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Celtic Media Festival nominations

8 March 2017


A total of 12 Gaelic award nominations for BBC ALBA and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal have been received in the 2017 Celtic Media Festival awards.

Among the BBC ALBA nominations were Hamish, a documentary film about the renowned Scottish cultural icon, Hamish Henderson, and Jimmy Johnstone, a film telling the life of the Celtic and Scotland footballing great a decade on from his death.

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal has been nominated for station of the year, whilst programmes including Mac ‘Ille Mhicheil and Spòrs na Seachdain are shortlisted for awards.

The Celtic Media Festival takes place from May 3 to May 5 this year and will be hosted by Douglas on the Isle on Man.

Donald Campbell, MG ALBA Chief Executive said: “Pitched against some fantastic productions from across the Celtic regions and nations, it is pleasing to once again see Gaelic media recognised at the forefront of the creative sector.

“The nominations for BBC ALBA and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal programmes are just reward for both the imagination and effort that our sector professionals demonstrate on a consistent basis, and we look forward to the awards ceremony on the Isle of Man when we will hopefully see some of our programmes featured on the shortlists then going onto pick up awards.”

The BBC ALBA programmes which have been shortlisted in 2017 are:

Current Affairs
Eorpa Irish Babies (Produced by BBC Scotland Gaelic)
On 19th February 2015, the Irish Minister for Children announced the establishment of an independent enquiry into Mother and Baby Homes throughout Ireland in the 20th Century, with a three-year deadline and which would cost €21 million. Eòrpa reported on the alleged misconduct at 3 Mother and Baby Homes. The report focussed more on Tuam which spurred the Murphy Commission, after revelations of an alleged mass grave where supposedly 796 infants were buried between 1925 and 1961. Claims made that the homes had been at the centre of clinical drug trails, an illegal adoption ring and controversial disposal of infant’s bodies.

Factual Entertainment
Port (Produced by Bees Nees Media)
This landmark music series – part documentary; part travelogue; part spellbinding music performance – returns for a second series and continues to chart the musical landscapes of Ireland and Scotland. With two bona-fide tradition bearers leading the way, TG4 and BBC ALBA audiences accompany Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh to bustling urban centres and sleepy townships to record a cast of musicians, raconteurs and characters. The musicians respond with an explosion of music; ancient folk songs re-ignited; polkas married to jigs; ballads floated on snaking musical arrangements and all built on the adrenaline rush of improvisation.

Factual Series
An Lot (Produced by MACTV)
In this six part series a Lewis crofter tries to make a go of crofting full-time. The first lambs appear, and Donald MacSween or ‘Sweeny’ sells his first eggs. But there are some unwanted visitors in the hen house.

Single Documentary
Hamish (Produced by Bees Nees Media)
Documentary film about Hamish Henderson, a colossal figure in Scottish culture and a man of endless passion and curiosity, whose poems continue to elevate and inspire a nation. This documentary pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force in the revival of Scottish folk music. From an English orphanage and the draughty corridors of Cambridge to overseeing the capitulation of the Italian army in WWII and penning the most celebrated Scottish ballad in contemporary folk music, Freedom Come Aa’ Ye, this is Henderson’s life as told by those who knew him best and loved him most.

Sports Documentary
Jimmy Johnstone (Produced by purpleTV)
A decade on from his death, Jimmy Johnstone examines the life of a phenomenal Scottish sporting talent, telling the story of the highs and the lows of an unforgettable working class footballer, Celtic legend, husband and father who lost his life to motor neurone disease age 61.

In addition to its nomination in the Radio Station of the Year category BBC Radio nan Gaidheal also has a number of programmes shortlisted across the 23 categories:

  • • Fianais (Radio Documentary) – John Morrison interviews newspaper photographer, Donald MacLeod who speaks for the first time about covering the Lockerbie disaster, 1988 and on the effects that his experiences have had, and continue to have on him.
  • • Tormod a’ Bhocsair (Radio Documentary) – The village of Dell in Ness and Gaeldom were in deep mourning in May 2015 with the passing of Norman Campbell (Tormod a’ Bhocsair) – a huge loss to the family, community and Gaelic culture. In this programme Mairi MacAulay (Tormod’s niece) along with friends, colleagues and neighbours looks back at his life and the legacy that he left behind. The uncle, brother, father, friend, villager, neighbour, writer, teacher and most important of all the Nessman (Niseach)
  • • Beag air Bheag (Radio Magazine Show) – John Urquhart presents series five of “Beag air Bheag”, the only radio programme especially for Gaelic learners.
  • • Caithream Ciuil (Radio Music Programme (Live)) – Live radio broadcast from Martin’s Memorial Hall, Stornoway during Heb Celt Fest 2016. A variety of festival artistes, including gaelic duo O’hEadhra & Mackenzie and Canadian folk group The Allison Lupton Band, perform live in front of a small audience
  • • Mac ‘Ille Mhicheil (Radio Music Programme (Live)) – John Carmichael sets your feet tapping at the start of the weekend. Lively, unscripted chat and a broad selection of music drawn from the Americana stable.
  • • Spòrs na Seachdain (Radio Sports) – John Morrison presents the weekly sport programme which includes a variety of sporting content from around the country.