now complete, the only categories still to be decided are the FilmG Choice Awards, with the public vote for these categories still open until midnight, 2nd February. Votes can be cast online by the public at www.FilmG.co.uk.
Rachel Kennedy, FilmG Judge and star of hit BBC ALBA drama series An Clò Mòr, said:
“It’s been a record-breaking year for FilmG, with over 160 entries – the highest number of submissions since the competition began. The appetite for the competition is brilliant, but it makes our job as judges incredibly difficult as there is so much talent to choose from. Our shortlist has been carefully considered and showcases the best Gaelic filmmakers based on production, technical ability, and storytelling. From highly skilled animation to tear-jerking documentaries and cutting-edge dramas, the high level of talent, creativity, and effort has been evident in every film shortlisted, and they are all deserved finalists.”
FilmG Project Manager Megan Dale said:
“The theme for this year was “Mo Shealladh’ (My Point of View), and all the entrants embraced this by showcasing different perspectives and playing with form. The shortlisted films show a deep understanding of perspective and the importance of listening to Scotland’s multitude of voices. The nominees represent different perspectives from all over Scotland, including Thurso, Portree, Glasgow, Harris, Lewis, Dunoon, and Inverness. Often, when we think of the film industry, we picture London or Glasgow, but FilmG shows that a wealth of talent can be found in all corners of Scotland (and beyond) and that it is important to encourage these voices to be heard.”
MG ALBA’s Head of Publishing Maggie Taylor said:
“Congratulations to all the nominees this year – it’s wonderful to see such a diverse selection of stories and to acknowledge the skill, talent, and enormous technical effort it takes to bring them alive. The Awards night is where this talent can be recognised, and I’m excited to see who will be crowned FilmG winners on 23rd February. For the first time, the nominees list includes Gaelic filmmakers from the Isle of Man and Canada, showing the international reach of the Gaelic film competition. We hope to continue developing FilmG’s transnational ties and supporting the talented filmmakers emerging across Scotland.”
The FilmG Awards will take place on 23rd February in the Lomond Auditorium of Glasgow’s illustrious SEC. The awards will be live-streamed to YouTube, with a highlights programme to be broadcast two days later on BBC ALBA (Sunday, 25th February.)
Star-studded schedule unveiled as BBC ALBA invites viewers to get ready for the festive season in style
Cathy MacDonald, Coinneach MacLeod (aka The Hebridean Baker) and Anne McAlpine are among the personalities inviting viewers to get ready to party with BBC ALBA as it reveals a stellar line up for its 2023 festive season schedule.
BBC ALBA has something for everyone this Christmas and New Year with a schedule set to entertain throughout the festive break.
With a line-up of much-loved Gaelic personalities and a host of programmes which promise to deliver a captivating mix of inspiring first-person stories, nostalgic archive, and heart-warming classics, BBC ALBA is the perfect place to celebrate the festive season.
Margaret Cameron, Director of Content at MG ALBA said: “This year, our programming is not just about entertainment; it’s a celebration of all Scotland has to offer. From pure escapism to insightful explorations into real people and real places, the schedule is packed with original programming which promises a diverse and engaging viewing experience.
“With a glittering line up featuring some of the best known and emerging talents in Scotland, we extend a warm invitation to both new and returning audiences to join BBC ALBA this season to embrace our vibrant culture and get to know our ‘famous stars a little bit better.”
The classic Christmas special Alleluia na Nollaig (24 December, 11pm) hosted by Iain MacKinnon, celebrates 100 years of Gaelic broadcasting with readings, reflections and carols. This follows Tuath Cheòl (24 December, 9pm) – a new two-part archive series with singer Ruairidh Gray with highlights from the legendary 90s Gaelic-meets-country music series recorded at the Grand Ole Opry; and Geamannan nan Eilean (23 December, 7.30pm) which looks back at the International Island Games which took place in Guernsey earlier this year.
