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Community / BBC boss gives long-term commitment to local station

BBC Radio Shetland senior producer John Johnston with the head of BBC Scotland Steve Carson. Photo Hans J Marter/Shetland News

THE NEWLY appointed head of BBC Scotland has given a long-term commitment towards the broadcaster’s community radio station at Lerwick’s Pitt Lane while on a two day visit to Shetland.

Steve Carson was finally able to visit the isles after an earlier commitment shortly after his appointment in October last year had to be cancelled due to lockdown restrictions.

Carson is in charge of around 1,100 staff across 13 stations of which BBC Radio Shetland is one of the smaller units.

A well-known programme maker himself who used to own his own TV production company, Carson was keen to witness the shooting of the popular crime drama series Shetland, which took place at various locations throughout Lerwick on Tuesday.

Speaking to Shetland News ahead of going out on set, he said he felt the isles were well represented throughout the broadcaster’s programming.

“I am a very strong believer that in return for the licence fee the BBC needs to serve all audiences in every community across Scotland, and you can see that with Radio Shetland based here in Lerwick, and their commitment to cover a range of stories across Shetland,” he said.

“We got the ambition to cover all of Scotland, and you can see that the drama series Shetland which is shooting this week, but also in documentary series like Island Medics set here in Shetland and hugely popular across the UK.”

He said BBC Scotland had just invested around £15,000 into upgrading one of the studios at the station.

“We have a fantastic amount of talent at BBC Radio Shetland today, but of course it has also been the place where people like Jonathan Sutherland and Phil Goodlad have worked and then have gone on to work at other parts of BBC Scotland and beyond,” he said.

“We have a very long-term commitment towards a range of communities across Scotland and BBC Radio Shetland is a model for what we can do.”

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