A list of firsts

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First singer to broadcast Scottish songs from Marconi House, London

Was Alexander MacGregor in 1923.[1]

First TV broadcast from a Scottish church

A film recording was made of the Evening Service at St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh on Sunday 16 March 1952 as part of the official celebrations in connection with the opening of Scotland's first television transmitter at Kirk o' Shotts just two days earlier.[2]

First Scottish television opt-out

The first Scottish opt-out from the BBC's network television schedule was at 7.30 pm on 24 September 1952. An outside broadcast from the Radio Exhibition at the St Andrew's Halls, Glasgow, the programme consisted of a behind-the-scenes look at the popular Scottish Home Service radio programme The McFlannels, including interviews with the cast and the story's creator, Helen W. Pryde. Viewers were not deprived of any network programming as the opt-out was scheduled before 8pm when television broadcasts normally resumed for the evening.

First TV broadcast of Scottish music hall

Television Music-Hall from the Metropole Theatre, Glasgow, on the evening of Saturday 13 November 1952. Presented by Richard Afton and by arrangement with Alex Fruton. Appearing were Gracie Fields, who was making a concert tour of Scotland at the time, Harry Gordon, Robert Wilson, Jack Radcliffe, Tessie O'Shea, and Dave Willis, who emerged from retirement to make this televised performance.[3]

First underground TV broadcast

In Other People's Jobs: The Miner on Tuesday 25 November 1952, Scotland's mobile outside broadcast unit went down Tillicoultry Colliery, Clackmannanshire. The scenes depicted in the live broadcast were intended to include a coal-cutter in operation, shotfiring, coal stripping, stone ripping (brushing), and prop withdrawing from the waste behind the coal face.[4]

First football match to be televised in Scotland

Was the Scottish Universities v English Universities 'international' played at Westerlands, Glasgow, on 20 December 1952. The commentators were Peter Thomson and Kenneth Wolstenholme. The prior month the second half of the Arsenal v Hibernian friendly match was televised. The footballing authorities in both Scotland and England had so far refused permission for any competitive match under their jurisdiction.[5]


  1. Column by Sydney Harrison, Glasgow Weekly Herald, 6 April 1935.
  2. 'First Scots Church TV Service', Glasgow Herald, 17 March 1952, 6.
  3. 'Scots Transmission', Glasgow Herald, 28 October 1952, 2.
  4. 'Scots Mine on TV', Glasgow Herald, 25 November 1952, 3.
  5. 'First Scottish Match to be Televised', Glasgow Herald, 18 November 1952, 2.