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  • Alistair Braidwood

Malcolm Tucker, Art Historian

BBC4’s current This is Scotland season provides the perfect riposte to anyone who says that the BBC has lost its way/is a waste of money/is unfair. The programmes that they have broadcast have included a documentary on Balmoral, Denis Lawson looking at the influence of Knox and Calvinism, Jonathon Meades’ guide round Scotland, and one of the best programmes I have seen in years; Peter Capaldi fronting A Portrait of Scotland. Capaldi, who is an alumni of Glasgow School of Art, took the viewer through a history of portrait painting in Scotland from Alan Ramsay to his old classmate Peter Howson. I can think of few things better than spending an hour and a half in Capaldi’s company, which may seem odd to people who only know him from The Thick of It, but he is much more Local Hero‘s ‘Oldsen’ than ‘Malcolm Tucker’.

Coming up this Thursday evening at 9pm (17/09) Alan Cumming looks at Scotland on Screen, including looking round Cumbernauld with Gregory’s Girl director Bill Forsyth, which promises to be one of the highlights of my year. I urge you to check out some or all of these programmes. It’s surely what BBC’s I-player is for. It’s an obvious thing to say, but these programmes would not be made by anyone else but the Beeb.

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