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Beechgrove set for TV return


By David Porter


New programming spanning documentary, entertainment, lifestyle and factual - is going into production in the north east of Scotland through BBC Scotland.

Topping the bill, The Children’s Hospital, the warmly received documentary series on the work of Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, is to be re-commissioned for a second series with a further eight parts of the observational documentary from makers Tern Television for screening next year.

Staff at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
Staff at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

Also being recommissioned for the BBC Scotland channel next year is a 26 week run of countryside magazine strand Landward, produced by BBC Studios in Aberdeen, and Tern TV’s Beechgrove, which will also return to a 26 week-run next year.

Landward, which is currently on air with its autumn/winter run will be made by the Aberdeen team in 2020, in tandem with another batch of the cooking series The Great Food Guys, which will see the partnership of Nick Nairn and Dougie Vipond get culinary for a fresh eight-part series.

This news follows the announcement that Aberdeen is to host BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2019 on December 15 in the new P&J Live arena.

Aberdeen is also the host city for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards which will be broadcast live from Aberdeen Music Hall on December 9 on BBC ALBA and across the world via BBC iPlayer.

The BBC Studios Aberdeen team has also produced series such as the new six-part Hidden Lives, about largely unheralded community passions and events from around Scotland, and the acclaimed and recently transmitted documentary The Rise And Fall Of Timex Dundee.

A second series of Fish Town, a six-part observational series about the fishing industry out of Peterhead harbour, is also being produced by Firecrest for transmission on BBC One Scotland early next year.

The Beechgrove gardening series will have a 26 week run in 2020, with a further eight packages of special highlights to be shown over the winter.

The boost in the run of the series, which is initially shown on the BBC Scotland channel on Thursdays with a further transmission across the UK on BBC Two on Sunday mornings, will return the series to be onscreen across the spring, summer and autumn.

Steve Carson, Head of Multi-Platform Commissioning, says: “We tried something different with Beechgrove this year with social media packages, more outings for the presenters on Radio Scotland’s Grow It and a shortened TV run, but the response from the public has been very clear.

“We have taken on board the feedback and for 2020 there will be a 26 week run of the programme on the BBC Scotland channel and on BBC Two across the UK.”

The aim for the new extended series in 2020 is a new reinvigorated Beechgrove, continuing with features on a range of stunning gardens and practical planting advice, but also highlighting gardening possibilities and benefits for a wide spectrum of people across urban and rural landscapes.

The further eight programmes of highlights from the series will focus on themes ranging from wildlife gardening to gardening’s health benefits - physical and mental - and art in gardening.



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