By Hamish Mackay
BBC Scotland and STV have unveiled multi-platform line-ups of content for this summer’s soccer bonanza – the Euro 2020/21 Championships.
The first match on TV is this evening (Friday) :
Turkey v Italy
UEFA EURO 2020 Group A 20:00 BBC One / BBC iPlayer
As Scotland hasn’t qualified for an international football tournament since 1998, our two Scottish-based broadcasting outlets are joining the Tartan Army by making the most of the championships.
BBC Scotland’s head of commissioning, Louise Thornton, told Scottish Review: ‘After what has been such a challenging period for all, it’s great to look forward to a major sporting event – but even better to have our own Scotland team competing. BBC Scotland is joining in the party atmosphere by bringing audiences a packed schedule of content to enjoy while we cheer on our boys and delight in their journey no matter how far it takes them’.
A BBC Scotland spokesperson told me: ‘This extra content will accompany our usual comprehensive sports coverage as the Scottish team attempt to make it past the group stages. BBC Radio Scotland will be the home of the Euros as it lines-up a packed schedule of content. The Sportsound team, led by Richard Gordon, will bring live commentary and analysis on every Scotland game plus the main match of the day throughout the competition while BBC Radio Scotland Euros Extra will serve up a brand new football-themed breakfast show on 810MW and the BBC Sport Scotland website’.
From 11 June, The Full Scottish Football Breakfast will be broadcast live each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland from BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay foyer. The hosts, Kenny Macintyre and Connie McLaughlin, will bring an informed but informal and fun look at the Euros – with special guests joining for chat and debate.
Throughout the competition, Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove will bring audiences a daily serving of Euros-themed Off the Ball banter across all platforms and frequencies on BBC Radio Scotland, and there will be a humorous look at events with Euros specials from the Only an Excuse? and Breaking the News teams.
The BBC Scotland spokesperson added: ‘On television, the BBC Scotland channel and BBC One Scotland will treat armchair fans to a host of content designed to make us laugh, cry and reminisce – all prerequisite emotions for being a Scotland fan’.
Across the regular news and sport programmes, Jane Lewis will be team camp reporter – bringing all the latest news from the tournament and updates from the Scotland camp. Steven Thompson will look ahead to the championships with a special Sportscene Euros Preview programme (10 June BBC Scotland) and also host the Sportscene highlights of two of Scotland matches – away to England and at home to Croatia. Scotland’s opening game against the Czech Republic on Monday 14 June will be live on BBC One Scotland from 2pm.
Eilidh Barbour joins the BBC presenting team throughout the competition, with Shelley Kerr and James McFadden bringing comment and analysis on Scotland’s Group D stage performance. When the dust has settled, there will be a look back on how Steve Clarke’s Scotland team have performed in a Sportscene Euros Review.
On the eve of the much-anticipated clash between Scotland and England at Wembley on Friday 18 June, a team of stars and football legends from north and south of the Border go head to head to settle the score once and for all. In The Ultimate Auld Enemy Showdown (17 June), team captains Alan Rough and Chris Sutton lead their squads in a series of Group D-themed challenges before the grand finale – a Scotland versus England penalty shootout with a twist. Playing for Scotland will be Jackie McNamara, Pauline MacDonald, Grado and Archie Gemmill. For Team England, it’s Anita Asante, Steve Hodge, Radzi Chinyanganya, and England’s winning World Cup hero, Geoff Hurst.
Pictures of Hampden Park by Bill Heaney
Away with the Tartan Army: Scotland’s Best Moments (10 June, BBC Scotland) is a celebratory show which charts Scotland’s top 10 international matches with a much broader means of selection beyond on-pitch performances and scorelines. A spokesperson explained: ‘The matches can be terrible, the result awful but the journey amazing and filled with anecdotes that live long in the memory. With recollections and testimony from fans, this programme will capture the agony and ecstasy of what it is like to be part of the Tartan Army’.
A View from the Euros (11-13 June, BBC Scotland) will take an alternative look at the biggest party of the summer with a three-episode special which will swing from the serious to the silly, from pre-tournament hopes and dreams to the moment Scotland hopefully shocks the world to lift the trophy. Host Craig Telfer and friends will get together to answer all the big questions and welcome the occasional special guest to join in the fun.
