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Festive Programming on BBC ALBA

13 December 2018

There is a wealth of original content this Christmas on BBC ALBA, from heart-wrenching documentaries, to fantastic children’s drama with music and celebrations in between.

Kicking off festivities is Ceathrar air Chuairt, with four teenagers braving the wilds of the Scottish Highlands bereft of mod-cons. Over three consecutive days starting on Christmas Eve, wild swimming social media sensation Calum Maclean joins Lachlan, Megan, Clare Frances and Angus as they try and become self-sufficient in inhospitable conditions. There is laughter, tears and clashing personalities, on the very rocky road.

Ceathrar air Chuairt

Calum Maclean, star of BBC ALBA’s Dhan Uisge and BBC’s The Social says: “Our expedition was a great challenge, which never exactly went to plan! Viewers will see how four normal young Scots deal with some of the harshest weather, relentless hard walking and maybe toughest of all – each other!”

An emotional search for a long-lost brother and son, A’ Sireadh Sascha, follows popular Gaelic singer Mischa Macpherson, a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, as she travels to Germany with her father Lachie to find the son he last saw 34 years ago.

A real Christmas Day treat is in store for BBC ALBA’s young viewers with a new drama A-null ’s a-nall: Buidheagain the story of a young traveller girl’s fight to call a farm her home. The drama, created as part of a scheme by the European Broadcasting Union was written by Patsi MacKenzie and directed by former River City star Tony Kearney.

Tony Kearney comments, “It’s a great script and a fantastic cast of young budding stars and so it feels like just the thing for families on Christmas Day.”

After a hugely popular debut this Autumn, FUNC delivers a cheeky Christmas comedy special with guest appearances from well-known personalities in the world of politics and entertainment. FUNC is produced and directed by Michael Hines, one of the creators of Still Game.

2018 marked 30 years since the Piper Alpha tragedy. Piper Alpha: An Sgàil is a moving personal documentary following journalist Iona Ballantyne as she meets families whose loved ones were lost as well survivors of the disaster.

On Boxing Day, Colin MacLeod – When it Kicks In follows the singer-songwriter from Lewis as he starts to make a real impact in the music industry. When he’s not playing music, writing songs or surfing, Colin fishes and works with his Dad at home on their croft on the Isle of Lewis. This is in sharp contrast to the heady world of international music he has just entered. Colin signed a new deal with a major record label in the US which took him to guesting on the The Late Late Show with James Corden and supporting his boyhood hero Robert Plant at the O2 in London. BBC ALBA has had unique access to Colin across 2018 to create a personal portrait of this not so regular rock star.

Playing with the nostalgia related to Christmas, Bho Chaorain gu Consoles will round-up the Christmas traditions across the generations, from when peat and coal were accepted gifts to the computer-based gaming traditions of recent years.

Bho Chaorain gu Consoles

Other festive favourites on BBC ALBA will be a lively music performance from Mànran aig Barrowland and Christmas Eve reflections from Edinburgh’s historic Greyfriars Church, Nollaig Chridheil à Dùn Èideann 2018.

Mànran aig Barrowland

Cèilidh Na Bliadhn’ Ùire will round off BBC ALBA’s 10th anniversary year in traditional style. This year’s live event takes place in Govan Old Town Hall on the banks of the River Clyde. The show is hosted by Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald. More information and a full line up will follow.

Finally, the centenary of the Iolaire disaster will be commemorated with an extensive schedule of programmes including documentaries, dramatic monologues, animation and special music and arts commissions. A full schedule of broadcast events will be released separately.

Mànran aig Barrowland airs on Saturday 22 December at 9pm

Ceathrar Air Chuairt airs on Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December at 8.30pm
A’ Sireadh Sascha airs on Christmas Eve at 9pm
Nollaig Chridheil à Dùn Èideann 2018 airs on Christmas Eve at 11pm
A-null ’s a-nall: Buidheagain airs on Christmas Day at 6.05pm
Bho Chaorain gu Consoles airs on Christmas Day at
FUNC airs on Christmas Day at 10pm
Colin MacLeod – When it Kicks In airs on Boxing Day at 9pm
Piper Alpha: An Sgàil airs on Hogmanay at 9pm
Cèilidh Na Bliadhn’ Ùire airs on Hogmanay from 11:30pm