Christmas Day offers a feel-good double bill, with Bill agus an Spitfire – Bill and the Spitfire (8.30pm) following 90-year-old retired airline pilot Bill as he fulfils his lifelong ambition to fly a Spitfire; viewers are then invited ‘behind the scenes’ with The Hebridean Baker – Bèicear nan Eilean (9pm).
Stunning new short drama Cur is Dlùth – Cloe, Warp and Weft also airs on 25 December (6pm) which follows a young girl’s perilous journey to reach family unity and a colourful future; while 11-year-old Mia achieves her dream of riding the family donkey on the beaches of Lewis in the short documentary, Mia agus Jimmy an t-Asal – Mia and Jimmy the Donkey (6.40pm).
On Boxing Day, Hugh Dan (26 December, 9pm), follows one of Scotland’s most recognisable sports broadcasters. Hanging up his microphone earlier this year after a 40-year career, the documentary shines a spotlight on the life and times of Hugh Dan MacLennan. Ramsay MacMahon sets off on his travels to Vienna to indulge himself in all things Christmas in Mach à Seo! An Roinn Eòrpa (10pm), sampling the festive food and drink on offer at the Christmas markets and local cafes while learning about the age-old traditions; while new Gaelic adaptation of the hit movie Creag nam Buthaidean agus na Caraidean Ùra – Puffin Rock and the New Friends (5pm) provides film fun for all the family as Oona, Baba and friends try to bring a missing egg to the safety of the burrows before it is lost.
Looking towards 2024 with a firm focus on music, Peat & Diesel invite viewers to join them on tour and in life across two roller coaster music documentaries (airing on 28 December and 1 January at 9pm); while Fuaim na Fèisean – Scotland’s Festivals (30 December, 9pm), takes a nostalgic look at the 50-year history of Scotland’s music festivals. Exploring some of the best 2023 events, musician Iain “Spanish” MacKay meets the performers, organisers and fans – braving all kinds of weather – to find out what makes the true ‘festival experience’ today.
Bring in the bells with Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire (31 December, from 11.30pm), with Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald hosting the live Hogmanay ceilidh from Govan Old Town Hall, with performances from Tide Lines, the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, Rachel Walker, Mischa MacPherson, Darren Maclean, Finlay MacDonald and the Binneas Choir, conducted by John Joe MacNeil.
The magic continues into 2024 with the brand new series of An Clò Mòr (from 8 January, 9pm). Season two is set to illuminate the winter evenings, promising even more high drama – and high fashion – against the stunning backdrop of the Western Isles.
The fourth instalment of Druthag na Hearadh – A little drop of Harris (31 December, 8.30pm) visits the Harris Distillery as their first batch of whisky goes on sale, almost eight years after the first spirit was distilled; and Ceòl Sìth (31 December, 9pm) follows musician Ingrid Henderson’s thrilling journey through Scotland’s mythical world of fairies and folklore. The first of a new eight-part series set in the stunning Scottish countryside, sees Ramsay MacMahon join eight guests for a walk during which they reflect on life, love, nature and loss in Rathad Ramsay (Saturdays at 8pm from 6 January).
Tune in to BBC ALBA and iPlayer over the festive period, with all new programming from 23 December. Watch live or on demand: BBC ALBA – website
Christmas has come early for the Gaelic short film competition, FilmG, with a record-breaking number of entries submitted by filmmakers across Scotland and beyond.
In total, 162 films have been entered across the 2023 short film competitions, resulting in the highest number of submissions since the competition began in 2008.
FilmG tasks filmmakers of all ages to create short films in Gaelic based on a different theme each year, this year’s theme being ‘Mo Shealladh’ (My Point of View). The competition and surrounding workshops and activities promotes the development of Gaelic storytellers, providing a path for budding filmmakers to enter the world of Gaelic media.
