Kenny Maciver marks 20 years and 5,000 shows

Kenny Maciver - celebrating 20 years of Gaelic radio discussions.
Kenny Maciver - celebrating 20 years of Gaelic radio discussions.

BBC Radio nan Gaidheal will mark 20 years and 5,000 editions of its long-running daily topical chat show, Coinneach MacIomhair, which is broadcast each weekday from Stornoway.

The show is named after its presenter, Kenny MacIver, who lives in Upper Coll and who is a former editor of the Stornoway Gazette.

The programme has been on the air weekdays since 1993 and has given Gaelic-speaking radio listeners across Scotland insights on thousands of topics from across the world.

Recent highlights included live reports from Gaelic speakers caught in the New York hurricane, an Olympic legacy special and island tourism speaking out on how poor transport to the Hebrides is damaging their businesses. The show has even tackled the BBC’s own numerous issues in recent years as well as international politics and technology.

The daily programme has made radio stars out of local pundits: such as former trade union organiser Dan Murray, from Shawbost, whose forthright views on the week’s news are a must-listen every Friday.

This coming week the programme will look back at some of the highlights across the years. They include: from 1993, the then-new Stornoway-Ullapool ferry; how a strange weather phenomenon from the Sahara arrived in the UK: islesman Calum Murray speaking out after his ordeal as a hostage in Sierra Leone, and the Dunblane Tragedy from the viewpoint of the town’s own Gaelic-speakers.

MacIver said: “We took that silly old cliché about Gaelic only being suitable for talking about peats and potatoes and showed it up for the nonsense that it was. We take subjects from across the world and discuss them in depth in Gaelic.”

The hour-long show is broadcast live each weekday morning from 9am to 10am with a repeat at 9pm.