BBC Scotland channel launches to great success

BBC Scotland has enjoyed a long history of legendary broadcasting featuring stunning sports reporting, the long-standing dramatic River City and classic comedy shows.

On Sunday, it entered a new chapter, with the launch of its own digital channel.

700,000 people tuned in at its peak viewing, a new record for the opening night of a new channel north of the border, according to the BBC.

Programmes about life in Scotland, made in Scotland will air between 7pm and midnight, seven days a week and will see BBC 2 on between 12noon and 7pm, with opt-outs for shows like Politics Scotland.

The launch boasted some of Scotland’s best in programming, starting with an incredibly cinematic preview titled ‘Beginning’ which combined a ‘synth-pop’ performance between singer Lauren Mayberry of the weegie band Chvrches and the BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra.

The short but lucid clip ‘celebrates modern Scotland and builds both musically and visually to represent the constant evolution of Scotland’s society and cultural landscape.’

Visually, slick shots of Scotland’s spectacular landscape poured onscreen alongside a wealth of diverse people. It’s safe to say the show was off to a brawly good night.

The highlight of the bill on Sunday was the return of the comedy sitcom featuring Scotland’s most loved group of pensioners, Still Game.

Series nine will mark the end to the incredibly successful show which, by the end, will have amassed over 60 episodes putting it up there as one of BBC Scotland’s most celebrated programmes.

After almost 18 years, creators, writers and stars of the programme, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, have decided to call it a day.

In this episode, Jack and Victor (as if they need naming), decide to buy mobile phones and a fellow clansman regular becomes an internet sensation.

A’ll no spoil this one for you, but it’s a real treat.

After Still Game, the popular TV show Burnistoun held a one-off special reunion episode celebrating the show’s tenth birthday – to the day.

The show delivered a hilarious spoof of the ‘old TV’ which the new channel will be phasing out and a spoof of overall Scottish behaviour.

Anyone who has seen the show will remember some of the great lines (without giving too much away) such as ‘Pakora pakora’, ‘me, me, me, me, me’ and ‘the game show where ye are nae drunk’.

You’ll no doubt catch some of the quick sketches from the show online in the social sphere.

A favourite of mine, as someone so far removed from football, was a clip where two sports analysts are commentating on the specific tactics used in the game when all of a sudden the goalie scoring the goal is taken into consideration.

From there, the pair of analysts begin to escalate when one of them bring the crowd on screen and then the other retaliates by sending a streaker into the fray.

Monday heralded the first night of the new hourly news show, called The Nine (aptly named because it starts at nine o’clock) which aired with a different take on the news much in the spirit of the ‘Beginning’.

Martin Guissler, ITN’s former News Correspondent and fellow journalist Rebecca Curren, who has been based as a reporter with the BBC in Aberdeen, anchored the show, which they will do between Monday and Thursday.

With a relaxed morning touch to the show featuring the two news anchors and almost a third presenter in the form of sports reporter, Amy Irons, the sofa added a completely new dynamic to the show, opposed to ‘old news’.

The broadcast took on almost an internet-inspired ascetic.

Between segments, the show is packed with satisfying colourful graphics breaking the show up in a visually symphonic blend complementing each segment from the show.

Easily the most memorable moment was when one presenter was carrying out the usual broadcast from outside the studio.

In this case, The Nine’s Chief News Correspondent, James Cook (former North America Correspondent for the whole of the BBC) was in Reykjavik to discuss the impact of Brexit between the two respective nations.

Only in this report, the common vox pop saw a mix up when the entire crew dressed down and jumped into one of the nation’s nature pools to ask tourists and locals their view of the situation.

The report hit legendary levels of patter when a camera pointed to the presenter, camera and soundman doing their interview in their trunks floating around in this pool.

It’s now ten o’clock on Monday evening and so far the BBC has appeared to have under promised and over delivered.

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