Hugh Macphee

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Hugh Buchanan Macphee
Born (1906-07-10)10 July 1906
Ballachulish, Lochaber, Scotland
Died Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?". ????(????-Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?".-??) (aged Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?".)Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?".Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?".Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "?".
Nationality Scottish
Education Oban High School
Occupation
  • BBC Gaelic assistant
  • Head of Gaelic, BBC Scotland
Successor Fred MacAulay

Hugh Macphee was the first producer of Gaelic programmes at the BBC.

Early life

Hugh Macphee was born in Ballachulish, Lochaber to Gaelic parents. He was educated at the local school and then Oban High School. At the age of 15 the family moved to Glasgow, where Hugh studied Gaelic and Highland subjects.

His brother was James C Macphee, the Mod gold medalist and noted Gaelic radio singer.[1]

He became heavily involved in the activities of Ceilidh nan Gaidheal, the only all-Gaelic literary society at the time, and was appointed the society's honorary secretary at the age of 17 (around 1922). About the same time he was appointed assistant secretary of An Comunn Gàidhealach, the society for Highland culture, and was associated with Mr Neil Shaw, the secretary, in organising the National Mods.

Career

By then a leading light in the Gaelic movement, the BBC's appointment of Hugh Macphee as its first Gaelic assistant in Aberdeen on 1 October 1935 represented a significant advance for Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland.

As part of his remit to extend Gaelic broadcasting, he approached a number of leading Gaelic Societies in the Highlands with a view to securing the services of native Gaelic speakers and singers.[2]

Macphee and Miss MacRae were transferred to the Glasgow studios at the end of May 1936, where they continued their service to Gaelic listeners.[3]

With his normal workload reduced by half following the start of the Second World War, Macphee's remit extended to religious programmes and he looked after the early morning homily Lift Up Your Hearts.[4]

He retired in 1964 and was succeeded by Fred MacAulay as head of Gaelic.

He later became president of An Comunn Gàidhealach.

References

  1. 'BBC appoints Gaelic expert', Scottish Daily Express; 'BBC Gaelic assistant: An Comunn official's appointment', Glasgow Herald, 16 August 1935, 8.
  2. ‘BBC may have a Gaelic studio’, Scottish Daily Express, 28 October 1935.
  3. 'News of Scottish broadcasting, Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, 2 May 1936; Ariel, June 1936, 63.
  4. 'Scottish Region Staff', circa January 1940, BBC WAC R13/372.