Short Stuff – the BBC Scotland’s short-form comedy strand will aim to get the nation in the mood for the Euros with a host of regular new sketches which will feature across the social channels as well as a compilation special for BBC iPlayer and the BBC Scotland channel.
Des Clarke and his regular sidekick, Jim Smith, will host Breaking the News: Euros Special for both the BBC Scotland channel and BBC Radio Scotland. Joined by guests, they will take a wry look at the news surrounding the championships – from the drama of the games to the return of the fans – not to mention Scotland’s chances.
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal will be offering Gaelic commentary and analysis on the Scotland matches and a host of complementary programming in the build-up to each match. Scotland’s campaign will be covered across the scheduled news programmes as well as on BBC ALBA’s An La and the regular Spòrscast podcast on BBC Sounds. During the campaign, the history series – De nan robh? – will get stuck into a seminal Scottish football moment and imagine where we would be now had things played out differently, and the children’s show, Aileag, will engage with the passion of an upcoming generation for the beautiful game.
STV unveiled its cross-platform line-up of content amid new research which shows one in five Scots (19%) are looking forward to watching the national team’s Euro journey more than any other event this year.
As Steve Clarke’s side takes on England at Wembley on Friday 18 June, STV Sport’s Raman Bhardwaj will front live coverage from 7pm. Joining him to provide expert analysis and insight will be David Moyes, Kenny McLean and John Collins, while STV Sport’s Sheelagh McLaren will be bringing all the latest developments from the pitchside, and Stefani Dailly will be reporting from the Euro fan zone in Glasgow Green.
Moyes and McLean will rejoin Bhardwaj and McLaren at Hampden Park from 7pm on Tuesday 22 June for coverage of Scotland’s final group match against Croatia. Rory Hamilton and Kevin Gallacher will provide commentary for both games which will also be streamed live and available for catch-up on STV Player.
STV will air and stream an additional 21 matches throughout the tournament, including the final on Sunday 11 July. On STV Player, The Euros Daily Show will feature every day from 12 June and dissect all the latest developments as the tournament progresses. Viewers can also recap the qualification journeys and ambitions of each competing nation in a new series – The Contenders: 2020 – which is available to stream now.
Live television coverage of Scotland’s Group D matches is split between ITV and BBC. Highlights of the two Scotland games live on ITV will be shown on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene programmes. Scotland’s two matches at Hampden sees 12,000 fans allowed to attend despite the COVID-19 strictures. The Euro fan zone at Glasgow Green could evidently host up to 6,000 soccer aficionados and might prove a crowd control headache for Police Scotland.
Key TV dates:
Monday 14 June, 2pm: Scotland v Czech Republic, BBC One
Friday 18 June, 8pm: England v Scotland, ITV/STV
Tuesday 22 June, 8pm: Croatia v Scotland, ITV4/STV
Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called for school pupils to be allowed to watch Scotland’s opening game of Euro 2020 against Czech Republic on Monday.
Mr Rennie said: “It would be great if teachers and pupils had the opportunity to take ninety minutes to watch the game, celebrate Scotland’s achievement and hopefully inspire the next generation to get active and enjoy a great summer of sport.
“For the first time in 23 years, Scotland men’s team will take part in a major tournament. Adults and children alike have been waiting a lifetime for this moment. I would like to see everyone have the chance to be involved if they want to be.
“After a tough year, in which moments to bring people together have been scarce, this is a great opportunity to support our national team and make some memories.”
Hampden rules for fans
Nae hugs, kisses or high fives ….
- Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres to other fans.
- Wear a face mask.
- Arrive at the stadium within your allocated 30-minute entry time slot.
- Don’t occupy any other seat than the one on your ticket.
- Wash and disinfect your hands frequently. Sanitiser stations can be found throughout the stadium.
- Don’t shake hands. Avoid hugs, high fives and any close contact with others.
- Stay in your seat during half-time and limit your movements to and from your seat as much as possible.
- Always follow the signs.
- Don’t enter the stadium if you feel unwell or experience any symptoms of Covid-19.