Scottish variety broadcasting

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By the 1930s variety acts were broadcasting both from the studio and as part of relays from the likes of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh; The Pavilion, Glasgow; Tivoli, Aberdeen; the Empress and Metropole, Glasgow, and the Pavilion, Perth. There were also relays from most of the pantomimes.

One of Melville Dinwiddie's first priorities on becoming Scottish Regional Director in 1933 was to hire a dedicated variety assistant. Under Thomson’s directorship there had been an effort to work-up vaudeville features in the studio, but the departure of producer Gavin Gordon to Belfast in the early 1930s left Andrew Stewart arranging just one variety show a month from Glasgow. For a city renowned for its music hall tradition this was clearly unsatisfactory, especially as all other regions had a dedicated variety assistant.

From the autumn of 1935, studio variety shows became more frequent. The "sketch", possibly topical, would be introduced by way of experiment and further attempts were made at musical comedies — or, rather, light plays with music.[1]


  1. 'Scottish programmes: BBC Winter arrangements', Scotsman, 21 September 1935.