Memories of much-love institution Grampian TV are captured in new book

It was part of the fabric of communities across large swathes of Scotland, a television station that was a conveyor belt of news, current affairs, documentaries and entertainment.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 7:38 am
Bradley Walsh and Alvin Stardust on the Art Sutter Show on Grampian TV.
Bradley Walsh and Alvin Stardust on the Art Sutter Show on Grampian TV.

Now, a new book celebrates 60 years since the birth of Grampian TV, proudly local in its coverage of Scotland’s north, north-east and Highlands and Islands and a broadcasting institution that produced a long list of household names in the world of television.

From its headquarters in Aberdeen, Grampian’s presenters, newsreaders and reporters were in the living rooms of a huge percentage of its potential 1.2 million viewers each night and in The Way it Was: Grampian – the little TV station with the big reputation, many of the well-known faces from over the years tell their stories of life in the spotlight.

Contributers range from Selina Scott, who cut her TV teeth there before moving to ITV’s News at Ten, to Generation Game hostess Isla St Clair, and from the distinguished golf writer Renton Laidlaw to Grampian originals, Douglas Kynoch and Jimmy Spankie.

Dame Edna Everage with Grampian TV's Frank Gilfeather following an interview for North Tonight. Frank said: "I was aching with laughter. Dame Edna was a gem of an interviewee."

Douglas’ voice was the first on Grampian Television. Prior to going on air in September 1961 a record was made of Douglas voicing the programmes that viewers could expect to see when the station launched.

Jimmy – a continuity announcer, reporter and presenter – helped collate the book, and said: “We have brought together around 40 on-screen and behind the scenes staff from yesteryear, and invited them to relive some of their experiences, anecdotes and memories.

"It’s a book which is unashamedly nostalgic and certainly entertaining with readers invited to take a walk down memory lane through tales of a TV station whose name and logo disappeared in 2006, nine years after it was taken over by STV.”

Grampian TV also had offices and reporters in Dundee, Inverness and Stornoway and was at the heart of many major news stories, like the Fraserburgh Lifeboat disaster of January 1970 and the tragic Piper Alpha disaster of the summer of 1988.

Jimmy Spankie, who helped collate the book, during his days with Grampian TV, and how he is today.

The Way it Was: Grampian – the little TV station with the big reputation, will be published on September 30, and will be available through Amazon.

Grampian TV favourite Isla St Clair went on to co-host the Generation Game.
Singers Bill McCue and Calum Kennedy performing on a Grampian TV show.
Popular singer Andy Stewart was a regular favourite on Grampian TV.