Riddoch returns to Scotland's airwaves to host short shows

By Hamish Mackay

Broadcaster Lesley Riddoch is to return to the BBC Radio Scotland
fold, but not in the role of hosting her former daily two-hour news and
current affairs programme.

Riddoch quit the award-winning programme five months ago amid much
acrimony after BBC staff claimed her plans to produce it independently
could lead to up to 15 people losing their jobs.

Riddoch has subsequently launched her own independent radio production company – Feisty Productions – based in Dundee.

But
the new head of Radio Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, has reached a compromise
with Riddoch under which she will present 13 programmes lasting 30
minutes each and featuring one-to-one interviews with people who share
her interest in change – either socially or in themselves.

Zycinski said: “I was not convinced I wanted to continue with that two-hour slab of news and current affairs.

“In discussions with Lesley I said: ‘Let’s put this to one side and talk about other things you can do’.”

The
demise of Riddoch’s current affairs slot has presented an opportunity
for Gary Robertson to boost his already impressive credentials at BBC
Radio Scotland.

Daily between 9-9.30am, Robertson will anchor
Morning Extra, a phone-in and e-mail programme, which will follow the
flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.

Later in
the day, Robertson will be back to host the 12-1pm slot of news and
current affairs reworked along the lines of his Sunday Live programme.

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