Many people enjoyed the Scottish television programme, The Hour, which was on each weekday evening. Remember that? Michelle McManus and Stephen Jardine were the presenters, with Grant Stott sometimes stepping in to help. Every evening they were on our screens at 5pm with their big smiles and jokes.

It was a programme packed with titbits, competitions and wee quirky stories about Scotland, and over the years they had some really big stars on as guests. There was music, cookery, antiques and so on – all with a Scottish theme.

It was a fantastic showcase for Scottish talent, from young musicians to actors and performers of every kind.

Mind you, I also liked it because I had a regular spot on the show.

But, alas, it is no more.

And now when you tune in to STV (Yes, that’s SCOTTISH television) at the 5pm slot, what do you see? Some non-Scottish based quiz show.

Now, I should be really mad about that – in fact we all should be – and in some ways, I am. You see, the team that worked on The Hour was like a family. A tight knit, talented and highly likeable group of individuals doing a remarkable job to put on a live show night after night. You wouldn’t believe the work and dedication that goes into producing something like that.

However, this new game show, hosted by Tim Vine and written by John Archer, now fills the spot that I used to enjoy. The problem is, I’ve met Tim Vine a couple of times – as recently as last week – and a jolly nice fellow he is, too. And the writer, John, has been a good friend of mine for a very long time. A nicer bloke you couldn’t meet.

Even so, it’s a bit galling to have a perfectly good Scottish Television show ripped out and tossed away. Even worse when it’s replaced by yet another quiz show (even if it is entertaining and funny.)

As for all those young Scottish musicians, performers, actors and singers; where are they going to get a spot on the telly now? How do we find out about all those quirky stories from around the country? Not on a game show, that’s for sure.

How terribly depressing.

Drew McAdam


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