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BBC commitment

BBC head of programmes Donalda Mackinnon at Mareel on Tuesday - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNews

BBC Scotland’s head of programmes has reiterated the broadcaster’s commitment to maintaining BBC Radio Shetland.

During a short visit to the isles on Tuesday, Donalda Mackinnon said the Pitt Lane-based station was safe for the foreseeable future.

“We are very committed to the local station,” she said. “We have just invested £40,000 in the technical infrastructure in the station up the road from here, and there are absolutely no plans to do anything to affect the station in Shetland or indeed that in Orkney.

“We see how important they are for the community and they are important in telling the story of these places to the rest of Scotland and the UK.”

During an informal reception held in the Mareel café, Mackinnon said she was delighted to have been picked up from the airport by Davie Gardner, the location scout for the successful crime drama Shetland.

She said commissioning another six-part series of the crime drama, likely to be filmed next spring, has been a “hugely important decision” for the BBC.

“Aside from the fact that audiences love it, which is the number one priority, I think it is one of the very few pieces of representational drama from Scotland that the BBC produces,” she said.

” We would like to see more Shetlands. It has been such a success that it has allowed us to build arguments in an attempt to develop more network drama that is very much of a place and portrays Scotland.

“We have another series coming up this year called One of Us. We haven’t decided when that will transmit yet, but it will be a four-part thriller made in Scotland.

“We also invested some money in Sunset Song, the feature film, and that will transmit at some point in television, but it would be nice to have a few more pieces.”


Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021