FilmG Project Manager Megan Dale said:
“This is Astar’s second year working with FilmG, and our aim was to enable as many people as possible to create a Gaelic short film whilst making the competitions as appealing as possible to teenagers and young adults. Working with industry experts, we facilitated over 50 FilmG workshops throughout Scotland and beyond, giving communities and schools the tools and confidence to tell their own narratives through short film production.
This is the largest number of workshops FilmG has ever facilitated, and you can see the positive impact of these workshops in the quality and number of FilmG entries. Many FilmG nominees and winners go on to work professionally within the film and TV industry, so it’s reassuring to see such an appetite for Gaelic storytelling. The future of Gaelic media is looking bright.”
MG ALBA’s Brands Communication Manager Alison Macdonald said:
“Congratulations to all the filmmakers who entered this year’s FilmG. The standard is incredibly high and it’s great to see a range of entries from all corners of Scotland. We’ve also had several entries from the Isle of Man and Canada, showing an increased international interest and reinforcing the interest in Gaelic language and culture overseas. Undoubtedly, the FilmG16 Awards ceremony will be the biggest we’ve seen so far and we can’t wait to celebrate the incredible wealth of Gaelic media talent with friends and colleagues in February 2024.”
The FilmG team is processing the entries before they are available to view on the FilmG website later this month. A panel of independent judges in the media profession will then choose the shortlists of nominees in January 2024, with winners being announced at the FilmG Awards ceremony in Glasgow on Friday, 23 February 2024.
Catherine Carswell’s sadly neglected novel reveals the life of a strong-willed and free-thinking young woman brought up in a bourgeois, strict and Presbyterian Glasgow family in Sàr Sgeòil – Open the Door.
The documentary, which is produced by Caledonia TV, focuses on main character Joanna Bannerman, who is born a prisoner of Victorian and Edwardian values, but into a time of possibilities.
Artistic, idealistic and passionate, she breaks free from middle-class, Presbyterian values to pursue love and fulfilment.
However, this story was not just Joanna Bannerman’s, it also belongs to Catherine Carswell, who used the 1920 novel to explore female desire – a taboo subject at the time, especially for a female writer.
Born Catherine Macfarlane in Glasgow in 1879, Carswell was the daughter of two devout Presbyterians who met at an evangelical meeting. George Macfarlane, her father, was an affluent merchant trader and became a town councillor, and both he and his wife Mary Anne were pillars of the church.
In her novel, Catherine’s alter-ego Joanna studies at the Art School, has talent and dreams of earning her living in London. She has a wide circle of friends, one of whom was with writer D.H Lawrence.
In the programme, Cathy spoke to Gerry Carruthers, Professor of English at the University of Glasgow. “This is a new time of frankness,” he said.
Cathy and Gerard Carruthers with a copy of the novel
“It’s a new time of explicitness. Not in a prurient sense, but in the sense that people want to begin to tap in both psychologically and sensually to the body as well as the mind.”
Catherine eventually did move to London, where she supported herself as a journalist and married Donald Carswell, who had loved her from afar for a long time.
Much like Catherine, main character Joanna also followed her dreams in London, using her artistic talent to get by. Her life, like her creator’s, had been very different from the one of a young middle-class woman born at the end of the 19th century.
Catherine Carswell experienced a critical time in the lives of women. Her novel, Open the Door gives a remarkable insight into that changing world, and Cathy MacDonald tells the story in Sàr Sgeòil – Open the Door.
Sàr Sgeòil – Open the Door airs on BBC ALBA on Tuesday 19 September at 9pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after first airing.
Popular BBC ALBA travel show, Mach à Seo, is returning for a seventh series, beginning on Wednesday 21 September.
From Caithness to the Campsies, from the big city to the Borders, presenter Ramsay MacMahon once again takes us with him on his weekend adventures exploring Scotland in Mach à Seo, produced by Caledonia TV.
Ramsay has revealed the top five things to do and see from his TV travels.
