BBC Scotland to screen 2014 referendum documentary on brand new channel

BBC Scotland has revealed it will screen a major new documentary series lifting the lid on what went on behind the scenes in the 2014 independence referendum campaign on its brand new channel.

The three-part series, which will be shown in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the poll, is said to offer a “remarkable insight” into the opposing campaigns.

Key players have already been interviewed for the programme: Yes/No Inside the Indyref - which is being made by STV Productions for the new channel.

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Broadcaster Allan Little will also be presenting a separate documentary series - Children of the Devolution - charting the story of Scotland since the 1979 referendum and interview Scots in their twenties, forties and sixties.

Campaigners for IndyRef2 on the streets of Glasgow in July 2018. Picture: John Devlin

BBC Scotland is also creating its own Question Time-style programme for the channel, which will have its own dedicated news programme, The Nine, which will run from 9-10pm Monday-Friday.

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Meanwhile two high school friends have been cast as brothers who run over and kill an old man on their way home from a wedding in a thriller which will spearhead the drama line-up on the new channel.

Line of Duty star Mark Bonnar and Game of Thrones actor Jamie Sives, who were at Edinburgh’s Leith Academy together, play the panicked siblings trying to cover their tracks in Guilt, which has been written by Neil Forsyth, the creator of the hit radio and TV comedy Bob Servant.

The four-part drama, set in the Capital, is the first drama commission to be announced for the new digital channel, which has a budget of £32 million and will finally go on air on 24, after its launch was put back from the autumn.

It will also show The Grey Area, an Edinburgh-set drama about “a young rapper, a burnt-out addict and a teenage misfit” made by Garry Fraser, a former heroin addict turned filmmaker mentored by Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle.

Other highlights on the channel are expected to include a series which will see pop star Emeli Sande plucking unknown singers from the streets to star in a one-off concert with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Other shows will go behind the scenes at Scotland’s biggest Asian wedding planners, Glasgow’s Central Station, the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and at Scottish Ballet during its 50th birthday year.

Highlights from Edinburgh’s summer events, TRNSMT and Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and Belladrum, in the Highlands, will be shown, along with theatre from A Play, A Pie and A Pint, the lunchtime series staged at Oran Mor in Glasgow’s west end.

Two of The Scotsman’s football writers, Craig Fowler and Joel Sked, will be among the presenters of A View From The Terrace, a weekly hour-long “sideways look” at the game north of the border, which is being adapted from the popular podcast The Terrace.

The Scotsman football writers Craig Fowler and Joel Sked will be among the presenters of A View From The Terrace, a “cheeky and irreverent” show based on the popular podcast The Terrace.

As well as premiering new instalments of hit sitcoms Still Game and Scot Squad, the channel will show an hour-long special of sketch show Burnistoun.

Viewers will get to see Guilt ahead of it being shown on BBC One, while the Edinburgh-set university drama Clique will be shown for the first time on BBC Scotland after building up a cult following on BBC Three. Bonnar will be reunited with Forsyth on Guilt, which will be filmed around Edinburgh over the next few months, after playing Eric Morecambe in his BBC drama about comedy writer Eddie Braben.

Bonnar said: “I’m hugely excited to be a part of Guilt and to be working with Neil again. The moment I read the first scene I was totally hooked. Neil has managed to write a captivating and breathless thriller which, even in its darkest, most dramatic moments, maintains a pitch black sense of humour. I don’t want to resort to hyperbole, but it is a total rollercoaster ride.

“To be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jamie Sives, who I’ve known since we were at Leith Academy together aged 11, is joyful beyond words. Edinburgh plays a central role itself and I’m looking forward to revisiting some old haunts.”

Sives said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be involved in what I’m sure will be a cracking drama. Neil has written brilliant scripts for Guilt and I can’t wait to get tangle up in the web he has so expertly woven. I’m also over the moon at the prospect of working with Mark Bonnar. It’s quite surreal to think he and I sometimes walked to school together and now we’re about to lead up a terrific new drama together.

Sande will be seen leaving her home town of Alford in Aberdeenshire and heading to Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to try to find acts to perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

She said: “I’m so excited about getting out onto the streets of Scotland to hear first-hand the talent that’s out there. Plucking the talent found on street corners and putting it into a big melting pot with a full-on symphony orchestra is going to be mind-blowing.”

BBC Scotland has confirmed a weekly slot for A View From The Terrace, which will be based on a podcast created by three Edinburgh Napier University students - Craig Fowler, Alan Temple, Jen McLean and Niall McNeill - in 2007.

Billed as “a singular and entertaining view of the beautiful game,” it will explore everything from the big talking points of the previous week in Scottish football on social media to the culinary skills of players and lower league mascots.

Fowler said: “Everyone is delighted a TV show based on the podcast has been commissioned. We’ll be looking to cover all four SPFL leagues and bring our usual blend of irreverence and analysis. It’s been great fun to this point and we can’t wait to get properly started.”

BBC Scotland director Donalda Mackinnon said: “The excitement over the new channel has been building and by unveiling some of our key programmes today, viewers will get a more detailed idea of what they can expect to see.

“Our commissioning team has curated an ambitious and engaging schedule aimed at reflecting Scotland in the 21st century, while satisfying our appetite to see the best of what’s on offer from around the rest of the world.”


Still Game: The ninth and final series of the much-loved sitcom will bow out 22 years after Jack and Victor appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - although fans will be able to bid them farewell in a last live show at the Hydro in Glasgow later in the year.

Scot Squad: Like Still Game, the new batch of six episodes of the BAFTA-Scotland award-winning sitcom will be shown on the new channel first, with Lorraine Kelly, Chick Young, Sally Magnusson and Tom Hunter among the confirmed guests.

The Grey Area: Garry Fraser, the Muirhouse-born filmmaker famously offered the chance to help Danny Boyle make his Trainspotting sequel in Edinburgh, has created his own hour-long drama tackling the consequences of gang violence and drugs in one of the city’s most deprived communities.

Clique: Jess Brittain’s Edinburgh-set psychological thriller - which is set in and around a university campus in the city - gets its BBC Scotland debut after winning huge acclaimed from fans after being shown on BBC Three.

Getting Hitched Asian Style: The three-part series goes behind the scenes to see the Glasgow-based firm Saffron Events stage a series of spectacular weddings for up to 500 guests over the summer.

Guilt: Two brothers try to cover up the death of a man they ran over on their way home from a wedding - but find their lives falling apart as the past catches up on them.

Prophecy: Filmed over four months and focusing on a single oil painting, the film will explore the techniques of Peter Howson, the celebrated Ayrshire artist.