John MacKay (journalist)

John MacKay (born 1966)[1] is a Scottish broadcast journalist, television presenter, producer and writer. He is currently the chief anchor for the West Central Scotland edition of STV News at Six and a presenter for current affairs programme Scotland Tonight.

John MacKay
Mackay in Glasgow.jpg
John MacKay in Glasgow
Born1966 (age 53–54)
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
OccupationBroadcaster, journalist, producer
Years active1987–present
EmployerBBC (1987–1994)
STV (1994–present)


MacKay grew up in the outskirts of Glasgow in Hillington and attended Penilee Secondary School and later, Glasgow University. He began his journalism career with The Sunday Post before joining BBC Scotland in 1987, initially as a news trainee for Radio Scotland and later as a reporter, presenter and producer for radio and television services, including the national news programme Reporting Scotland.[2]

He joined Scottish Television (now STV Central) in September 1994 as a reporter and presenter for the regional news programme Scotland Today[3] and became a main anchor four years later, alongside Shereen Nanjiani. Since a relaunch in summer 2006, MacKay has been the sole chief anchor and presents the main 6pm programme for the West and the lunchtime bulletin for the Central region. In October 2011, he became a presenter of STV's current affairs programme, Scotland Tonight, with MacKay presenting on alternate nights with Rona Dougall.

MacKay has also presented and produced non-news programming for STV including the one-off documentary Sir Alex Ferguson: How to Win Games and Influence People and online content including the popular video blog The Real MacKay and the feature series Diary of a Pipe Band.[4]


Of Hebridean descent, from the district of Carloway, MacKay has written three books all based in the Isle of Lewis. They are "The Road Dance", "Heartland" and "The Last of the Line" (all Luath Press, 2002, 2004 and 2006 respectively).[5] Sorbier Productions, a Glasgow-based production company, is seeking funding to produce a film adaptation of The Road Dance.

Popular cultureEdit

MacKay is a well-known figure in Scotland, particularly in the central belt through his long association with STV. He was portrayed by comedian Jonathan Watson on his sketch show Only an Excuse with the use of his popular opening catchphrase "I'm John MacKay". The Glasgow-based comedian Kevin Bridges has also stated his admiration for MacKay, saying the highlight of his career was saying "Back to John in the studio."

MacKay has also interviewed fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy (played by Will Ferrell) from the 2004 comedy film Anchorman.


  1. ^ STV anchor John MacKay marks 20 years on air, 30 October 2015
  2. ^ My media day: John MacKay, AllMedia Scotland, 4 September 2012
  3. ^ STV anchor John MacKay marks 20 years on air,, 25 September 2014
  4. ^ TV newsman John's video diary drums up support for pipe band, icRenfrewshire, 11 December 2008
  5. ^ Luath - John MacKay Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit