Murder, buskers, celebrities and Scottish landscape in fiction – BBC ALBA’s autumn programme highlights

BBC ALBA has released news of some of the content of its autumn programme schedule, with some clear winners in line with its now familiar inventive programming.

Its success in attracting a substantial audience through its sub-titled programming shows that it reaches far beyond Gaelic speakers and, by doing so, is building an inclusive community for the language, even though many do not speak it at all.

Some of the stand out attractions in the upcoming programme include a documentary on a cold case murder reckoned to be Scotland’s worst ever miscarriage of justice; a series following the lives of the street musicians who lift our spirits and draw our attention but of whom we know nothing; and the way the Scottish landscape has inspired the authors of fiction.

Sgeulachd Oscar Slater / An Innocent Man: Glasgow provides plenty of fascinating stories for those interested in real crime tales but none more bizarre than the case of Oscar Slater, a man who was wrongly convicted of a murder at the turn of the 20th Century and served an 18 year prison sentence as a result. Continuing its strand of compelling true crime documentaries, BBC ALBA examines the unsolved case that is widely thought to be the worst miscarriage of justice in Scottish legal history.

Music: A new programme, Buskers – will look at possibly the toughest stage of all on which to learn your musical trade – on your own, on the streets! This series delves into the lives of current and former street artists with input from recording artists such as Edi Reader and the busker’s biggest critic and supporter, the public. This series will be accompanied by BBC ALBA’s already acclaimed musical offerings, including performances from The Royal National Mod 2012 and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, live coverage of Na Trads awards ceremony plus new series of Ceòl Country and Blas.

Sàr Sgeoil: Scotland has much to offer the traveller and a plethora of guidebooks from which to choose a companion for the journey.   When Cathy MacDonald sets off to explore four areas of Scotland she gives the travel section of the bookshop a wide berth and heads instead for the section marked Classic Fiction.   Cathy examines how the authors of Kidnapped, The Silver Darlings, Sunset Song and The Thirty Nine Steps were influenced by the Scottish landscape, and how successfully they portrayed the landscape and culture that inspired their heroes and heroines.

And for those who like the whiff of celebrity, try the menu in this series:

 Cuide ri Cathy: In a new series of BBC ALBA’s popular celebrity show Cuide ri Cathy, presenter Cathy MacDonald piles on the glitz and the glamour as she takes us into the lives of some of the big names in showbiz.  Cathy invites us to join her as she spends a day with the likes of David Gest, Ross King, Carol McGiffin, Keith Duffy, Gregor Fisher, Katie Melua, Russell Watson and Michelle Collins and we get to see their lives behind the camera as they open their homes, their workplaces and their hearts.

And of course there’s a great deal more – all with broad appeal. We simply cherry picked a few that caught our own eccentric attention. There is plenty of interest and variety here to warm the winter nights – coming in fast now.

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