Edinburgh pulls up the drawbridge as TV rivals dig in for Hogmanay
Wednesday 31 December 1997
Organising a party in a city of breweries is harder than it sounds. Orchestrating live television coverage of a jam-packed, open-air jamboree is even trickier in a part of the world where al fresco often means al freezing. "We're at the mercy of the elements" sighed Sandy Ross, executive producer of ITV's turn of the year show - and that was just yesterday's press launch he was referring to.
As co-presenters Anthea Turner and Philip Schofield braved wind and rain to pose for photographers in water-logged Princes Street Gardens, Mr Ross was entertaining no illusions about the technical challenge facing his 150-strong outside broadcast team. "We have to get our 16 cameras in the right positions because once the party gets under way there will be almost a quarter of a million people making sure we can't move them around."
Still, he's immensely proud of the fact that his crews will be out in the thick of the action rather than snuggled up in the castle like their less intrepid counterparts from the BBC. "We're going to be at the real party whilst they might as well have stayed in their studio," said Mr Ross.
Actually, the Beeb would have a bit of a job constructing a set to equal the Scottish baronial splendour of the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle, which will form the hub of its Hogmanay show. Its props department would also be fairly pushed to match the spears, swords, and other assorted medieval weaponry which festoons its oak-panelled walls.
Such an armoury, mixed with copious amounts of alcohol, means that the audience has had to be carefully pre-selected. Liz Scott, who has been producing Hogmanay shows for more than two decades, said: "Audiences are always very dodgy at New Year."
The BBC has enticed American folk legend James Taylor to cross the Atlantic for tonight's show, but the emphasis will be on traditional Scottish entertainment. ITV's offering will be far more contemporary. Topping its bill is Texas, a rock band which hails from Glasgow.
The BBC's programme will also bebeamed across the Continent on the cable channel BBC Prime. "Edinburgh has become the happening place at Hogmanay", enthused Liz Scott. "Any Hollywood director would die for a set like the heart of Scotland's capital city."
And that's a Glaswegian talking. Sandy Ross, an Edinburgher born and bred, naturally concurs, although he's not so sure that many movie-makers in Tinseltown would relish a cast numbering a quarter of a million and rather the worse for drink.
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...