1. Beachcombing – St. Ninians beach – Shetland
St. Ninians beach is a large natural sand causeway with sea on either side. Often featured on promotional material of Shetland, the beach is beautifully picturesque and an absolute must-visit. Ramsay describes it as ‘a glorious tombolo beach’ and ‘a spectacular natural wonder’.
The beautiful St. Ninians beach
2. Sampling Smokies – Arbroath
A second-generation family business, Arbroath Fisheries was established in 1969, and specialises in ‘Arbroath smokies’ or whole, smoked haddock. Another must-visit on Ramsay’s list, he said: “Call in to see them smoking the fish, and buy it while it’s still warm. It’s best served hot with lots of butter!”
3. Whisky Galore – Am Politician pub and museum – Eriskay
Am Politician takes its name from the stricken vessel S.S Politician, which ran aground off Eriskay in 1941. In the bar, you’ll find some of the salvaged artefacts made famous in the classic film Whisky Galore. Ramsay said:“It has the best beer garden on the planet with a view of the sunset and it’s a hop, skip and a jump from the beach.” The island is steeped in history, and islanders are still finding buried bottles, with some only being found last year when one moved into a new house!
Ramsay enjoying a dram with a view at Am Politician
4. Rhino mudbath – Blair Drummond Safari Park – Stirling
‘Dot’, an affectionate rhino, made quite the impression on Ramsay when he got the chance to give her a mud bath at Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling. Ramsay said: “She knew exactly what was happening. After washing her sides, she turned round so I could give her bum a wee scratch too!”
5. Swinging a claymore – Duncarron Medieval Village – Carron Valley
Last but by no means last, Ramsay has added Duncarron Medieval Village to his line-up of must-sees. Ramsay visits here in the upcoming series 7 of the programme, and it’s an exciting visit at that!
Ramsay learning to sword fight with Gladiator star Chick Allan
He spent the afternoon learning how to sword fight with Chick Allan, who features in the 2000 film Gladiator, and founded ‘Combat International’ who recreate fighting styles and the look of warriors from many different eras. The Medieval Village is home to a training academy for all sorts of combat, and Ramsay is put through his paces.
The new Mach à Seo series begins on BBC ALBA on Thursday 21 September. All episodes will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer for 30 days from first airing.
Legendary Gaelic sport broadcaster Hugh Dan MacLennan is set to call time on his commentary career in shinty following the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final on 16 September, live on BBC ALBA.
The final, between Oban Camanachd and Kingussie, will be the 100th game to be played at Bught Park in Inverness, and will be the final commentary role in shinty for Hugh Dan, who voiced his first Camanachd Cup final in 1983.
Hugh Dan, who is also known to fans who follow Gaelic coverage of rugby, curling and football, was born in Caol, Lochaber, in 1956. He went on to qualify as a Gaelic teacher, and taught the language at Millburn Academy in Inverness. It was here he met John Willie Campbell, who he later succeeded in the broadcasting hot seat.
Later this year, BBC ALBA will be airing a documentary about the life and work of the star sports broadcaster, produced by Sgeul Media.
Hugh Dan has spearheaded the growth of Gaelic sports broadcasting and will continue with his sports reporting and commentary on BBC ALBA away from shinty for another couple of months before retiring at the end of the year.
It is likely to be a close encounter between the two teams, who have both beaten each other in recent months. In July, it was Kingussie that ran out 1-2 winners. However, it was Oban Camanachd who were 2-1 victors when the two met in August.
Kingussie will be confident, as they come into this one with the competition’s top scorer, James Falconer, who has bagged five goals on their run to the final.
The Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final is live on BBC ALBA, iPlayer, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC Sounds.
Two childhood friends turned go-getting entrepreneurs, Angela and Katie, have started their own cleaning business to take advantage of the AirBnb boom. But with a TV crew in tow chaos is never far away in BBC ALBA’s hilarious mockumentary series, Glan Fhèin.
