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BBC Radio Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BBC Radio Scotland
Logo used since 2022
Broadcast areaScotland: FM, MW, DAB and Freeview
United Kingdom: BBC Sounds and cable and satellite television
FrequencyFM: 92.5–94.7 MHz
AM: 810 kHz
DAB: 11B, 11C and 12D
Freeview: 719 (Scotland only)
Freesat: 712
Sky: 0116 (UK only)
Virgin Media: 930
FormatNews, music, sport, talk
OperatorBBC Scotland
First air date
23 November 1978; 45 years ago (1978-11-23)
Former frequencies
585 MW
Technical information
Licensing authority
WebcastBBC Sounds

BBC Radio Scotland is a Scottish national radio network owned and operated by BBC Scotland, a division of the BBC. It broadcasts a wide variety of programmes. It replaced the Scottish BBC Radio 4 opt-out service of the same name from 23 November 1978. [1]

Radio Scotland is broadcast in English, whilst sister station Radio nan Gàidheal broadcasts in Scottish Gaelic.

According to RAJAR, the station broadcasts to a weekly audience of 800,000 and has a listening share of 6.1% as of December 2023.[2]

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The first BBC Radio Scotland broadcast was on 17 December 1973, a fortnight earlier than planned.[3]

BBC Radio Scotland was founded as a full-time radio network on 23 November 1978.[4] Previously it was possible only to opt out of BBC Radio 4, and the service was known as Radio 4 Scotland or, formally on air, as "BBC Scotland Radio 4". Although on some occasions Radio Scotland used to use BBC Radio 2 as a sustaining service at certain times, most notably during the Sport on 2 Saturday afternoon programme with a BBC Scotland opt-out on 202m known as "BBC Scotland Radio 2"; however, this has been discontinued since.[5][6]

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.

Kirsty Wark launched her career on BBC Radio Scotland, first as a researcher and then as a producer.[7]


Radio Scotland broadcasts a wide range of programming, including news, debate, music, drama, comedy and sports. It is broadcast from the BBC Scotland headquarters in the Pacific Quay in Glasgow. Overnight, the station simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live during its downtime.

Local opt-outs

BBC Radio Orkney and BBC Radio Shetland opt out of BBC Radio Scotland for 30 minutes each weekday to broadcast a local news programme and during the winter months this is supplemented for both areas by an additional hour-long programme. Local news and weather bulletins are also broadcast as opt-outs from news studios in Selkirk, Dumfries, Aberdeen and Inverness on weekdays.

Notable presenters

Past presenters

Heads of Radio, Scotland

Previous BBC Radio Scotland logo

The title "Head of Radio, Scotland" was applied to cover not only the Radio Scotland service but also BBC Scotland's radio productions for other networks.

Years served H.R.S.
1978–1979 John Pickles
1980–1983 Christopher Irwin
1983–1987 Stan Taylor
1987–1992 Neil Fraser
1992–1996 James Boyle
1996–2000 Ken MacQuarrie
2000–2005 Maggie Cunningham
2005–2017 Jeff Zycinski
2017–present Gareth Hynes


  1. ^ McDowell, W.H. (1992). The History of BBC Broadcasting in Scotland 1923-1983. Edinburgh University Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-7486-0376-X.
  2. ^ "RAJAR".
  3. ^ "Radio Scotland off their mark". The Herald. 18 December 1973. p. 5. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  4. ^ Young, Andrew (7 November 1978). "Star line-up as Radio Scotland goes pop". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 4. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Radio 4 doing opt outs for Scotland?". October 2017.
  6. ^ "BBC Scotland Radio 2 - Scotland on Air".
  7. ^ "Visual Arts Group". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2019.

Further reading

  • Lockerbie, Catherine (1985), "Making Waves: Radio in Scotland", in Parker, Geoff (ed.), Cencrastus No. 20, Spring 1985, pp. 8 - 11, ISSN 0264-0856

External links

55°51′29″N 4°17′27″W / 55.8580°N 4.2909°W / 55.8580; -4.2909

This page was last edited on 7 February 2024, at 13:02
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