Scotland

New programmes announced for BBC Scotland TV channel

BBC Scotland TV channel
Image caption Scottish stars will appear across a number of newly-commissioned programme

New dramas, documentaries and a talent show featuring Scottish singer Emeli Sandé have been announced for the new BBC Scotland channel.

Due to start broadcasting on 24 February, it 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.

Bonnar said: "The moment I read the first scene I was totally hooked."

Also known for Catastrophe and Unforgotten, Bonnar joins Game of Thrones actor Jamie Sives as the two brothers who accidentally run over and kill an old man while driving home from a wedding.

Image caption River City, which has followed feuds and friendships in Shieldinch for 17 years, will also be a regular on the new BBC Scotland channel

Max (Bonnar) and Jake (Sives) make the panicked decision to cover their tracks and appear to get away with the crime - before relatives begin to get suspicious.

Directed by Robbie McKillop and written by Neil Forsyth, Guilt is billed as a "rollercoaster ride" with a strong vein of black comedy and is expected to air in the autumn.

While the brothers are completely different characters, the two stars will be treading on familiar ground having met in high school.

Bonnar continued: "To be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jamie Sives, whom I've known since we were at Leith Academy together aged 11, is joyful beyond words.

"In fact, Edinburgh plays a central role itself and I'm looking forward to revisiting some old haunts… I can't wait to get started.

"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."

Jamie Sives said: "It's really quite surreal to think that [Mark Bonnar] and I sometimes walked to school together and now we're about to lead up a terrific new drama together.

"Neil has written brilliant scripts for Guilt and I can't wait to get tangled up in the web he has so expertly woven."

Image caption Getting Hitched Asian Style is a three-part series going behind the scenes of one of Scotland’s biggest Asian wedding planners

Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland, 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."

'Arts and culture at the centre'

Emeli Sandé's Street Symphony is one of the leading programmes on the new channel which is driven by the arts.

It follows the award-winning singer-songwriter as she travels across Scotland and selects five buskers to put on a concert with an entire orchestra.

Over four programmes, Emeli sets off from her home town of Alford, near Aberdeen, and heads to Inverness, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to recruit her favourite street performers.

After honing their acts, the artists will be joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - and Emeli - to perform at the City Halls in Glasgow.

Image caption Emili Sandé selects unsung musical talent from the streets of Scotland

Emeli 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."

Steve Carson, BBC Scotland's head of multi-platform commissioning, said: "This is about expanding what we do and arts and culture are at the centre of that.

"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.

"Across the genres - from documentaries, drama, news, sport, comedy and entertainment programmes - BBC Scotland will reflect the lives and interests of Scottish audiences on screen."

What else is on?

A raft of new documentaries which will appear on the BBC Scotland channel this year were announced on Tuesday.

Made by STV Productions, Yes/No - Inside The Indyref is a three-part documentary series looking 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.

Image caption A View from the Terrace is a fan-led debate about Scottish football

The production was made by Two Rivers Media, a company launched by Alan Clements, former managing director of STV Productions.

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.

Jess Brittain's series Clique will be screened having entered its second season, and episodes of established Scottish drama River City will appear on the schedule on Monday nights.

In popular factual is Getting Hitched Asian Style, a behind-the-scenes look at Scotland's biggest Asian wedding planners.

Image caption New genealogy series "The Generation Frame" paints a picture of the family history of two people in each episode

SPFL Championship matches will be scheduled regularly on Friday nights and the channel will have up to 20 live games a season.

The schedule also includes A View From The Terrace, a weekly sideways glance at Scottish football adapted from the cult fan-led podcast, The Terrace.

The channel will air comedy favourites including Still Game and Scot Squad alongside new faces and voices of the comedy circuit in Comedy Underground, The State of It.

Nightly news hour The Nine and a Question Time-style debate series from Scotland head up the current affairs offering.

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.

Image caption The channel will also focus on the everyday life of staff and patients at Aberdeen Children's Hospital

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