© 2020 by Scott M. Duffield

  • Scott Duffield

The Nine - BBC Scotland's Flagship News Programme (Review)

The much anticipated flagship news programme on the new BBC Scotland channel - “The Nine” has arrived. The programme aims to bring Scottish, UK and international news together, from a Scottish perspective. The Nine’s open-plan set is located in BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay, in the heart of BBC Scotland.

With a digital clock ticking away until 9pm Martin Geissler and Rebecca Curran, who front the programme, appeared from behind appearing relaxed, confident and dare I say it… excited!

Following the headlines, as you’d expect in a news programme, the Nine’s title sequence shows faces from around Scotland – although I liked the programmes opening, I couldn’t but help think of the titles to Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. It did, however, highlight who the programme is for and about - the people of Scotland! Although, some viewers on twitter seemed less keen with one twitter user saying the title sequence “is embarrassing” continuing “such big hopes, but such a big disappointment”.

It’s evident The Nine has a significant budget, with correspondents all over Scotland, the UK and even in Iceland! But that’s what you’d expect from a flagship programme. Investing in this programme, the BBC are able to tell the stories which don’t make the mainstream bulletins.

Opening the programme BBC Scotland’s Social Affairs correspondent, Chris Clements, headed an exclusive investigation into prescription drug abuse in Scotland. Following that, BBC’s Carole Erskine, Chris Foote and Chris Bobyn looked further into PrEP an anti-HIV drug, and how the drug has benefited people in Scotland’s relationships with HIV positive partners.

With the sport Amy Irons speaks to Scotland coaches Gregor Townsend (Scotland Rugby) and Alex McLeish (Scottish Football) their first television appearance together. Meanwhile David Farrell is meeting winner of The Greatest Dancer Ellie Fergusson following her success on BBC One’s latest hit series!

Taking a look at social media there’s been an overall positive response, with people praising the programme for being “so well realised” and “fresh, modern, relevant”. However, the programme wasn’t without it’s critics.

For me, I’d say the first broadcast of The Nine was a success – I’ve been impressed (and inspired) by this team over the past few months and I only expect things to get better! I cannot wait for Scotland’s news hour to continue.