Our reporter is standing on the edge of the universe – in George Square

Apparently the 2012 Olympic torch is coming within 20 miles or an hour of most of Scotland’s population as our spin-off from the games. The following report ran on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday 7 November 2011.

Studio: ‘So the Olympic flame is heading north of the border. New details have been released today about the route the flame will take on its 6 day sashay through Scotland. Our Olympic correspondent, Keradine Itsan, joins us now from one of the destinations on the torches itinerary, Glasgow’s George Square . Good morning Keradine.’

‘Yes, good morning, I’m hoping that George Square will be slightly warmer on June the 8th next year when the Olympic flame will be here for one of the 5 evening celebrations that’s planned across Scotland. George Square is the venue for one. And yes, history in the making when the torch lands in Stranraer on June 8th it will be the first time the Olympic flame has ever been to Scotland.’

Studio:‘Okay, then give us some more detail on its route.’

‘Yes, it’s making its way pretty much the length and breadth and width of Scotland . It’s going through all 32 local authorities. It’s going to cover something like 886miles of Scottish roads It’s going through 119 cities, towns and villages right up and down Scotland from the borders down in the south right up to Lerwick on Shetland which will be the most northerly point on the torch relay. It’s going to Orkney as well, to Lewis, it’s going to be in Stornoway. And big celebrations are planned in Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. One or two set piece locations too, I’m told that the Olympic flame will be going across Loch Ness on a little inflatable boat. It’s also going to go past the Robert Burns museum in Alloway on the way here, to Glasgow’s George Square. And there’ll be little set pieces with the flame at Edinburgh Castle, St Andrews of course, famous golf course there. The Forth Rail Bridge will be one of the famous Scottish backdrops for the Olympic flame when it comes on its 6 day tour next year.’

Studio: ‘Well that it sounds like it’s covering a lot of the country. Our Olympic correspondent Keradine Itsin.’

What on earth was that about?

119 cities, towns and villages and BBC Scotland sends a guy down the road to George Square, where being radio he can’t be seen, to speak to someone not very far away in a studio in Glasgow about something happening not then but next summer.

What was the point?

Why not speak across a desk in the studio if it had to be in Glasgow? Or, and here’s the revolutionary idea – given that the Olympic torch was covering the length and breadth of Scotland – couldn’t the reporter have gone somewhere else, other than just down the road?

I know this show scrapes the barrel with its lazy reporting, its lack of imagination, its get someone in off the street – never mind representing the rest of the country attitude but this was on a par with I’m standing on the M8 motorway.


Coming soon will be the BBC Scotland alphabet. No, believe me it’s different. Clue para 5 line 7.

Visual aid for BBC Scotland producers

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