New BBC channel launches with ‘Scotland’s Question Time’ and Scots stars

Singing stars Lewis Capaldi and Nina Nesbitt will launch BBC Scotland's new TV channel - as part of an opening night line-up featuring comedy favourites Still Game and Burnistoun and a documentary on Scotland's biggest Asian wedding planners.

Nina Nesbitt will help launch the new channel
Nina Nesbitt will help launch the new channel

The opening night will also feature a “People’s News” programme giving which will give ordinary Scots the chance to have their say on burning issues - the night before BBC Scotland launches The Nine - the new “nightly news hour” show fronted by Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler.

And the BBC has confirmed that Scotland’s answer to Question Time, to be known as Debate Night, will launch in the opening week.

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The BBC said The People’s News will shun the “usual media commentators” in favour of letting members of the public “speak their minds on the subject of the week’s news, events and gossip.” Although its host and format have yet to be revealed, the hour-long Debate Night, which will launch at 10.45pm on 27 February, will explore “the big issues affecting Scotland and beyond.”

BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

The line-up includes documentaries following fashion vlogger Jamie Genevieve, going behind the scenes at Scotland’s famous stone skimming championships on the west coast island of Easdale, and showcasing the experts who treat animals injured across the country.

The Grey Area, a gritty Edinburgh-set drama on the consequences of gang violence and drugs, which has been made by - and will star - Garry Anthony Fraser, a former heroin addict who has been mentored by Danny Boyle and Irvine Welsh, will also be shown in the first week.

Two episodes of the final series of Still Game will be premiered in the channel’s first week. A one-off special of Burnistoun, the sketch show created by comic Robert Florence, will be going after Still Game on the opening night.

Other highlights of the first week include Test Drive, a new “car-based game show” fronted by Scottish wrestling star Graeme “Grado” Stevely, which will see teams of competitors answer questions via a specially-adapted sat-nav to determine their route to a well-known tourist destination.

Steve Carson, BBC Scotland’s head of multi-platform commissioning, said: “We’ve been working with more than 70 suppliers across the creative sector to help fulfil our vision for the new BBC Scotland channel – a channel for modern Scotland with quality, compelling content.”

BBC Scotland said A Night at the Theatre will be a pre-recorded show made by the same producers as the comedy talk show All Round to Mrs Brown’s and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Gavin Smith, BBC Scotland commissioning executive for entertainment, said: “We’re thrilled that Iain will be hosting this entertainment extravaganza to kick off our new channel. We want it to bring the fun, warmth and feel-good factor of a big comedy night out at the theatre to living rooms across Scotland.

Iain Stirling said: “I can’t wait to be part of the launch of the new BBC Scotland channel with a big night out at the prestigious Theatre Royal in Glasgow.”