The BBC’s flagship programme, The One Show, is coming to the Hebrides next week as part of a unique partnership with Scotland’s Gaelic Media Service (Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig), MG ALBA.  

  • Two-night special with Alex Jones and Matt Baker will come from Harris, then Lewis
  • Programmes will feature a range of content about life in the Western Isles
  • Project only possible because of unique partnership delivered with MG ALBA
  • Face of BBC ALBA, Fiona MacKenzie to join the One Show team as a presenter
  • The team will look at the impact of the Castaway TV programme on the Isle of Harris

On Monday, the team are heading over to Taransay with Ben Fogle to look again at where the TV reality series unfolded.  Accompanying them will be Angie John Macleod and Iain A MacSween from Tarbert.  In late April 2000, they were among eight young people who paid a visit to Taransay to meet the Castaways.

Also featuring in the Hebrides special is a re-enactment of the ‘Rocket Post’ experiment on the Isle of Scarp. A film crew visited Harris earlier this month to record events as a replica rocket, built to the design of 1930s German inventor Gerhard Zucker, was fired from Scarp towards Traigh Mheilein in Harris. A large crowd including Scarp descendants watched events unfold from Huisinis pier.

Like the original 1984 experiment, this attempt failed, with the rocket falling into the sea after soaring erratically skywards. Unlike the first attempt, however, the rocket did not burn, and experimental rocketeers blamed the failure of the central propelling rocket for their lack of success.

Presenters Alex Jones and Matt Baker will be based at West Harris Trust’s Talla na Mara on Thursday 19 July, 7pm, BBC ONE.

This new community centre was officially opened by Ben Fogle and boasts stunning views of Nisabost beach across to the Isle of Taransay.

 On Friday (20 July, 7pm, BBC ONE) Alex and Matt will be in Stornoway live from the annual Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Both programmes will focus on life in the Hebrides, with a range of features each night.  The face of BBC ALBA Fiona Mackenzie will present one of these, while the programme will celebrate ten years of BBC ALBA.

 Putting together a project of this scale has been significant. MG ALBA are providing half of the 50+ crew that are involved in the outside broadcast.

 MG ALBA’s world class facilities in Stornoway will act as a key hub, providing sound, camera, lighting, editing, and outside broadcast (OB) facilities.

 The One Show presenter Alex Jones comments:“Matt and I are really looking forward to our first visit to Lewis and Harris.

“From everything we have seen it is a stunning part of the world. With a fantastic mix of features and guests we are sure our viewers are going to love these very special programmes from the Hebrides.”

Donald Campbell, chief executive of MG ALBA said: “We are delighted to welcome The One Show to Lewis and Harris.

“MG ALBA is very proud that we have been able to build this partnership with our BBC network colleagues.

“We are delighted that MG ALBA’s people and facilities are able to accommodate one of the highest profile BBC brands in the UK and that UK audiences will have a wonderful opportunity to share the magic that makes our Gaelic-speaking part of the world so special, especially as we celebrate the vibrancy of BBC ALBA as the channel reaches its tenth anniversary.

Claire Megahey, Senior Producer at The One Show said:“We are very excited about our first ever The One Show on Lewis & Harris. It has been fantastic working with the MG ALBA team over the last few months to plan this unique project.

“The MG ALBA team have made us feel so welcome on our planning visits, while their broadcast expertise has been critical in our ability to bring one of the country’s most loved TV programmes to this far flung part of the UK.”