Contact: Margaret Mary MurrayRegion: Scotland

Title: Head of Service
Genre: All
Region: Scotland

About Channel

BBC ALBA is a BBC licensed television launched in 2011 and is service managed in partnership by MG ALBA and the BBC.

Delivering both Gaelic and non-Gaelic programming, BBC Alba’s most popular genres are documentaries, music and sports programmes. They have a diverse daily schedule of children's programmes is broadcast as well as local, national and international news and current affairs content. Programmes are produced by a range of independent production companies based across Scotland as well as from the BBC and STV.

Programme Interests

Looking For

MG Alba hold twice-yearly commissioning rounds (Summer/Winter) where they welcome the submission of programme and television production ideas from suitably qualified media production companies. The MG ALBA/BBC partnership will also accept ‘time-perishable’ programme ideas at any time of the year and endeavour to return commissioning decisions on them without undue delay.


2018 marks BBC ALBA’s 10th year on screen.

This commissioning round seeks:



Submissions of programme ideas should state which category they refer to in this round. They should include a brief creative summary, details of key talent behind and in front of camera and a budget. They should not exceed one A4 page per programme. Taster clips would also be welcome but are not necessary. The opportunity to develop these summaries may be given through interviews with applicants.

The programme:  Distinctive factual programmes or short factual series aiming to create substantial popular and/or critical impact with audiences throughout Scotland. Examples of programmes with impact in this slot have included: Hamish, Jimmy Johnstone, Gladys, Am Balach MacCuidhein. (NB these are illustrative examples only and not intended to constrain potential ideas).

First broadcast slot: Weekday, 9pm or Christmas/New Year schedule.

Format: Single documentaries or short series of 59 or possibly 29 minutes duration each. Co-financed/co-produced feature documentaries would also be of interest.

Audience: General, Scotland-wide

The programme:  Programmes of special interest and value for Gaelic-speaking communities. Bold, contemporary treatments are sought.  

First broadcast slot: Various

Format: Single programmes or short series of preferably 59 minutes or possibly 29 minutes duration each.

Audience: Gaelic-speaking including learners.

Pilot: Short-form comedy with particular appeal to a 16 – 30 audience.

First broadcast/publication slot: Various

Format: Sketch show – i.e. 1-3 minute items with ability to stand alone digitally but also packaged together for linear slot. Proposals should demonstrate a fearless, irreverent attitude. A collaborative approach with a wide range of new talent is sought.  Taster clips/sample scripts are welcome.

Audience: Gaelic-speaking, 16-30. 


2017/18 Draft date for Winter Commissioning Round

Commissioning Round Winter – 2017/18

Draft deadline for programme ideas – January 16, 2018 at 1pm. 

Draft deadline for MG ALBA/BBC partnership decisions – February 16, 2018.


Details of this commissioning round will be published closer to the draft date. The MG ALBA/BBC partnership will accept ‘time-perishable’ programme ideas at any time and endeavour to return commissioning decisions on them without undue delay.

Any questions on anything contained in this commissioning round should be addressed to Donna Graham at  


Who we are

Head of Service: Margaret Mary Murray

Director Strategy & Partnerships: Iseabail MacTaggart

Channel Editor: Margaret Cameron

Service Editor: Ishbel MacLennan

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