BBC ALBA returns to Skye for its annual live Hogmanay celebration

BBC Alba Presenters Cathy MacDonald and Niall Iain MacDonald promote the 2018 New year coverage.
BBC Alba Presenters Cathy MacDonald and Niall Iain MacDonald promote the 2018 New year coverage.

BBC ALBA stars Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald have revealed a stunning line-up for the channel’s live Hogmanay programme.

And to celebrate a stellar cast list, the pair – who will host the programme on 31 December – got together to promote a welcome return to the Isle of Skye, posing in a stunning winter scene lit by thousands of lights and candles.

Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire will have its best ever line up with multi-award winning Mànran set to see out the end of 2017 and welcome in 2018.

Joining them is the much-loved Gaelic singer Arthur Cormack, and it’s a bit of a family affair as his son, Ruairidh Cormack joins in on the celebrations, along with daughter Eilidh Cormack who will also perform with Ellen MacDonald and Ceitlin L R Smith in new group, Sian.

Firm favourite, the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, are back for their fourth appearance on the show, and finishing off the roster of performers is BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Brìghde Chaimbeul and Murdigan Macdonald.

In returning to Sleat on Skye, BBC ALBA is going back to where it all began ahead of the channel’s tenth birthday next year.

This year’s event is to be broadcast live both on television, and on BBC ALBA website allowing an international audience to watch the show and on Radio nan Gàidheal.

Cathy Macdonald comments: “What a brilliant line up we have for our Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire. With two hours of wall to wall live music, we can assure viewers both near or (very) far that it’ll be a fantastic, happy Hogmanay hoolie.

“We’re excited that our broadcast can be seen and heard absolutely anywhere as we stream worldwide.”

Co-presenter Niall Iain Macdonald makes his debut on Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire this year.

He comments: “It was brilliant to get together with Cathy ahead of what will be a magical night of live music. Skye is always an amazing place for a party, and we expect this year’s programme to be bigger than ever before. I can’t wait!”

Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire coverage starts on BBC ALBA at 11:30pm on Sunday, 31 December.