Current Account was a BBC Scotland current affairs programme which ran from 1968 until 1983. It featured presenters, reporters, and editors such as Magnus Magnusson, David Scott, Brian Barr and Colin Cameron. It broke big stories and spawned a political offspring, Public Account, in 1975, presented by Andrew Neil.
Transmitted weekly on a Thursday at 20.30 it consisted of a one subject filmed or studio report. Its editor was Matthew Spicer.
During the run up to the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum it had a sister programme dealing only with politics called Public Account.
By April 1975, subjects covered in Current Account included items on the Steel Corporation plans for Scotland's steel Industry; unrest among inshore fishermen; problems in high-rise flats; and the disquiet on the use of High Alumina Cement in buildings.
In 1975, with progress towards devolution speeding-up and the imminent assumption of control by the new regional authorities, a new sister programme, Public Account, was introduced to concentrate on political current affairs while Current Account was left to deal with general current affairs.
End of programme
The cancellation of Current Account co-incided with the introduction of the new London-based Sixty Minutes programme in October 1983. From that point the current affairs content was included in the shorter Reporting Scotland opt-out section of Sixty Minutes and continued to be directed by Kenneth Cargill. Newsroom staff were told that in future they would be responsible for current affairs as well as news.
Sally Magnusson, a former presenter on Current Account, was one of the names who appeared on Sixty Minutes.
Pat Chalmers, who had taken over as Controller of BBC Scotland earlier that year, had wanted to opt out of Sixty Minutes completely and present his own news and current affairs programme in Scotland, but this was vetoed by the then Director General Alasdair Milne, himself a former BBC Scotland Controller. Milne said that the question could be reconsidered after a few months.
- 'BBC to close its Current Account', Glasgow Herald, 17 September 1983, 3.