Reporting Scotland

Reporting Scotland is BBC Scotland's national television news programme, broadcast seven days a week on BBC One Scotland from the headquarters of BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.

Reporting Scotland
Presented byLaura Miller
Sally Magnusson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)Studio C, BBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow
Running timeMain bulletin:
30 minutes;
Short bulletins:
Durations vary
Production company(s)BBC Scotland
BBC News
Original networkBBC One Scotland
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original release1 April 1968 (1968-04-01) – 21 October 1983 (1983-10-21);
30 July 1984 (1984-07-30) 
Related showsThe Nine
An Là
External links

The programme's editor is Andrew Browne.


Although BBC Television had been established in Scotland since February 1952, and had broadcast some opt-out programming, it did not start its daily Scottish television news service until Friday 30 August 1957, initially consisting of a five-minute bulletin at 6.05pm on weekdays and a sports results programme on Saturdays.

The BBC was keen to launch the Scottish News Summary ahead of its new commercial rival in the central belt, Scottish Television (STV) and before the launch of similar bulletins elsewhere in the UK. As it turned out, STV began broadcasting the day after the launch of what was the BBC's first regional TV news bulletin. Similar five-minute opt-out bulletins were introduced to the rest of the UK the following month.

Topical magazine programmes were later introduced to supplement the Scottish news bulletins including Six Ten, Scotland at Six, A Quick Look Round and a weekly opt-out programme for the North of Scotland entitled Talk of the North.

Following the arrival of future director-general Alasdair Milne as controller of BBC Scotland, Reporting Scotland was launched on Monday 1 April 1968 with a greater emphasis on hard news coverage. Inspired by the format of NBC's The Huntley-Brinkley Report[1] in the United States, the programme was presented jointly from the BBC's studios in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The original team of presenters were former A Quick Look Round presenter Mary Marquis (Glasgow), news agency journalist Gordon Smith (Edinburgh) and ex-Grampian Television announcer Douglas Kynoch (Aberdeen). Kynoch later became the main anchor in Glasgow while future Pebble Mill at One host Donny MacLeod took over as the Aberdeen presenter. In Edinburgh, later presenters included Renton Laidlaw (later a veteran golf commentator) and Kenneth Roy.

In September 1969, Reporting Scotland was integrated into the networked Nationwide strand. As with their counterparts in the other BBC Nations and Regions, the Reporting Scotland team often contributed reports to the Nationwide programme. When Nationwide ended in August 1983, Reporting Scotland was briefly replaced by Scotland Sixty Minutes as part of the revamped news programme, Sixty Minutes, but was reinstated in 1984. Since that time, the "Reporting Scotland" brand has also been used as the on-screen identity for most of BBC Scotland's television news bulletins.

Arguably the most famous of Reporting Scotland's ex-presenters was Mary Marquis, who upon her return in September 1975, became its main anchor until her departure in 1988. Regular co-presenters included John Milne - who remained with the BBC for many years - Malcolm Wilson, Viv Lumsden, Alan Douglas and Eddie Mair.

Jackie Bird became the programme's longest serving presenter, anchoring the main 6.30pm edition of Reporting Scotland for nearly thirty years until her sudden departure in April 2019.[2] Long-serving BBC Scotland sports commentator Archie Macpherson also established the programme's weekend sports previews on Friday nights.

In-depth weather forecasts were introduced as part of a major relaunch of the programme in October 1992, initially fronted by Vanessa Collingridge, and later, the popular Heather Reid (aka Heather the Weather) who stayed with Reporting Scotland for fifteen years. The programme also increased its use of live outside broadcasts and satellite links for news reports and interviews.

The viewing figures for the main 6.30pm programme averaged between 500,000 and 600,000 and have occasionally reached a million, including the night after the Lockerbie disaster in December 1988.[3] In March 1996, part of the programme was shown on BBC1 across the UK following the Dunblane massacre. Occasional special editions, marking major news events, have also aired on the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament.

BBC Scotland moved to BBC Pacific Quay in 2007. Reporting Scotland's first transmission from the new studios was a breakfast bulletin presented by Rob Matheson, transmitted at 6.25am on Monday 20 August 2007. The studio backdrop features the live view from cameras mounted on the roof of BBC Scotland's new headquarters on the southern banks of the Clyde. When it opened, the new building at Pacific Quay was one of the most up-to-date digital broadcasting facilities in the world and featured the BBC's first HD-capable newsroom.

Since October 1999, the programme's on-air titles and graphics have reflected the corporate branding of BBC News, including the signature theme tune composed by David Lowe. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Reporting Scotland used extracts from both commercial chart songs and library music for signature tunes, such as the Donna Summer cover of MacArthur Park, Jeff Wayne's Jubilation (also used by LWT's The Big Match) and Emerson, Lake & Palmer's version of Fanfare for the Common Man.

Reporting Scotland's on-air look was most recently updated when a new set was built in Studio C at BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay studios, reflecting the look of the BBC's network news programmes. It was first seen on screen on 27 January 2014.[4]

As of February 2019, Reporting Scotland has been supplemented by a sister hour-long programme, The Nine, airing each weeknight on the BBC Scotland channel. While Reporting Scotland continues to cover Scottish news, The Nine's brief also includes UK national and international news coverage from a Scottish perspective. The programme has been compared with the frequent calls to replace Reporting Scotland with a 'Scottish Six' opt-out of the BBC News at Six.


On weekdays, the programme airs ten times a day on BBC One Scotland:

A afternoon news summary used to be broadcast in the mid-afternoon at around 3pm after the BBC News Summary on BBC Two Scotland from 1986 until 2003 when the news summary moved to BBC One Scotland airing before 3.25pm (and in recent years before 3.05pm) but this has been discontinued since the end of 2012. Starting in December 2007, A short headline update was aired at 8pm during the BBC News Summary but this was axed along with the national news summary in May 2018.

Along with other BBC Scotland news and current affairs programming, it can be viewed as a live or on-demand (in full or as individual articles) video stream from the online BBC iPlayer.

The programme can also be watched in any part of the UK (and much of Europe) via the BBC UK regional TV on satellite service transmitted from the Astra satellite at 28.2° east:-

  • on channel 101 using Sky-branded proprietary satellite receivers with a Conditional access card associated with an address in Scotland
  • on channel 951 using a Sky-branded receiver with a card associated with a non-Scottish address or with no viewing card
  • on 10803 MHz, 22000Ksps, Horizontal polarisation, FEC 5/6 using a normal satellite receiver

Notable on-air team

News Sport Weather
Laura Miller (Monday-Wednesday) Kheredine Idessane Christopher Blanchett
Sally Magnusson (Thursday-Friday) Phil Goodlad Judith Ralston
Catriona Shearer (Breakfast) Gillian Smart
Suzanne Allan (Breakfast) Sarah Cruickshank (Relief)
Sally McNair (Relief) Kirsteen MacDonald (Relief)
Graham Stewart (Relief) Kawser Quamer (Relief)
Anne Lundon (Relief) Anne Lundon (Relief)
Laura MacIver Gail McGrane (Relief)
Joy Dunlop (Relief)


Former presenters and reporters


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