BBC Radio Scotland

BBC Radio Scotland is a Scottish radio network owned and operated by BBC Scotland, a division of the BBC. It broadcasts a wide variety of programmes. It replaced the Scottish BBC Radio 4 opt-out service of the same name from 23 November 1978. Radio Scotland is broadcast in English, whilst sister station Radio nan Gàidheal broadcasts in Scottish Gaelic.[1]

BBC Radio Scotland
Logo used since 2022
Broadcast areaScotland: FM, MW, DAB and Freeview
United Kingdom: BBC Sounds and cable and satellite television
FrequencyFM: 92.594.7 MHz
AM: 810 kHz
DAB: 11B, 11C and 12D
Freeview: 719 (Scotland only)
Freesat: 712
Sky: 0116 (UK only)
Virgin Media: 930
FormatNews, music, sport, talk
OperatorBBC Scotland
First air date
23 November 1978 (1978-11-23)
Former frequencies
585 MW
WebcastBBC Sounds

According to RAJAR, the station broadcasts to a weekly audience of 755,000 and has a listening share of 6.3% as of September.


The first BBC Radio Scotland broadcast was on 17 December 1973, two weeks earlier than planned.[2]

BBC Radio Scotland was founded as a full-time radio network on 23 November 1978.[3] Previously it was possible only to opt out of BBC Radio 4, and the service was known as Radio 4 Scotland or, formally on air, as "BBC Scotland Radio 4". The establishment of a separate network was made possible when Radio 4 became a fully UK-wide network when it moved from medium wave to long wave and new VHF (FM) transmitters were brought into service so that Radio 4 and Radio Scotland no longer had to share on FM. However it was not until the early 1990s that Radio 4 was available on FM across all of Scotland so for its first decade on air, the station only broadcast during the day so that Radio 4 could be heard on Radio Scotland's transmitters in the evening to compensate for poorer AM reception after dark.

Kirsty Wark launched her career on BBC Radio Scotland, first as a researcher and then as a producer.[4]


The station broadcasts a wide range of programming, including news, debate, music, drama, comedy and sports. It is broadcast from the BBC Scotland headquarters in the Pacific Quay in Glasgow.

Local opt-outs

BBC Radio Orkney and BBC Radio Shetland opt out of BBC Radio Scotland for 30 minutes each weekday to broadcast a local news programme and during the winter months this is supplemented for both areas by an additional hour-long programme. Local news and weather bulletins are also broadcast as opt-outs from news studios in Selkirk, Dumfries, Aberdeen and Inverness on weekdays.

Notable presenters

  • Kaye Adams (news)
  • John Beattie (sport)
  • Bryan Burnett (music)
  • Stuart Cosgrove (sport)
  • Tam Cowan (sport)
  • Archie Fisher (music)
  • Vic Galloway (music)
  • Jim Gellatly (music)
  • Richard Gordon (sport)
  • Gary Innes (music)
  • Mary Ann Kennedy (lifestyle, features and documentaries)
  • Fred MacAulay (lifestyle, features and documentaries)
  • Cathy MacDonald (music)
  • Bruce MacGregor (music)
  • Sally Magnusson (lifestyle, features and documentaries)
  • Tom Morton (music)
  • Shereen Nanjiani (news)
  • Natasha Raskin Sharp (music)
  • Ricky Ross (music)
  • Graham Stewart (news)
  • Grant Stott (music)
  • Gary West (music)

Past presenters

Heads of Radio, Scotland

Previous BBC Radio Scotland logo

The title "Head of Radio, Scotland" was applied to cover not only the Radio Scotland service but also BBC Scotland's radio productions for other networks.

Years servedH.R.S.
19781979John Pickles
19801983Christopher Irwin
19831987Stan Taylor
19871992Neil Fraser
19921996James Boyle
19962000Ken MacQuarrie
20002005Maggie Cunningham
20052017Jeff Zycinski
2017presentGareth Hynes


  1. McDowell, W.H. (1992). The History of BBC Broadcasting in Scotland 1923-1983. Edinburgh University Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-7486-0376-X.
  2. "Radio Scotland off their mark". The Herald. 18 December 1973. p. 5. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  3. Young, Andrew (7 November 1978). "Star line-up as Radio Scotland goes pop". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 4. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  4. "Visual Arts Group". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2019.

Further reading

  • Lockerbie, Catherine (1985), "Making Waves: Radio in Scotland", in Parker, Geoff (ed.), Cencrastus No. 20, Spring 1985, pp. 8 - 11, ISSN 0264-0856

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