' THE OPINION
Two viewers feverishly prepare for the arrival of a
No six please, we’re Scottish Is it finally time for a Scottish Six? Words: Allan Radcliffe
or me. the summer of 2002 will be remembered as the season British television finally collapsed into intemperate flag-flying jingoisrn. With
every month came another opportunity for broadcasters to remind us of
the glorious New Britain we apparently inhabit. Particularly baffling for Scots viewers was the obsequious foreskin tugging of the golden jubilee. ‘The nation
celebrates.‘ piped David Dimbleby in an accent cut from the windows of
Alexandra Palace circa 1940. as tourists crammed the London Mall. What. you wonder. would Dirnbleby have made of the crowds that didn‘t throng the streets of Edinburgh to watch her majesty trundle up the Royal Mile. or the blowing tumbleweed that greeted her visit to a deserted George Square ill Glasgow?
The silly season continued with the hysteria surrounding lingland‘s World Cup perfonnance which was. as ever. impossible for Scots to adopt a mature neutrality about. lnevitably we tuned in with the sound muted for fear of mention of 1966. With team England safely dispatched. the TV studios took on the atmosphere of tents coming down as the circus left town. The fact that some of us had invested cash in teams such as Turkey seemed outside the realms of possibility. This national bias was more pointed during the Commonwealth Games. response when the plight of injured athletes such as Mark Lewis Francis were considered more Of newsworthy than Scots and Welsh successes cast such as cyclist Chris Hoy. .
ldon‘t dispute there are people ill the UK medla to who care deeply about David Beckham's broken foot and the Queen‘s party. There just aren't that many of trs north of the border. has been And surely. in this age of political devolution. it‘s time Scotland was granted a more independent broadcast-media reﬂecting this country‘s particular audience needs. with an eye on the international scene away from the increasing parochialisrn of the London-based media.
The concept of a ‘Scottish Six' — a main evening national and international BBC news bulletin produced in Scotland — was lirst mooted and rejected ill l‘)‘)7 and is due for review after the 2003 parliamentary elections. The main objection from television executives is the usual Scottish cringe that it hasn‘t been done. so we won't try. Is this fair“? Scotland has a strong independent print media tradition. while radio programmes such as BB(‘ Scotland‘s Lesley Riddoch show regularly cover national. UK and global issues.
Over all. the response of the broadcast media to devolution has been pathetic. Though many Westminster news stories are now irrelevant to Scots viewers. our television news still has a parochial regional feel. l'l‘V's response has been even weaker. but the BB(‘ is a public service broadcaster and. at a time when political control is being wrested from the centre. it has a duty to reﬂect this in its programming. Ultimately if Scots go on struggling to identify with the ‘Great‘ Britain depicted on TV. we will end up switching off in droves.
10 THE LIST 5—19 Sep 200?
1 Six Feet Under
TV Time to celebrate as the best new drama of the year (24? Get outta here) returns, leaving all in its wake. See review, page 110. E4.
2 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands
Film Shane Meadows follows up his excellent A Room for Romeo Brass with a ‘spaghetti hoop western’ featuring his starriest cast to date, Robert Carlyle and all. See feature and review, pages 18 and 25. General release.
3 Arne Jacobsen
Art He made the chair which Christine Keeler lounged around on and designed the one in which Nasty Nick confessed all on Big Brother. But he’s done more than that. See feature, page 14. Lighthouse, Glasgow.
4 The Music
Music If lunatic psychedelic cosmic rock is your bag then this is the band to see, live if not yet on record. See preview, page 45. Liquid Boom, Edinburgh.
5 Darren Emerson
Clubs Ex-Underworld star takes time out from remixing Nellee Hooper and working with Jo Malik to bring his progressive house to Do This Do That. See preview, page 78. Honeycomb, Edinburgh.
6 Alice Sebold
Books Lynne Ramsay is apparently keen to get her hands on The Lovely Bones, an innovative tale of life after horrible death.
See review, page 100. Picador.
TV Two filmmakers had been pointing camera at a rookie Manhattan fire-fighter for weeks when they happened to record the most significant event in modern US history. Devastating stuff. See review, page 110. 8807.
8 Irvine Welsh
Books Some say it’s a return to form. Others reckon he’s never been away. Whatever, Porno will undoubtedly split the readers. See review, page 99. Cape.
Music These winsome indie scamps are getting on a bit but they‘ve knocked out a barrel of classic tunes which their ‘best of’ proves. See review. page 104. Infectious.
1 0 X-Statix
Comics Moral quandaries. market forces and a new kind of superhero team. See review, page 104. Marvel.