Public Account

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Public Account was a weekly BBC Scotland political television programme first transmitted on 6 January 1975. It was the sister to Current Account which covered general current affairs issues rather than politics.


Public Account was transmitted mainly on BBC1 Scotland on Mondays after 22.45. It was designed to reflect the increased interest in politics in Scotland with the discovery of oil in the North Sea and the rise of the fortunes of the Scottish National Party. It covered politics up to the first Scottish devolution referendum, in 1979, held by the James Callaghan's Labour government.

Ground-breaking in its approach to Scottish and British politics, it was presented by Donald MacCormick later of BBC2 Newsnight, James Cox, later of BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, and Andrew Neil, later editor of The Sunday Times and a network BBC political presenter.

Tom Ross was the producer and Matthew Spicer was the editor.[1]

Subjects covered

Subjects covered in Public Account included items on the principal political parties in Scotland; a report on the Labour Party Conference in Aberdeen; an interview with the Prime Minister during his Scottish visit and several items on local government in its future form.


The last programme was shown on 3 July 1978.


  1. Inside BBC Scotland by Alastair Hetherington (Whitewater Press), 48.