Gaelic channel “unexpected success” in Scotland

It costs a penny or two but might we take a leaf out of the Scottish book? The Independent reports:

BBC Alba is proving to be an unexpected success, pulling in more than 600,000 viewers in its first week of broadcasting, more than double the projected audience of 250,000.”

The essential is to make it inclusive, for instance as argued for by Lindy McDowell.It was a neat idea for Alba to launch with a comedy drama about Elvis rather than something from the Celtic mists. It’s true though when the channel settles down the audience figures may not hold up. Still Alba has had a warm reception despite some fears – unhinged when you think about it – that it was ” set up to fail”

From the Herald
“BBC Alba also offers a great learning curve. I now know that the Gaelic for snooker is snuicar.”
“Why is the BBC Trust quibbling over £4 million to put an entire channel on Freeview when they agreed to pay Jonathan Ross £6 million a year for his hour a week?”

( The channel is on Sky and Freesat)

Between all the broadcasters in Ireland including TG4 and not just the BBC, a bolder TV proposition in Irish should be developed to appeal to the North and include lots of gateways to non-Gaelgoir. If its right that they haven’t got it Alba should certainly have a subtitle option. The technology is there. The option of subtitles is essential.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London