Peter Thomson

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BBC career

Peter Thomson started as an office boy at the BBC's Glasgow studios in Blythswood Square in the late 1920s/early 1930s. He was 18 years of age in 1932/33.

He then went on to work in the effects department in Glasgow. He wrote about his experiences in this job in the book Scotland on the Air, published in 1938.

Following the end of the Second World War, Thomson, along with Rex Kingsley of the Sunday Mail, commentated on Scottish football games. The network commentator, Raymond Glendinning, was usually sent to cover the more Important International Matches involving Scotland because he was considered more 'lively'.[1]

His first television broadcast was as one of the co-commentators of the City of Edinburgh Highland Games on 23 August 1952. He then went on to commentate on nearly all football games involving Scottish teams.

By the mid-1950s he was Outside Broadcasts Producer in Scotland.

Thomson became the main presenter of BBC Scotland's television sports programmes. However, in the early 1970s, the controller Alasdair Milne hired Archie Macpherson to replace Thomson on-screen.

Peter Thomson retired as head of BBC Scotland's sports department in 1974. He was succeeded in that role by Ulsterman Malcolm Kellard.

Suspected Rangers affiliations

Thomson had always been suspected of Ibrox affiliations, but when a technical fault prevented the broadcast of the second-half highlights of Celtic's 7-1 defeat of Rangers in the League Cup final of 1957, he became known thereafter as 'Blue Peter' among Celtic fans.


  1. Statement by Chairman of the BBC Scottish Advisory Council, 11 April 1947, BBC WAC R6/187.