Monday, 5 May 2008

BBC Scotland to celebrate Scotland's History

A new television series, A History Of Scotland, will start on BBC Scotland in November this year, with a screening on network BBC Two at a later date. The series will form the backbone of the BBC's new Scotland's History initiative, and will be accompanied by concerts at historic locations, a programme of events and various projects on Radio Scotland, such as What You Didn't Learn At School, The Gaelic/Lowland History Of Scotland and Scottish History – The Missing Bits.

A History Of Scotland, the main flagship series, is being co-produced with the Open University and shot in high definition. Presented by Neil Oliver and executive produced by Richard Downes, the series will be broadcast in two parts, with the first five episodes transmitted this winter, starting with the origins of Scotland and ending with the Unions of the Crowns in 1603; this will be followed by the second part, which will go out late next year, taking the story from the Covenanters to the present day in the devolution era.

Under the umbrella of the broader Scotland's History project, a new website will also be phased in alongside the series, which will build up an interactive timeline of the country's past as a home for BBC Scotland's new and archive history content, providing on-demand access to video, audio and interactive elements, such as maps, timelines, audio-tours, listings, games, public contributions, and a dedicated educational section for learners and teachers.

Off-screen activity will include a major series of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra concerts, which will be held at historic locations, with music from the television series performed alongside a celebration of Scottish music from across the centuries. The concerts will be supported by Registers of Scotland as part of its public engagement activities, and roadshows and other events are also being planned.


UPDATE: Just discovered that two of the directors on this series are Andrew Thompson and Jane McWilliams, both former colleagues of mine at the Beeb. It will definitely be worth watching, as they both really know their stuff...!

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