I’m looking forward to the launch of BBC Scotland’s brand new television channel at the end of the month and the new News programme – The Nine – boasts an incredible line-up of journalistic talent. A photograph of that line-up up has been on many websites and newspapers today and it reminded me of the time, back in 1998, when I tried to create the most impatient news programme every devised with a cast of talent that would be able to predict events before they happened.
Alongside journalists like Gary Robertson, Ken MacDonald and Maggie Shiels we recruited astrologer Lynne Ewart, comedian Bruce Morton, footballer and poet Jim Leishman and weather forecaster (and subsequent MSP) Lloyd Quinan. All our panellists had to do was match their predictions against the views of the public as sampled in an opinion poll. This Christmas special was intended as a pilot for what would have been called Next Week’s News and the format would have allowed us to test the accuracy of those opinions week by week.
Yet, it didn’t quite work. Too complicated? Too many panellists? A faulty crystal ball? Who knows?
But I’m sure The Nine and the new TV channel will be a roaring success. At least, that’s my prediction.