Scottish Soap Operas: 5 Soaps from Scotland you may have forgotten like ‘Take the High Road’

The news that the beloved Australian soap ‘Neighbours’ would be returning to screens got us thinking about Scotland’s legacy with soap operas. Let’s enjoy a trip down memory lane.

Scotland has no shortage of entertainment. Our famous films, songs and social media personalities all do an incredible job of elevating our presence on the world stage. This is also true of Scottish television which includes soap operas that have captivated audiences for generations.

Some of these shows have been with us since the 1960s, and following the announcement that the world-famous soap opera ‘Neighbours’ was set to make a comeback, it seemed like an apt time to reflect on their legacy - especially as the majority ended a long time ago.

Stephen Purdon who plays Shellsuit Bob in popular Scottish drama River City.Stephen Purdon who plays Shellsuit Bob in popular Scottish drama River City.
Stephen Purdon who plays Shellsuit Bob in popular Scottish drama River City.

High Living (1968 - 1971)

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Produced by Scottish Television, this was the first soap opera to be developed in Scotland. It followed the life of the Crombie family (Andy, Kate and their kids) who moved to a high-rise apartment in Glasgow.

Garnock Way (1976 - 1979)

Also produced by Scottish Television, Garnock Way was a short-lived soap opera set in a mining community town that was halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. According to IMDb it was considered “too gritty for network consumption” hence its limited success.

Machair (1993 - 1999)

This soap opera followed the trials and tribulations of the people living on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. What separated it from other soaps produced by Scottish Television was that it featured the country’s native Celtic language, Gaelic.

Take The High Road (1980 - 2003)

Set in the fictional rural Scottish village of Glendarroch near Loch Lomond, ‘Take The High Road’ followed the life of the local people as they dealt with a variety of problems including substance abuse, politics and crop failures.

River City, 2002 - Present

First broadcast on BBC One Scotland, the soap opera walks viewers through the life and struggles for the residents of Glasgow. Far from over, the Daily Record confirmed: “The soap will now air as three different series a year, with breaks of six weeks in between, BBC bosses have announced.”



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