Out of Doors – A Robert Burns Special

Mark Stephen and Euan McIlwraith with a tribute to our national bard.

Euan and Mark speak to Des Thompson, one of the specialist advisors to the Grouse Moor Review Group about the group’s report and what the licensing of grouse moors might practically involve.

As we gear up to the opening of the River Dee for salmon fishing Euan hears about plans for the celebrations to mark the event. What we plant in our gardens can impact the wildlife that makes its home.

Euan finds out about the types of wildflowers we should be growing to encourage insects and birdlife. And as Saturday marks Burns Night Mark and Euan investigate what goes in to making the ‘Great chieftain o the puddin’-race’ with Dumfries butcher Stuart Houston.

And after 7 o’clock we focus entirely on Robert Burns and in particularly his time in the Dumfries area. In 1788 Burns moved to Ellisland Farm and built a house that he stayed in until 1791.

Mark and Euan take a look around and hear about what Ellisland would have been like in Burns’ day and which of his poems and songs were composed there. Burns was keen on nature and wrote a lot about the wildlife he encountered while farming at Ellisland.

Chris Rollie is an ornithologist, conservationist and Burns enthusiast who tells us all about Burns and his connection with nature.

The Globe Inn in Dumfries was a favourite haunt of Burns during his time at Ellisland and afterwards when he moved to the town. Mark and Euan get a tour from former landlady Maureen McKerrow whose family have a long connection with the pub.

And we end our programme at the Burns mausoleum in Dumfries, the resting place of the poet and his wife Jean Armour

Listen to this program at BBC Scotland: Out of Doors – A Robert Burns Special – BBC Sounds

Grit Orchestra/Celtic Connections review – filmic fusion from an 80-strong band

Greg Lawson’s boisterous ensemble celebrate freedom and the Declaration of Arbroath while US duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn add festive moonshine

Glasgow’s annual roots music jamboree Celtic Connections may have only just launched but the breakout star of the 27th edition has already emerged. A 10-meter-high sea goddess made of driftwood stalked the city as part of a mini festival celebrating Scotland’s coastal cultural heritage. The aptly named Storm – guided by puppeteers in fetching yellow sou’westers – strode from the Clyde to the Royal Concert Hall, causing ripples among awed Saturday morning shoppers. With her slo-mo gait, seaweed vestments and startling blue eyes, Storm cut a rather majestic dash.

Making waves … the Celtic Connections festival puppet Storm on walkabout.
 Making waves … the Celtic Connections festival puppet Storm on walkabout. Photograph: Michael McGurk/Rex/Shutterstock

The opening concert was similarly larger than life, featuring the return of the multifarious Grit Orchestra with a new six-part piece commissioned to mark the looming 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. That document was an assertion of Scottish autonomy, but bandleader Greg Lawson introduced the 70-minute suite – composed by six members of the ensemble – as a celebration of the concept of freedom rather than the currently prickly topic of independence. Continue reading

Brian Cox wins Golden Globe for  ‘Succession’

Dundee-born actor Brian Cox has won his first Golden Globe, with his hometown playing a part in securing the prestigious award. Cox won the best actor award for his role as media company mogul Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession

 

Brian Cox plays a ruthless patriarch and media titan on HBO’s hit show “Succession.” His next role is LBJ on Broadway. Listen to the ON POINT interview.

Brian Cox, actor who stars in HBO’s “Succession” as Logan Roy, the aging patriarch of a global media conglomerate. He also stars as President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Broadway play “The Great Society,” which opens Oct. 1.

Vox: “The rise of Succession, TV’s new must-watch show” — “Things have gone from bad to worse to worse to worse for Kendall Roy, the would-be tycoon and formerly most trusted son of Logan Roy, the media titan whose family sits at the center of HBO’s marvelous Succession.

“Kendall’s efforts to oust his dad from the CEO chair unraveled multiple times. He started using again, feeding a drug addiction that became a tabloid scandal when he last was consumed by it. His former marriage is now completely broken, and his kids seem to barely know him. And just when he thought he might be able to stand up to his domineering father, tragic circumstance conspired to draw him ever closer to the family he longed to shed like an ill-fitting skin.