Glan Fhèin is produced by The Comedy Unit, the TV hit-makers behind Scot Squad, Still Game, Chewin’ the Fat, Gary: Tank Commander and many other smash comedy shows.
The sitcom, which will be one of the main highlights of BBC ALBA’s autumn schedule, will be on screens from September 20th at 10pm.
Glan Fhèin is written by up-and-coming comedy talents Lana Pheutan and Hannah McKirdy, who also star in the show as best friends Angela and Katie.
The three-part show dishes the dirt on Angela and Katie’s cleaning company – Glan Fhèin, a punning name which means both ‘really clean’ and ‘really good’.
The plucky new business has two employees – scary office manager, Betty, played by TV newcomer Mairi Alice Macdonald, and hapless ex-con, Daniel, performed by Calum Macdonald. No one is quite sure what Daniel’s pregnant girlfriend, Dido, does but Mairead Hamilton brings a hilariously loopy energy to the role. Other regulars include smooth- tongued charmer, Seonaidh, performed by Iain Beggs, and his put-upon brother, Calum, played by Sam James Smith in his first TV role.
The cast of Glan Fhèin. Front row L-R: Mairead Hamilton, Calum Macdonald. Back row L-R: Mairi Alice Macdonald, Hannah McKirdy, Lana Pheutan.
The series also features a cameo from rising star of Scottish stand-up, Stuart McPherson, playing a brash property owner who mangles the pronunciation of his Gaelic-named holiday home.
Glan Fhèin aims to clean-up and give the competition a bleaching. However, Katie and Angela find a few blockages along the way…
Demanding customers, business rivals, angry protestors, disgruntled employees, pesky wildlife, stubborn stains, and romantic entanglements – it’s dirty work but someone’s got to do it!
But no matter how messy things get, Angela and Katie are determined to pull on their rubber gloves, pick up their squeegees and deliver big laughs. It’s all good, clean fun!
Angela clashes with angry locals protesting about short-term lets.
Hannah and Lana are Scotland’s latest comedy writing and performing sensation. The Comedy Unit has worked with several writer-performer duos over the years, notably Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan (Chewin’ the Fat, Still Game) and Iain Connell and Robert Florence (Burnistoun, The Scotts).
Like these partnerships, Hannah and Lana are a stellar pair, who honed their writing skills on sketch shows before turning their attention to sitcoms.
With Glan Fhèin, they’ve created fantastic characters for themselves, while also populating the show with a cast of recognisable comic personas that will tickle the funny bones of viewers the length and breadth of the country.
Co-creator Lana Pheutan says, “From the day we came up with this idea for ‘Glan Fhèin’ to our last day on set, this programme has lifted me up. I am so proud of myself and Hannah, who worked so hard to create the amazing characters in our scripts.
“We wanted to write something that felt new and different, but wanted there to be characters and a community that the viewers would recognise as well. It was so easy to bring this world to life because it’s not far from the world we’re in right now, just crazier with a lot more misogyny.
“I can’t wait to see the whole thing and I hope everyone likes it as much as I do.”
Co-creator Hannah McKirdy added, “As young writers, it’s not often that an opportunity like this presents itself. I am very proud of the scripts we wrote, and the characters and the world we created.
“We were so lucky that such good and talented actors (Mairead Hamilton; Iain Beggs; Calum MacDonald; Mairi Alice MacDonald and Sam James Smith) were willing to be involved, and they did amazing work to bring what we wrote to life.
“I hope that people will enjoy Glan Fhèin as much as we both enjoyed writing it together.”
Rab Christie, Managing Director of The Comedy Unit says, “At the Comedy Unit we are lucky enough to have been working with Hannah and Lana on comedy material for the last couple of years.
We are thrilled McKirdy and Pheutan have created such a fantastic ensemble workplace sitcom! It is a great idea for a show and features a terrific twosome at the heart of the action in Angela & Katie!
