BBC Scotlands festive comedy package unveiled

BBC Scotland Festive montage

BBC Scotland’s festive comedy package unveiled. Socially Christmas With Susan Calman, the comedian moves out of the cold garden and into the warm indoors with this homely Christmas special. Susan is joined by celebrity guests, comedians and musicians as she shares some of her favourite festive traditions.

Much needed laughs will come courtesy of old and new comedy. Audiences will get to revisit the classic comedy City Lights as the first series is broadcast on BBC Scotland, alongside Christmas and Hogmanay specials of Still Game and Rab C Nesbitt. Lining up beside them will be two festive specials of Raiders of the Lost Archives, the brand-new comedy voiceover archive show featuring the comic talents of Janey Godley, Jim Smith and Jay Robertson to name just a few. 

The trip down memory lane continues with a new series of The Moments That Made.  The three-part series will profile the careers of three of Scotland’s most-loved comedy performers, Elaine C Smith, Richard Wilson and Jack Docherty. An episode of Two Doors Down, One Foot In The Grave and Scot Squad will follow each respective profile.

Laughs are guaranteed with the Two Doors Down festive special which will play out on the BBC Scotland channel following its premiere on BBC Two. Fizzing with barbed put-downs, simmering rivalries and precision one-liners this Christmas get-together is the biggest test of the neighbours’ friendships yet.

Keeping the country laughing will be Scot Squad – The Chief’s Festive Message 2020.  Join Scotland’s wisest man, Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson as he delivers a criminally funny State of the Nation address.  The award-winning Breaking the News team are back with a seasonal special with Breaking the Year.  Host Des Clarke and his guests take a socially distant wander through 2020 and take a wry look back at the biggest stories and events of the year.  

Capturing the magic of live performance, we offer another chance to see the fabulous feature-length performance of The Snow Queen. Filmed at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, this glittering production brought the Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary year to a close last December and audiences will once again have the chance to enjoy this story of love and friendship which was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale and was also the basis for the hit film Frozen.

As we head towards the end of the year, Susan Calman fronts the Hogmanay festivities on television again this year.  First up is Susan Calman’s Not Quite End Of The Year Show on the BBC Scotland channel at 10pm when the popular comedian and writer takes a looks back over the extraordinary year that has been 2020 with special guests.

BBC One Scotland will bring a touch of magic to its schedule with Pure Magic. This show, completed before lockdown, follows four of the UK’s hottest young magicians as they take mentalism, illusion and scale magic to a variety of locations in Scotland before performing to an audience in Glasgow’s Fruitmarket.  Narrated by Radio 1’s Arielle Free it stars Colin Cloud, Katherine Mills, Magical Bones and Ben Hart. 

Back on BBC One Scotland, Hogmanay will see the final kick of the ball for Only An Excuse? In a fitting tribute, this one-hour special will feature memorable moments from the archive alongside new sketches and contributions from famous faces who’ve been tackled by Jonathan Watson and the OAE? team down the years.

Susan Calman will lead the countdown to the bells with Hogmanay 2020 simulcast across BBC One and the BBC Scotland channel.  With no live studio audience this year, Susan will welcome an audience of virtual partygoers, special guests and be joined in the studio by musical acts Deacon Blue, Amy MacDonald and Blazin Fiddles. We will go live to Edinburgh Castle for the traditional firing of the gun and lone piper as we ring out the old and bring in the new. 

Yuletide offerings on BBC Radio Scotland include an additional six hours of live programming on Christmas Day to help connect audiences who may be apart.  Bryan Burnett will be live for three hours on Christmas morning from 9am while Ashley Storrie brings a live show to the evening schedule from 10pm.  Both Bryan and Ashley will be inviting festive greetings requests and ‘shout outs’ to link families and friends together. 

Jamie MacDougall presents Happy Birthday Harry: The Man Behind The Tartan, a 1×60 documentary celebrating Scotland’s original A-list international superstar, Harry Lauder.  On his 150th birthday anniversary, Jamie examines this charismatic and controversial figure and asks whether it is time for Scotland to celebrate him again. Jamie retraces his steps from humble origins to discover more about the real Harry Lauder. The programme ends with a tribute to the man and his memory with Jamie and the BBC SSO in a full orchestral arrangement of Keep Right on To The End Of The Road.

A new two-part series Comedy Map Of Scotland sees comedian Chris Forbes rediscover classic regional comedy characters, routines and sketches that help tell the story of our national sense of humour. From Glasgow to Edinburgh to Dundee to Aberdeen to the Highlands & Islands and all the regions in-between, Chris takes a light-hearted exploration of our geo-comedy character and, through interview and classic archive, he maps our very own Scottish comedy SatNav.


Hogmanay on Radio Scotland kicks off with Stuart & Tam’s Hogmanay Greeeetings with the formidable duo sharing their all-time favourite tracks to round up the year and get you ready for 2021. In Fred MacAulay And Friends, Fred is joined by comedy chums from around the globe to help charge glasses, share stories and raise spirits before handing over to Bryan Burnett for a special live extended Get It On… Through The Bells. Bryan will be on hand to play audience requests to take us in to 2021.

BBC ALBA will be bringing in the New Year with Siud Agad E! 2020 / There Goes 2020, a wry look back on 2020 featuring some of the channel’s legendary comedic personalities, followed by special socially-distanced Hogmanay Cèilidh hosted by stars of the Gaelic world Niall Iain MacDonald and Cathy MacDonald, alongside a fabulous array of talented musicians to kick off 2021.

Steve Carson, Director BBC Scotland says: “This year has challenged everyone in many different ways and so it’s never been more important to offer audiences the chance to come together and enjoy a range of festive programming that will bring comfort but also joy.

“From uplifting programmes which will celebrate the kindness and resolve of the human spirit through to laughing with our familiar comic favourites, BBC Scotland’s festive offer provides something for everyone.”


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