BBC Scotland TV channel prepares to launch


News studio

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A daily news programme will feature on the new channel

Final preparations are being made for the launch of the new BBC Scotland TV channel, which goes on air later.

Transmissions begin at 19:00 with a specially-commissioned short film featuring Scottish band Chvrches and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Chvrches’ singer Lauren Mayberry will be the first voice to be heard on the channel.

The band’s song Miracle will accompany images of Scottish people, places and landscapes.

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Getty Images

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Chvrches’ singer Lauren Mayberry will be the first voice to be heard on the channel

What will we see on launch night?

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Iain Stirling will host for A Night At The Theatre, which launches the new channel

The first programme will be a special one-off entertainment show, presented by Iain Stirling, the Scottish comedian best known for his Love Island voiceover.

Stirling hosts “A Night At The Theatre”, featuring chart stars Lewis Capaldi and Nina Nesbitt, as well as comedians Elaine C Smith and Larry Dean.

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Love Island star Laura Anderson helps host Iain Stirling spring some audience surprises in A Night At The Theatre

Viewers will also see “Getting Hitched Asian Style”, a series that goes behind the scenes with Scotland’s biggest Asian wedding planners and “The People’s News” in which Scots speak their minds on the events of the week.

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The last series of Still Game will begin on the launch night of the new channel

At 21:00 on launch night, the channel will show the first episode of the final series of popular sitcom Still Game.

All six episodes of Jack and Victor’s ninth series will debut on the new channel before going on to BBC One across the UK later in the year.

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Robert Florence and Iain Connell return for a one-off special of sketch show Burnistoun

The launch night also features a one-off return for cult sketch show Burnistoun as it takes a sideways looks at the world of television.

The TV premiere of the Bafta Scotland-winning film Nae Pasaran, which tells how Scottish workers stood against the Chilean dictator General Pinochet and his regime, will end the first night of the new channel.

Where can I find the new channel?

The new channel will be available in High Definition (HD) via Freeview/YouView, Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media.

It will also be available in standard definition (SD) on Freeview in position 9, although re-tuning will be required.

For Freeview customers in Scotland only, BBC Four SD will move down the EPG to position 82.

Sky and Freesat viewers without an HD-capable receiver will automatically receive BBC Scotland in SD instead.

What other shows will be coming on?

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Line of Duty and Catastrophe actor Mark Bonnar stars in new drama Guilt

The new channel will feature hundreds of hours of newly-commissioned shows, including a four-part drama entitled Guilt.

The show is set in Edinburgh and stars Line of Duty actor Mark Bonnar.

He joins Game of Thrones actor Jamie Sives as two brothers who accidentally run over and kill an old man while driving home from a wedding.

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Emeli Sandé’s Street Symphony is a new four-part series

Emeli Sandé’s Street Symphony will follow the singer-songwriter as she travels across Scotland and selects five buskers to put on a concert with an entire orchestra.

The channel will also show a raft of new documentaries such as the three-part series Yes/No – Inside The Indyref, which looks at the opposing campaigns during the tumultuous 2014 vote.

In Children of the Devolution, Scottish journalist Allan Little meets families across Scotland spanning several generations to look at how their lives have been shaped by the creation of the Scottish Parliament.

Also in the channel’s documentary offering is Inside Central Station, a six-part series about the people behind the busiest railway station in Scotland, and The Children’s Hospital- an eight-part series on the work of staff inside the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

Other new dramas have also been commissioned including The Grey Area, which tells the story of three young men struggling to overcome gang violence and drugs in Edinburgh. The show was largely cast through addiction recovery groups in the city.

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The second series of Jess Brittain’s Clique will be on the new channel

Jess Brittain’s series Cliquewill have its second season screened on the new channel and episodes of established Scottish drama River City will appear in the schedule on Monday nights, before being repeated on BBC One Scotland on Tuesdays.

What about its news output?

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BBC/Alan Peebles

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The Nine presenters and reporters

A nightly news hour The Nine and Question Time-style series called Debate Night head up the current affairs offering.

The flagship news programme – The Nine – will report regional, national and international news from a Scottish perspective.

It will be anchored by Martin Geissler and Rebecca Curran, with Laura Miller and John Beattie presenting the news hour each Friday.

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Stephen Jardine will present Debate Night

Weekend coverage will be a 15-minute bulletin on Saturday evenings at 19:00 followed by a 45-minute review programme presented by Fiona Stalker and Nick Sheridan.

On Sundays, the 15-minute 19:00 bulletin will be presented by Lucy Whyte.

On Wednesdays, there will be a 15-minute entertainment news programme The Edit, hosted by Amy Irons and David Farrell.

Debate Night, presented by Stephen Jardine, will allow a studio audience to put questions to people in power in Scotland.

What is the new channel’s budget?

The BBC’s director-general Tony Hall announced in February 2017 that Scotland would get its own TV channel.

In June last year, TV regulator Ofcom gave the go-ahead for the channel, which will have an initial budget of £32m.

The plan is to air 50% original content and 50% repeats.

Hall said he wanted the channel to reflect modern Scotland.

He said: “It’s a channel that will be bold, creative and ambitious, with a brand-new Scotland-edited international news programme at its heart.”

What’s on the channel at other times?

Between noon and 19:00, the channel will show BBC Two programmes alongside some political coverage (such as Scottish First Minister’s Questions and Politics Scotland) and sporting and music events.

On Freeview, the channel will only be available in HD between 19:00 and midnight.

Will people in the rest of the UK be able to watch?

Yes for some. The BBC says it will be available in both High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) via Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

It will only be available in Scotland for Freeview and Youview viewers.

The channel and its content will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.



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