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BBC ALBA is a digital TV channel broadcasting Gaelic programmes daily and programming includes news, Scottish sport, music, factual, children’s and entertainment programmes.

BBC ALBA is available on digital satellite. It will be available on digital cable in due course but Freeview carriage isn’t coming, and the BBC Trust have promised to review the situation in 2010.

While large portions of the outlying Scottish islands still can’t get Freeview those who can and have invested in Freeview are being told they need to make alternative arrangements to see BBC Alba.

And the BBC think this is acceptable.

Help get this story known, join the group, make the BBC see that this isn’t an acceptable situation!


  • Follow this link and fill in the online review process to tell the BBC Trust what you think about the matter
  • Use the text below to email or post a letter to the BBC Trust
  • If you’re on Facebook please join the group Get BBC Alba on Freeview, and post links to the review on any social networking sites you are using

It’s not enough just to fill in in the online review. Show them how important this is by copying the following text into an email or letter and sending it to:
BBC Trust (BBC ALBA review), 180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ or trust.consultations@bbc.co.uk

(Closing date 18 January 2010)

To Whom it may concern,

I call on the BBC Trust to support BBC ALBA by transmitting the Channel on Freeview.

The Channel is vital to the future of the Gaelic language and BBC ALBA has met all the conditions set out by the BBC Trust since it first started broadcasting in September 2008. This is despite Gaelic speaking license payers being compelled to pay an expensive additional charge to access their indigenous British language on the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Broadcasting BBC Alba on Freeview would enrich the diversity of programming available on Freeview and make the channel far more available to many more viewers.

Beò ann an dòchas,


s10 Shell Street
Stornoway, HS1 2BS


Thank you for your time and effort.



Kirstie Anderson

Tattoo Hebrides BBC ALBA,19th Sept.10pm

BBC ALBA is pleased to announce it will be broadcasting coverage of the Tattoo Hebrides 2009 event, a special two day ceilidh taking place in Stornoway as part of this year’s Homecoming celebrations.

The Tattoo, which is being organised by Stornoway Amenity Trust, will feature top pipe bands and soloists from around the world gathered together at Lews Castle Green on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 August.

MacTV will be filming highlights of the piping event for a special production for BBC ALBA, which will be presented by Dingwall-born piper and singer Norman Macarthur, to be broadcast on Saturday 19 September at 10pm.

An associated radio programme for BBC Radio nan Gàidheal will also be produced by MacTV and presented by piper and singer Anna Murray from Back on Lewis.

The headline act is world class grade one band, 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band from Ontario, Canada and other performances lined up include Lewis Highland Games Display, Dougie MacLean and his Acoustic Band, Isle of Skye Pipe Band and Stornoway Concert Band and Gaelic choir, amongst others.

A colourful procession of Pipe Bands and others to the arena will open the event on Friday followed by a full evening line-up including Gaelic singing, Massed bands, Highland Dancing and a fireworks display.

Saturday’s event will feature a carnival parade through Stornoway, culminating with a Grand Concert with artists including, Pipe Major Gordon Walker, Catriona Watt & band, John Carmichael, Deoch ‘n’ Dorus and the Lewis and Harris Accordion and Fiddle Club.

Features on the programme will include ‘homecoming stories’ like that of Bruce MacLean, a piper with the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band whose ancestors emigrated from the Uig area of Lewis. Bruce is coming to Lewis for the first time with other members of his family and will be meeting up with Scottish cousins and exploring the area where his ancestors left from.

Tattoo Hebrides 2009 will be broadcast on Saturday 19 September at 22:00 on BBC ALBA which is available on Sky channel 168 and on Freesat channel 110.

For further information, please contact Lorna Inglis at Media House on 0141 220 6040 or email lorna@mediahouse.co.uk

Notes to editors

BBC ALBA is available on Sky channel 168 and on Freesat channel 110. For further information see http://www.bbcalba.co.uk

BBC ALBA is run by MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC. MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at http://www.mgalba.com

MacTV, based on the Isle of Lewis, with over 10 years experience in providing award winning televison programming for both the English and Gaelic market, will be producing the programme for BBC ALBA. For more information on MacTV visit http://www.mactv.co.uk.

Potato and Herring Traditional Music Event. (Bunta`ta angus Sgadan)

Potato and HerringTraditional Music Event. (Bunta`ta angus  Sgadan)

Fiddlers of the Heather Isles on the Island of Lewis held a very traditional evening on the 28th November 2003.
Salted herrings and mackerels were served up during the ceilidh with boiled potatoes(roosters),butter and fresh milk.This was the staple diet on the islands up until not very long ago.Salting was the system of preseving the fish over the winter periods in days gone by before refrigeration.The fish were gutted and then layered in buckets and salted.This could then be eaten within a matter of weeks when boiled.
Fingers were used to eat the fish in the old days but it was noted that most guests used a knife and fork to eat the fish this time.
One of the benefits of eating salted fish of course is the tremendous thirst that develops after a while.
On the musical side of things performing at the ceilidh were Dougie Kane on the pipes,Catriona Watt gaelic singing,Sticks and Drones a local bagpipe and drums group,Heather isle fiddlers the local fiddle organisation,Campbell Maclean on accordion,the Kane brothers and star of the show “Tiene”which translates to Fire,Lynsday Macritchie(Keyboards),Judy Morrison(Clarsadh),and Catriona on low “D”whistle.The highlight of  the Tiene performance was a beautiful version of Phil Cunninghams` Youngest Ancient mariner`.
The finale of the evening was all the fiddlers on stage playing a series of 6/8`s ,Nell Flahertys` Drake,Ness Bochan,Wee tod,Kenny Gilles of Portnalong to an Orcadian Strip the Willow.
Then followed a gaelic waltz to the tunes
MorunGeal Dileas,Cailuin mo Ruansa and Morag of Dunvegan.
It is refreshing to report that the majority of the musicians donating thier talents on the evening were teenagers.Every one of them are serious players in their own disciplines.It bodes well for the future of traditional music in the hebrides.

Dolan Morrison
Fiddlers of the Heather Isles.