BBC ALBA created the story of the night at the Royal Television Society Scotland Awards 2019 by receiving four awards.
Winning the major prizes in Comedy, Children’s and Sports programming, BBC ALBA was recognised for the quality of its programming across its 10th anniversary year.
BBC ALBA’s technical and craft excellence was also celebrated with a win for Daibhidh Martin of MacTV in the Professional Excellence: Camera category for his outstanding work on Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg.
BBC ALBA’s Head of Service Margaret Mary Murray said: “We are thrilled to receive these awards as they further highlight the skill and creative ingenuity of our producers. All our winners and nominees are superb examples of the fantastic work production companies who supply BBC ALBA achieved not only across the past very special year, but in the past decade.”
FUNC, the daring comedy sketch show, was an instant audience hit on BBC ALBA and across social media in 2018. Michael Hines creator of FUNC, commented: “I’m extremely proud to have won. We have a wonderful young cast, great crew and some brilliant writing. There aren’t many channels that show so much trust in programme-makers and so much commitment to up-and-coming talent and I think the show reflects that trust and we can’t wait to bring out FUNC series 2 later this year!”
Children’s drama, Buidheagain from Sorbier Productions was competing against large-scale productions from CBBC in what was BBC ALBA’s debut nomination in the category. The programme, created as part of a scheme by the European Broadcasting Union was directed by former River City star Tony Kearney and told the story of a young traveller girl’s campaign to make a farm her home.
Patsi MacKenzie, director of Sorbier Productions and writer of Buidheagain, said: “This is great for Sorbier and for what we’re trying to do with BBC ALBA. We’re creating programmes that are perfect for our Gaelic-speaking audiences but also that can be easily versioned for our European partners and this award is proof that it’s working!”
PurpleTV celebrated a hat-trick of RTS Scotland Awards with the success of their Tommy Burns documentary, matching the achievement of Purple’s films on Jim Baxter and Jock Stein.
Director, Margot McCuaig: “I would love to thank Tommy’s family for sharing their story with us. BBC ALBA has a track record for commissioning honest and emotional stories and it is an honour to have been part of that journey as well as winning RTS Scotland Awards over the past few years.”
Sùlaisgeir: An t-Sealg (The Hunt) from MacTV received three nominations in this year’s awards. It was short listed in the Science and Natural History category; Neil Campbell was shortlisted in the Director Category and Daibhidh Martin went on to win the award for Professional Excellence: Camera – a first for BBC ALBA at the RTS Scotland awards. This documentary has already seen success in the past year with a prize at the Chicago International Television Festival and was shortlisted for the globally prestigious Grierson award.
Winning Camera operator Daibhidh Martin paid tribute to his director, Neil Campbell, who was also nominated for an RTS Scotland award: “It was thanks to Neil that we gained access to film on Sùlasgeir. I’d also like to thank the men for trusting us to tell their story. Neil and I had to truly embed ourselves with the guga hunt, and we had to go the extra mile to bring this programme to the screen – not only while we were on the island but in the months beforehand. I’m really delighted that the programme has been received so well.”
The RTS Scotland Awards 2019 took place at The Old Fruitmarket venue in Glasgow on Wednesday, 12 June, 2019 and the awards were hosted by Jennifer Reoch and Des Clarke.