BBC Radio Scotland was launched as a full time service on 23rd November 1978. Previously it had been an opt-out from BBC Radio 4 and the service was known as Radio 4 Scotland or, formally on air, as “BBC Scotland Radio 4”.
The establishment of a separate network was made possible when Radio 4 became a fully UK-wide network when it moved from medium wave to long wave and new VHF (FM) transmitters were brought into service so that Radio 4 and Radio Scotland no longer had to share on FM. However it was not until the early 1990s that Radio 4 was available on FM across all of Scotland so for its first decade on air, the station only broadcast during the day so that Radio 4 could be heard on Radio Scotland’s transmitters in the evening to compensate for poorer AM reception after dark.
As part of the 5th Birthday celebrations, Radio Scotland opened up local “community” opt out stations based in Selkirk (Radio Tweed) and Dumfries (Radio Solway).
One of the very popular music shows broadcast on Radio Scotland was the Tom Ferrie Show. The programme aired Monday to Thursday from around 10.10pm until 12 midnight, although the programme would sometimes start at 10.30pm depending on important news / current affairs issue that took preference. During University term time the VHF network of transmitters would break away from the programme to bring The Open University from 11.30pm, while the Tom Ferrie Show continued on MW (AM) only.
Tom Ferrie Show excerpt 29/05/1983
Tom Ferrie Show excerpt 14/06/1983
Tom Ferrie Show excerpt 15/06/1983
Tom Ferrie Show excerpt 22/11/1984
As part of the Radio Scotland 6th Birthday celebrations, a special Tom Ferrie Show was recorded in front of a live audience in Studio 2, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow.
Tom Ferrie Show (Part 1) 31/01/1985
Tom Ferrie Show (Part 2) 31/01/1985
During 1985 BBC Journalists went on strike following the decision by the BBC Board of Governors to ban the Real Lives documentary on Northern Ireland “At the Edge of the Union”. This strike affected the news output of Radio Scotland as can be heard in this clip here.
Tom and Leslie’s New Year Party 1st Jan 1986
Regular listeners to the Tom Ferrie Show will remember that Leslie McQueen (played by newsreader and continuity announcer Alistair Smith) used to make frequent appearances on the programme. So popular was this character, that Christmas Day 1985 and New Year’s Day 1986 featured Leslie as a co-host.
Roadshow 03/10/1986 (excerpts)
During 1986 The Tom Ferrie Show went on the road on the run up to Children In Need that year. It was presented in association with Scottish Youth Hostels and one stop was the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels.
Art Sutter 11/12/1987
Art presented a weekday afternooon programme on Radio Scotland between 3 and 5pm until 1993, before moving later to commercial station, Smooth Radio.
Radio Scotland Instrumental Ident and Continuity from David Sillars (1988)
10 years old and the station had a new sound!
News Blooper – Frank Forbes
Things don’t always go according to plan as this clip demonstrates
The Reel Blend 07/09/2003
The winner of Big Brother in 2003 was Cameron Stout from Stromness in Orkney. Later that year he appeared on ‘The Reel Blend’ covering for usual presenter, Robbie Shepherd.
Radio Scotland at 25
To mark the station’s 25th Birthday, this programme was broadcast on Sunday 23rd November 2003. The presenter is John Milne.