“And that was just in season one. The moment that crystallizes how far Kendall has fallen comes halfway through season two. After a night of genuine connection with another person with addiction, he wakes up to find the sheets of his bed caked in his own shit. As a visual metaphor, it’s perhaps a bit too cheeky — Kendall shits the bed again! But the way he simply sighs and gets on with his life is telling.”

Slate: “Being Laughable Doesn’t Make Succession’s Characters Any Less Dangerous” — “With only one win for creator Jesse Armstrong’s writing, HBO’s Succession was a relatively minor presence at this past Sunday’s Emmy Awards. That likely won’t be the case next year. With its 2019 season opening to record ratings, laudatory reviews, and a greater presence in social media conversations, Succession has clearly come into its own in its sophomore year and is all but certain to be a leading contender in most drama categories at the 2020 Emmys. At which point an old argument is likely to resume: Should Succession be competing as a drama at all? Isn’t it actually a comedy?

“Succession’s proper categorization has been the subject of much discussion since its debut last year. The story of the Roy family, the primary owners of the corporate empire Waystar Royco (which comprises a Fox News–like media network as well as amusement park and luxury cruise divisions), seems at first glance to be a prestige-drama staple: the King Lear–style power struggle. Four adult children—shrewd-but-broken Kendall (Jeremy Strong), even-more-shrewd-but-self-sabotaging Shiv (Sarah Snook), miserably-self-aware jackass Roman (Kieran Culkin), and irrelevant doofus Connor (Alan Ruck)—vie against one another over which will succeed their powerful-but-fading father, Logan (Brian Cox), as the head of the kingdom-corporation. Blue-chip prestige helmers like Mark Mylod direct scenes in multiple gorgeously art-directed locations, and the storylines delve into family trauma and power brokering in smoke-filled rooms. All of that seems to add up to a show that belongs in the drama category.

“At the same time, though … it’s hilarious. The Roy children are constantly equivocating their way through situations where they’re clearly out of their depth. Audience-favorite supporting characters Tom Wambsgans (Shiv’s husband, played by Matthew Macfadyen) and Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) are already a bickering double act for the ages. Recapping sites and podcasts are spoiled for choice of withering put-downs to celebrate. More than one viewer has pointed out that Succession often plays like a bizarrely somber take on Arrested Development, with an analogous version of nearly every character from that celebrated sitcom. Considered on a macro episode-by-episode level, Succession is a dark tragedy about the abuses of the super-rich and the legacies of family dysfunction. But the minute-to-minute experience of watching it isn’t that different from Veep or Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

New York Times: “‘The Great Society,’ About L.B.J., Is Coming to Broadway” — “As soon as the Tony-winning ‘All the Way’ closed on Broadway, the playwright, Robert Schenkkan, turned his attention to the sequel.

“Five years, endless rewrites and several productions later, that new play, ‘The Great Society,’ is coming to Broadway.

“The producer Jeffrey Richards announced on Thursday that he would present a 12-week run of the play, starting Sept. 6, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (which, although located at Lincoln Center, is considered a Broadway house).

“The play will star Brian Cox (“Succession”) as President Johnson, and the production will be directed by Bill Rauch, who also directed ‘All the Way.’ “

Adam Waller produced this hour for broadcast.
Source: Actor Brian Cox On The Success Of ‘Succession’

Scottish Short-eared Owl makes it to Morocco

Scottish owl

The bird, fitted with a satellite tag while breeding in Scotland, made the extraordinary journey late this autumn.

A Scottish Short-eared Owl has made it to North Africa, according to British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) researchers.

The breeding female, satellite tagged at her nest site on Arran on 11 June this year, is currently wintering near Oualidia in Morocco. The bird left Arran to visit Bute and Kintyre from 15 to 17 July, returning to Arran for 10 days and then moving to mainland Ayrshire on 27 July. She remained here (near Dalmellington) until the end of October.

She then moved to Devon, where she was present on 8 November, leaving the following evening to head south. With the help of a strong tailwind, she travelled some 495 km into France in just six hours – an average of 82.5 km/h. Continue reading