‘That will seetn like the Teddy Bears‘ Picnic compared with what could happen at Murrayficld next Saturday.‘

Scottish rugby hero John Jeffrey reckons the 1990 Grand Slam match against England was pretty tame


‘1 always wanted to do something about the powerful female icon. So my mind drifted inevitably. as you may imagine. to the pages of Hello! magazine.‘

Tilda Swinton describes her approach to preparing for the character of Queen Isabella in Derek Jarman 's Edward I].

‘How can anyone take seriously a grown man who ran around for years in a sheet.‘

Edwin Edwards. Democratic candidate for governorship of Louisiana, on the Ku Klux Klan past ofhis Republican rival. David Duke.

‘David Lynch‘s Wild at Heart should last ten minutes, then it would be a good film.‘

French film director Jean-Luc Godard turns criticfor a moment.

‘Women who have created great art did so at the peak of fertility. This includes Greer. who wrote her masterpiece in her thirties and has been turning into a bag of nutty slack ever since.

Julie Burchill tak es her own stance on Germaine Greer and her new book on the menopause, The Change.

4 The List 25 October 7 November 199]

Switched on TV from Scottish

While despair and relief are felt in equal measures by ITV franchise holders across the UK regions, Scottish Television can afford to smile as it comes out top of the heap. Alan Morrison examines the benefits for viewers in Central Scotland.

After Scottish Television’s victory to the tranchlse bids, more local programmes like Scotland's War are promised.

ew scenes in even the best TV dramas come close to the nailbiting climax witnessed last Wednesday as the executives of television companies up and down Britain anxiously waited for the telephone to ring. The arbiter in this tale of fortunes won and lost was the Independent Television Commission (ITC), who had chosen that day to announce the new holders of Channel 3 franchises. who begin broadcasting on 1 January 1993.

As it turned out, despite 40 bidders for the sixteen franchises, only four ofthe current holders lost out to newcomers Thames to Carlton, TVS to Meridian, TSW to Westcountry Television and TV-AM to Sunrise. Under the original government white paper, the franchises were to be awarded to the highest bidder in a blind auction, but the ITC had added two other main criteria. a ‘quality threshold‘ and the ability

‘Obviously the desire is torthere to be more Scottish programmes on British screens.’

for the proposed service to be sustained over the ten year period of the licence.

While certain anomalies have arisen Grampian retained its franchise with a bid of £720,000, some £2 million less than its main contender, thereby winning purely on the ‘quality‘ aspect and protracted law cases look set to begin almost immediately, the air around Scottish Television‘s Cowcaddens headquarters is certainly a lot lighter this week. To slightly alter an advert that is seen regularly on Scottish‘s screens, managing director Gus Macdonald was the man who put his life savings on black and it came up black.

Taking the gamble that there would be no competition for the Central Scotland franchise, Scottish made a bid of only £2,000. Add to this the fact that it now only has to pay two per cent of its advertising revenue to the government, and the

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station’s coffers would appear to be looking very healthy indeed.

‘All in all,’ says David Scott, who as Head of Programmes (Scotland) has the remit for local programming, ‘it‘s certainly good news for Scottish and for programme-makers in Scotland. It should be good news for the viewers too, because we‘ve looked at what they wanted and incorporated their desires into our programming plans for 1993 on.‘

Before making its franchise bid, Scottish undertook an extensive survey of its viewers, and discovered that, on average, they wanted around 50 per cent of programmes on the station to be made in Scotland. Although this is an unreasonably high figure, Scottish has promised to increase its local programming in several key areas. The results should bring about a new daily lunchtime news magazine and fifteen minute news programmes at the weekend; increases in business and financial affairs coverage; a new current affairs series; a historical series, following the success of Scotland 's War; increased access for ethnic communities; and substantial boosts to the funding ofentertainment programmes, particularly comedy.

‘That is a huge commitment in cash terms,’ Scott continues. ‘We‘ll be doing about 850 hours of local programmes, plus whatever we do for the network and some stuff from Grampian and Borders, which takes us over the 1000. It will mean that there will probably be more work come 1993 for Scottish based independents. With the network, obviously the desire is for there to be more Scottish programmes on British screens. We‘ve got roughly ten per cent ofthe UK population, but only about two or three per cent of network programming.‘

At next month‘s BAFTA Awards, there will be four categories in the local section, with three contenders in each; of the twelve, nine are Scottish Television programmes or programmes made for the station by Scottish independents. Surely an indication, if any were needed, that Scottish‘s product is as sharp as its business sense.