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Hogmanay Live

Hogmanay Live is BBC Scotland's annual live event programme broadcast from either Edinburgh Castle's Great Hall or BBC Pacific Quay on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve). Regardless of location, the programme rings in the New Year with the firing of Edinburgh Castle's One O'Clock Gun and the subsequent fireworks and celebrations in Edinburgh. The programme features a mixture of Scottish contemporary and folk music, with some past programming also featuring live coverage of parts of the Princes Street concert in Edinburgh, Its current presenter is Jackie Bird, Bird and Phil Cunningham often hosted together each year but since 2008 she has been the host every year. Cunningham does however still appear on the program just not as a host.[1] Carol Kirkwood reported on the 2016 edition of the show live from Edinburgh Castle. The show currently is hosted live from The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow. Until 2013 Bird was live from Edinburgh Castle or Princes Street, but the show's producers decided that it should take place in Scotland's largest and most popular city.

Hogmanay Live
Hogmanay Live Branding
Created byBBC Scotland
Presented byJackie Bird
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)BBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow /
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
Running time60 minutes
(Often with a preview programme earlier in the evening)
Original networkBBC One Scotland
BBC Red Button
BBC Online
Original release31 December 1991 – present
External links



The programme has its roots in The White Heather Club which preceded it. Whilst Hogmanay Live is vastly different nowadays from the programme that came before it, The White Heather Club brought the Scottish tradition of Hogmanay to television for the first time. Various incarnations and evolutions of the show have appeared over the years, such as The Hogmanay Show, which blend the old with the new and mark the beginning of a New Year from a distinctly Scottish perspective. Hogmanay Live, briefly renamed New Year Live when it was networked in 1998, has continued this tradition, giving viewers a chance to both reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead in a uniquely Scottish fashion.

Hogmanay Live 2006


The programme is broadcast throughout the United Kingdom on BBC One Scotland. The BBC London celebration, New Year's Eve Fireworks is also available in Scotland via digital television as well as BBC Two's Hootenanny with Jools Holland.

Jackie Bird has hosted the show every year since 1999. Before that, it was various hosts.


In 2005, performances on Hogmanay Live were a mix of segments from the open-air concert in Princes Street Gardens, featuring KT Tunstall and Texas, and acts inside the Great Hall, including Nicola Benedetti and the now traditional appearances of Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, or 'Phil & Aly' for short.


Due to the poor weather on 31 December 2006, the Edinburgh street party and concert had to be cancelled, as was the case with the 2003-2004 events. As they were unable to relay sections of these events during Hogmanay Live, BBC Scotland instead broadcast the whole hour-long show from inside the Great Hall. Performers included new Scottish singing sensation Paolo Nutini, folk-musician Karine Polwart and again Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain.


The 2007 Hogmanay Live was broadcast live from BBC Scotland's new HQ at Pacific Quay by the River Clyde in Glasgow. Live music came from regulars Phil & Aly, along with other folk musicians, and Marti Pellow and Amy Macdonald also. Coverage as usual included the firing of Mons Meg and the Edinburgh Castle fireworks to mark the beginning of 2008.

Leon Jackson performs on Hogmanay Live 2008


In 2008 Hogmanay Live returned to the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle and once again was presented by Jackie Bird, who was joined by Hardeep Singh Kohli to present, with various other celebrities in the hall itself. As usual, coverage of the Edinburgh fireworks was shown at midnight.

Live music came from Sharleen Spiteri, Leon Jackson, Hogmanay Live regulars Phil & Aly, and a host of other folk musicians. To mark the year of Homecoming Scotland 2009, Sandi Thom performed at the end of the show, having performed earlier at the Aberdeen hogmanay celebrations only hours earlier.[2]


Hogmanay Live 2009 was broadcast on New Year's Eve from 11.45pm on BBC One Scotland, with Jackie Bird, Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain presenting. The programme's location returned to Pacific Quay for this year, although the usual celebrations from Edinburgh were covered over midnight. Musicians included in the line-up were Seth Lakeman, Pearl and the Puppets and "Scots Singer of the Year" Emily Smith.


Hogmanay Live returned for 2010, with live music from Glasgow and the New Year fireworks from Edinburgh.


The 2011 edition of Hogmanay Live was again presented from BBC Scotland's Glasgow studios, with fireworks once more live from Edinburgh Castle.


In 2012, BBC Scotland increased the number of live locations Hogmanay Live was broadcast from. Jackie Bird was live on Prince Street in Edinburgh at the centre of Scotland's New Year celebrations, including the fireworks from the castle. She was joined by Phil Cunningham hosting live music from Pacific Quay in Glasgow, Catriona Shearer, who was live in Stirling where The Proclaimers and fireworks rung in the New Year at Stirling Castle, whilst Craig Hill was in Inverness for the Highland Hogmanay celebrations.

In popular cultureEdit

  • The show was regularly lampooned in BBC Scotland's perennial Hogmanay comedy sketch show Scotch and Wry (which was screened immediately before in the schedule), which usually involved Rikki Fulton in a post-closing credits skit aimed directly at Hogmanay Live.
  • The show has previously been parodied by another BBC Scotland Hogmanay mainstay, Only an Excuse?, since 1993 OAE has aired directly before Hogmanay Live.
  • During Hogmanay Live 2001, one of presenter Jackie Bird's many costume changes included a small gold glittery top which arguably was not best suited to her figure.[3] Amid derision from the media,[4][5][6] the top became one of the infamous moments of that year's programme and was auctioned off for BBC Children in Need later in the year.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Lyons, Beverley (2 January 2009). "Exclusive: We join Sandi Thom on mad Hogmanay dash to play gigs in Aberdeen and Edinburgh". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Bird is still flying high after a quarter of a century". 11 October 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ (29 December 2010). "Jackie Bird:I promise my Hogmanay dress won't be a fright night, son". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Should all those howlers be forgot". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Who told Jackie Bird to take the plunge?". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 20 July 2017.

External linksEdit