BBC ALBA profiles Brian Wilson

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A new BBC ALBA documentary is to provide a candid portrait of former UK government minister and prominent Scottish politician, Brian Wilson.

The programme, which will be screened on the channel on Friday, January 2nd, looks back over his remarkable career from his days promoting music bands in his hometown of Dunoon, his successful time in journalism onto life at Westminster and beyond.

Featuring contributions from former Chancellor Alistair Darling, one-time Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth, and political journalist Torcuil Crichton, the programme chronicles Wilson’s journey to election and also his involvement in the debate over Scotland’s constitutional future.

Wilson talks frankly about his political life, whilst his former foe at the dispatch box, Lord Forsyth, admits that Wilson’s forthright views on issues such as land reform and the Gaelic language influenced his own policies whilst he was in office.

Torcuil Crichton argues that Wilson was ‘neither a Blairite nor a Brownite but a Wilsonite’ and this desire to follow his own path was a contributory reason to why Wilson didn’t land a cabinet post in government.

Yet, his political life is only one small part of his multi-faceted career thus far.

Using archive footage and new interviews filmed with Brian at home and on the road, he recounts the days when he set up the West Highland Free Press in 1971 and broke the mould of the local newspaper, dealing with local, national and international issues with ease.

More recently, Brian talks about his continuing passion for Celtic Football Club, where he is a director, and the programme chronicles the contribution Wilson has made in reviving the fortunes of the Harris Tweed industry.

A candid portrait of a private man who spends much of his life in the public eye - Brian Wilson, produced by BeesNees Media for BBC ALBA - will be shown on Friday 2 January at 9pm.