The Full Wiki

Scotland Today: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scotland Today
Genre Regional News
Created by Scottish Television
(now branded STV)
Country of origin  Scotland
Producer(s) Scottish Television
(now branded STV)
Running time Main bulletin:
30 minutes
Short bulletins:
Durations vary
Original channel Scottish Television
(now branded STV)
Original run September 1972 –
22 March 2009
Related shows STV News at Six,
North Tonight,
The Five Thirty Show,
Politics Now,
The Real MacKay

Scotland Today was a Scottish regional news programme covering Central Scotland, produced by STV Central (formerly Scottish Television). Despite its name suggesting a national remit, the programme was actually limited to stories around STV's Central Belt franchise. North Tonight covered STV's North Scotland region (from North Fife upwards), until both programmes were renamed as STV News at Six in March 2009. Two separate news services for the North and Central regions continue to be produced.



Based in Glasgow, the programme began in September 1972 in a style very similar to Reporting Scotland and co-anchored by John Toye & Bill Kerr Elliot. At first, the programme was double headed, but within a year, Toye became its solo presenter and went onto present Scotland Today for 12 years. During the first ten years, it was only on air for ten months of the year, taking a regular summer break. The programme's first editor was Russell Galbraith, then head of news for Scottish Television – he remained in the role until 1982.

During the early 1980s, the programme experimented with studio presentation from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, featuring news round-ups from the West and the East of the region, albeit broadcast across Central Scotland. It was also one of the first regional news programmes to feature signed headlines for the deaf and hard of hearing.

In 1984, following John Toye's departure, Scotland Today was given a major overhaul. Sheena McDonald and Haig Gordon now oversaw a more feature-based programme, presented on sofas as opposed to desks. The critics were harsh about the new format – one such newspaper critic described it as the Tom and Jerry show, except there's not much to laugh at. The Independent Broadcasting Authority also criticised the changes and by 1986, head of news David Scott responded by reverting Scotland Today back to a harder news-based format.

In 1983, Shereen Nanjiani joined the programme as a trainee reporter. Four years later, Nanjiani presented Scotland Today for the first time owing to a shortage of staff. She would remain as the programme's longest-serving anchor for the next 19 years. Amongst Nanjiani's co-presenters during that time were former Reporting Scotland anchor Viv Lumsden, former Border Television journalist Angus Simpson and current STV News at Six anchor John MacKay.

In 1993, Scottish Television launched a thirty-minute lunchtime edition of Scotland Today, presented by Angus Simpson and Kirsty Young – the first time that a regional television station in Britain produced a full-length lunchtime news programme. It was axed in the Autumn of 2004 although some elements of the lunchtime news were revived with the launch of The Five Thirty Show in January 2008.

In its 37 years on air, Scotland Today became a credible news programme, covering covered stories such as the Dunblane massacre, the Lockerbie bombing, the Argyll priest scandal of the 1990s, the referendum and subsequent set-up of the Scottish Parliament and most recently, the Glasgow International Airport attack in 2007 and the 2008 Glasgow East by-election. The programme won the Royal Television Society's Best Regional Daily News Magazine award in 2000.

The programme faced major changes in 2006 as a result of mass redundancies both in the newsroom and technical support division. Chief anchor Shereen Nanjiani signed off from Scotland Today for the last time on 5 May 2006 – Sarah Heaney and sports presenter Jane Lewis also took voluntary redundancy. Several reporters also left the programme, including Matt Bingham, Becky Hunter, Alan Saunby, Iona Scott and Roddy Scott. A few months later, the programme was relaunched to tie-in with the newly rebranded STV and the move to new purpose-built studios at Pacific Quay. The relaunch also saw John MacKay being made its chief solo anchor.

On 8 January 2007, Scotland Today launched a sub-regional news service, allowing viewers in the west and the east of central Scotland to receive a dedicated bulletin within the main 6pm programme. In the west, the programme covered from Tobermory to Falkirk, with the presenter based in the main Scotland Today studio in Glasgow. Meanwhile, the east opt-out reported from Anstruther to Dunbar and was presented & produced at STV's Edinburgh's studios. The East opt-out was directed from a technical gallery in Glasgow. The opt-outs have continued under the current STV News at Six branding.

On 7 April 2007, it was revealed that GMTV had not renewed STV's contract to supply early morning Scotland Today bulletins. The contract was awarded to the Belfast-based Macmillan Media, which has offices in London and Glasgow, and already provides regional GMTV News in Northern Ireland. GMTV Scotland (Central) began on 3 December 2007.[1] STV has supplied GMTV with its news since the breakfast channel took over from TV-am in 1993. The newsroom produced three bulletins of about three minutes each at 06.35, 07.05 and 08.05. This has also affected Scotland Today's sister programme North Today.[2]

On 4 June 2007, the programme launched The Real MacKay, a supplementary series of video blogs, presented and produced on weekdays by John MacKay for Its success led to the introduction of video blogs for the STV North region (Northern Exposure) and a spin-off Friday edition presented by Louise White entitled White Not MacKay. Over 400 episodes have been produced since the launch of the blog.

On 18 March 2009, it was announced that the Scotland Today branding would be phased out as part of a major station revamp. On Monday 23 March 2009, the nightly news programme was relaunched and renamed as STV News at Six. The name is also used in the STV North region as a replacement for North Tonight.[3] The very last Scotland Today bulletin was aired on Sunday 22 March 2009.

Sky Scottish

Between November 1996 and May 1998, a special edition of Scotland Today was produced each weeknight at 7:30pm for the the short-lived channel Sky Scottish, a joint venture between Scottish Television and British Sky Broadcasting. John MacKay and Andrea Brymer were the programme's presenters.

Past presenters and reporters


  1. ^ "Macmillan Media". Macmillan Media homepage. July, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  2. ^ "Irish firm to provide news as GMTV pulls plug on STV". The Scotsman. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  3. ^ "STV undergoes brand refreshment". The Drum. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address