“Hopefully the audience will find something hysterical to relate to as Glan Fhèin has universal appeal. There’s something for anyone who has ever worked with a pal, stayed in a short-term let or pulled on the rubber gloves to clean-up something icky!”
Bill Macleod, Commissioning Editor for BBC ALBA, says “Glan Fhèin is a comedy clean sweep – brilliantly written, crammed with jokes and full of faultless performances. At its heart it’s about friendship – mismatched and messy at times, but always warm-hearted.”
Glan Fhèin first airs on BBC ALBA on Wednesday 20th September at 10pm. All three episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after first airing.
From the boreal peatlands of Canada, to the expansive peat plains of Finland and the
beautiful blanket bogs of home – Anne McAlpine takes us on a journey exploring
spectacular peatlands around the world.
This stunning documentary series takes us to Iron Age bog bodies, remarkable pool
systems, shielings which built communities on the moor, and bogs which cover stone
walls older than the Pyramids.
Anne also discovers how peatlands, which cover just 3% of the planet yet hold more
carbon than all the forests combined, are an important ally in the fight against climate
change. But to keep our peatlands from leaking out all the carbon they hold, we need to
look after them.
In episode one, Life on the Bog, Anne discovers what exists on the peat: from rutting stags
that roam the peatlands in Harris, to salamander-eating pitcher plants in Canada and the
watery legacy of peat extraction in the Netherlands.
In her home island of Lewis, Anne joins local Danny Mackay as he makes the finishing
touches to a peat stack to learn about how small-scale use of peat has long heated homes
in the Highlands and beyond.
We also hear from a peat producer in Finland, where times are changing amidst
environmental concerns, to learn about the use of peat on a commercial-scale.
Our Peaty Past, episode two, focuses on times when peat has come to the fore.
Remarkable stories include the use of bog moss for field dressings in the First World War
thanks to a widespread civilian volunteer effort, with origins at the Royal Botanic Garden
Anne meets Professor of Conflict History and Archaeology, Tony Pollard, of the University
of Glasgow, who has been exploring Scotland’s many battles. He relays how Robert the
Bruce’s boggy battle tactics proved decisive.
Bog pools in the Flow Country, northern Scotland, where scientists are monitoring the
health of Europe’s biggest blanket bog.
When speaking about the battle of Loudoun Hill, he said: “What Robert the Bruce cleverly
does, is he would come to the battlefield early, and work out how he could turn the terrain to
“Horses are not going to be able to operate over those bogs. To limit the space even more,
Robert the Bruce and his men dug three ditches, creating choke points and bottlenecks.
“The English cavalry could only pass through 500 at a time. At that point, Robert the Bruce’s
Scottish army, with their spears, come in and basically cut them to pieces.”
Anne also visits Roman Vindolanda Fort and Museum, where treasures include the only
surviving boxing gloves from the entire Roman Empire, preserved in the peaty landscape.
The final episode of the three-part series, The Power of Peat, looks at the dramatic
outcomes when peat is disturbed, and Anne continues her trip through the Netherlands,
visiting a city built on soft peaty soils that are slowly sinking.
Back on home turf in the Outer Hebrides, Anne finds out how the peat moors inspire artist
Màiri Gillies and popular local band Peat & Diesel.
Throughout the series, Anne makes many extraordinary findings:
“In Scotland, peat is behind some of our most iconic scents, tastes and sights” she said.
“Growing up in the Western Isles, peat played a central role in community life. Many
islanders will have memories of summers spent cutting peat with family, friends and
neighbours and will recognise the inviting smell of a peat fire keeping houses warm through
This series really opened my eyes to the importance of keeping our peatlands healthy. From
preserving Roman artefacts to having a pivotal role in storing carbon, it’s been fascinating
to learn about the power of the humble peat in combating climate change.”
The Secrets in the Peat series begins on BBC ALBA on Wednesday 20 September at 9pm.
All three episodes will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer for 30 days from 20
Sunset+Vine will be producing BBC ALBA’s sports coverage with a new multi-annual contract.
The UK-based company landed the three-year deal after a competitive commissioning process. Sunset+Vine will be responsible for delivering the coverage of at least 176 hours of live sporting events per annum, including football, shinty and rugby.
This will see the sports indie deliver a minimum of 26 live SWPL games each season and 21 live SPFL League 1 games and Glasgow Celtic Society Challenge Cup games.
The global sports producer will also cover a range of live shinty with this year’s Camanachd Cup Semi-Finals, the Cottages.com MacAulay Cup Final, the Valerie Fraser Cup Final and the historic Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final all taking place in August and September.
Sunset+Vine’s first live match was the Camanachd Cup Semi-Final between Kinlochshiel and Kingussie on 5th August and the team has since broadcast further shinty and the first of the 2023 season SWPL games.
Recent coverage also features the debut of BBC ALBA’s brand-new sports branding. The new look adopts the bold and iconic yellow branding used across other sports brands in the BBC portfolio, making BBC ALBA’s high-quality sports brand instantly recognisable to audiences.
Margaret Cameron, Director of Content at MG ALBA, said: “Sport continues to be a major draw for BBC ALBA audiences and we’re committed to building on our reputation of delivering high-quality, high-impact sporting moments.
“This three-year contract is of strategic importance to MG ALBA and BBC ALBA. We look forward to working with Sunset+Vine to build on BBC ALBA’s reputation as a provider of high-quality sports coverage and our commitment to, in particular, Scottish women’s sport.”
Grant Philips, Head of Sunset+Vine Scotland, said: “At Sunset+Vine, we specialise in live sports coverage in Scotland, the U.K. and around the World. We are delighted to be working with MG ALBA and BBC ALBA to bring a brand new and fresh approach to their sports output. We will deliver the highest production standards over the next 3 seasons for BBC ALBA’s viewers.”
Watch LIVE Cinch SPFL League 1 from Saturday 26th August and continuing ScottishPower SWPL coverage on BBC ALBA and BBC iPlayer from Sunday 27th August.
LIVE coverage of shinty’s WCA Mowi Valerie Fraser Cup Final features on BBC ALBA and BBC iPlayer on Saturday 2nd September 2023.
The digital future of Gaelic media is the focus of MG ALBA as they publish their Annual Report today.
The annual overview of the work of MG ALBA and the wider sector highlights high audience appreciation and an award-winning year for BBC ALBA content, as well as a range of activities and initiatives which are supporting the Gaelic media sector.
However, Gaelic media is not immune to the challenges within the wider media sector, with diminishing linear audiences, and the impact of high broadcast inflation key drivers for change. Positive growth in short form content views across platforms points to the need to secure Gaelic’s space in the digital media domain, as stressed by Chair John Morrison:
“I am under no illusions about the task ahead. Media is going through a time of rapid change driven by the digital revolution, and MG ALBA is no different. The ways in which audiences consume content are almost unrecognisable from five years ago. We must follow the audience.”
Gaelic media must react to the changes in the marketplace but is severely hampered by a funding model which John Morrison states is “not working”. This is particularly challenging when compared with other minority language media providers who have stability of funding due to statutory recognition as outlined by Chief Executive Donald Campbell:
“At a time when the survival of Gaelic media is at stake, I am proud to report that appreciation of our Gaelic media content has never been higher. But I must also point out the high degree of challenge – at a time of ferocious competition and high inflationary pressures – in continuing to deliver a service that depends on annual and uncertain funding allocations and which, unlike the Welsh and Irish language services, has no statutory protections.”
MG ALBA continues to actively engage with the UK Government, Scottish Government and the BBC to improve the settlement for Gaelic media. This includes a recent round table, hosted by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, to discuss the coordination of funding to Gaelic media.