BBC ALBA is offering up a festive feast of programmes over the Christmas and New Year period with family favourites and entertainment for all ages featuring compelling documentaries, live sport, traditional music and children’s shows.
Head of Service for the TV channel, Margaret Mary Murray, said: “We are looking forward to bringing viewers a fantastic mix of festive programming for all the family.
“BBC ALBA is now available on Freeview and cable and we are delighted that, for the first time, our festive schedule can be enjoyed across the country at a time when audiences look out for entertaining television.
“Our Hogmanay Ceilidh will also broadcast live on Radio nan Gaidheal and will be available worldwide via the BBC iPlayer, extending our programming at this special time of the year to audiences across the UK and overseas.”
Documentary highlights over the festive spell include exclusive programmes on much loved celebrities such as Kenny Dalglish, Patsy Cline and Michelle MacManus, whilst sporting fans can enjoy live action from the RaboDirect PRO12 plus ‘as-live’ SPL fixtures.
A special Christmas Eve service, broadcast at 11pm, will come from Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway and feature music from Back Gaelic Choir, Ishbel Ann Martin, Donnie Murdo MacLeod and Mary Smith as well as young musicians from the Nicolson Institute all under the creative guidance of Calum Martin as Musical Director.
And see in the New Year in style with BBC ALBA’s live Hogmanay Ceilidh starting at 11.30am.
John Carmichael and Kirsteen MacDonald will be hosting events at the Duirsdale Hall on the Isle of Skye with hot new Gaelic pop group Manran, Julie Fowlis and Eamon Doorly, Christine Primrose and Arthur Cormack, along with a host of other top performers; while Fiona MacKenzie will complete the team from Am Praban Bar at Eilean Iarmain in Skye where she will be joined by the Angus Nicolson Trio.
Other shows on BBC ALBA over Christmas and New Year are a chance to see the Highlands and Islands number one ceilidh band – who else but The Vatersay Boys – in concert at to a packed out Glasgow Barrowlands; and a festive ceilidh from the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.
A special tribute will be paid to Ishbel MacSkill, an incredible lady who had a zest for life and an infectious positive outlook and who sadly passed away in March this year.
The Campbell family of Greepe Skye also feature as a documentary explores the lives of this great singing dynasty of Gaelic music.
All this an much much more on BBC ALBA this Christmas, and for full schedule listings, visit www.bbcalba.co.uk