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TVMucho Show of the week

Scotland’s Finest - The Story of the Highland Games

Mon, February 21st, 2019

Wednesday 11pm – 12am, BBC4

You can take the person out of Scotland but you cannot take the Scot out of the person, that is true no matter where the person goes to live. You can witness this with Highland Games gatherings all across the globe, from Tucson in Southern Arizona, one of the hottest and driest places on the planet to wet and charismatic Dunedin on the opposite side of the planet in New Zealand. The Highland Games are as traditionally Scottish as Bagpipes, Whisky, tartan and Haggis (all of which are all a large part of the games) and attended by thousands annually. The games provide a sense of community and identity for Scots in the modern age, as well as a tough physical contest as athletes compete in events such as Tossing the Caber, Hammer Throw and Tug O’War.

This documentary explores the history of this Scottish phenomenon, tracing the roots of the games back to the village of Ceres in Fife in 1314, the community was awarded a Charter by Robert the Bruce for their support of the Battle of Bannockburn and so began over 700 years of history. Travelling through the ages the programme examines the tradition of shows of strength and stamina between clans, the changes made by Queen Victoria in the 1850’s, her aspiration being the shows become a pageant of tartan and onto the modern day games we know and cherish. The games popularity is clear to see, the British Royal Family still attend the Braemar gathering every year.

Bill Paterson expertly narrates the documentary, a Scot himself of course, he has adorned the screens for over 50 years. Many will know him from the likes of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Dr Who, Law and Order: UK and as Private Frazer in the 2016 film adaptation of Dad’s Army. He also narrated Jackanory and recently voiced ‘The Gruffalo’ in Gaelic.

An interesting and informative history into the Highland Games which will make you see them in a whole new light, bringing that little bit of Celtic spirit out in everyone.

 

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