BBC challenged by MSP over Proclaimers documentary airing

Picture: Michael Gillen
Picture: Michael Gillen
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A SNP MSP yesterday challenged BBC executives over the Corporation’s failure to show a documentary on the Proclaimers across the UK.

Former minister Richard Lochhead said it was “puzzling” that the programme celebrating the 30th anniversary of the duo had been restricted to Scotland. He went on to suggest that had the programme been about a band from elsewhere in Britain it would have been shown across the UK.

Mr Lochhead questioned Donaldina MacKinnon, director of BBC Scotland at a meeting of Holyrood’s culture committee,

He said: “I’m a huge fan of the Proclaimers and I bought their album This is the Story in 1987, one of my favourite albums, it’s great. I was very excited when the BBC made a documentary in Scotland celebrating the 30th anniversary.

“But I remember at the time it was only shown on BBC Two Scotland as opposed to being across all parts of the UK and network. I was slightly surprised by that because they are quite a big band.

“I was just wondering how you take decisions like that – for instance, was [it] designated for BBC 2 Scotland and only in Scotland. I just do suspect that if it had been a 30th anniversary programme about The Beautiful South or some other band that would have been across the network at the same time.”

Ms MacKinnon said a lot of BBC Scotland programmes made it on to the UK network, adding: “I think it was important for us to have the first window in that transmission as the Proclaimers are hugely important to us culturally.”