THE BBC has block-booked the Malmaison hotel, one of Glasgow’s most exclusive hotels, to house its big-name presenters during the Commonwealth Games.
Stars including Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Huw Edwards and Gabby Logan, will front coverage of the event this summer and it has emerged that the four-star Malmaison hotel in the heart of Glasgow will house the broadcasters from July 23 to August 3.
Hotel management confirmed today that all 72 rooms, including lavish suites, have been reserved by the BBC for all 12 nights.
It’s not clear yet how much the booking will cost, but with accommodation in high demand during the Games, hotels and guest houses have been asking sky-high premiums.
With the most basic double rooms at Malmaison Glasgow, a converted church on West George Street, starting at around £120 during a normal weekend, the bill is sure to top the £ 100,000 mark.
On its website Malmaison says it is “one of the most stylish Glasgow hotels”, adding that it is “dedicated to a life of pure hedonism where people in the know come to worship at the altar of fine wines, spectacular food and super-slinky rooms”.
A hotel spokesman described the BBC booking as “a big compliment” and said the deal was expected to be finalised within the coming days.
He added: “We are very happy that they came to us - it’s brilliant.
“We offer exclusivity in the centre of the city, which is just right for a booking like this.
“The hotel building is magnificent and we have a great restaurant on site so guests do not have to venture out.
“Things are still to be signed, sealed and delivered - nothing has been finalised yet - but we hope to hear in the next few days.
“We have block booked all our rooms for them.
“A lot of hotels were in the mix and reserved the rooms while they were being considered.”
The spokesman said the booking process started early last year and BBC staff visited on a number of occasions to check the facilities.
The BBC will base itself at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay for the duration of the Games and flagship shows including The One Show, BBC Breakfast, A Question Of Sport, Who Do You Think You Are? and the Ken Bruce show will all be streamed from Glasgow.
The corporation would not confirm how many staff would be needed to cover the Games, or how many would be sent from its Salford HQ to assist the teams at BBC Scotland.
A spokesman said: “The Commonwealth Games are one of the year’s major sporting events and there’s a high anticipation around them from audiences who want to see all the action on the BBC.
“Production plans are still being finalised and so staff numbers are not yet confirmed.
“A lot of staff already based in Scotland could be utilised.
“It is still to be decided how many staff will travel from the south.”
The spokesman refused to comment on where the staff would be staying but said “value for money” would be taken into account, adding: “Details of accommodation remain confidential for security reasons but expenditure will be in line with BBC policy.”
In 2010, more than 150 BBC staff from the UK went to Delhi to cover the last Commonwealth Games and 252 were sent to cover the event in Melbourne in 2006.
The corporation provided 1800 hours of television coverage as well as radio and online for both events and this year in Glasgow the figure is expected to be even higher.