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2014 is an extraordinary year for Scotland.
So much is happening
across the length and breadth of the country.
And it's not all about politics and sport.
We're here with a brand-new series,
a journey to discover the events worth celebrating.
And the stories behind them.
Everything from theatre to comedy...
..great music and festivals...
...activities we can all get involved in.
We're exploring what's happening inside our buildings
and what's going on on your street.
We'll tell you about the quirky
and the exciting.
We'll delve into Scotland's tastiest food and drink.
And meet the people creating these incredible experiences for all of us.
So plan your summer with us.
Join us as we head On The Road 2014.
'Our route tonight...
'I'm in the capital,
'asking "What do you get the woman who has absolutely everything?"'
I'd love to know what the queen thought of that one.
DJ Ally McCrae is beating the rush to this year's T In The Park.
Got my tent. All I need now is a place to pitch it.
And Fred pays tribute to a remarkable war hero...
DOG BARKS A St Bernard called Bamse.
They are gorgeous, aren't they? How could you resist them?
But first, this...
When it was announced, after six years of waiting,
that this year, Jack and Victor are making a comeback,
the response was incredible.
In fact, more than 200,000 people
will have the chance to see Still Game
make the transition from the small screen to the stage...
..right here in Glasgow, at our brand-new 12,000-seat arena,
Originally set to fill this arena four times,
the Still Game cast now have a run of - count them - 21 separate shows.
So I want to find out why we love Still Game so much
and how something that was so successful on the small screen
is going to translate into this giant live arena.
Which is why I'm meeting the men who've created, written
and played those beloved characters -
Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan.
'By the way, they're also big fans of yours truly.'
-Aye, thanks very much.
-Thank you for wearing that.
Clearly, they have a thing for older men.
And fair enough - Jack and Victor have inspired six series,
won six BAFTAs
and had audiences of around
1.5 million in Scotland
and almost double that across the UK.
Pensioners, when they're with other pensioners,
talk as if they're 18.
-You are a
They adopt this grandfatherly voice and attitude
when there's youngsters about, they behave old.
The fact it was young people, literally,
inside old people's skins, it was the perfect metaphor for the show.
THUD! BOTH: Ooh!
Did you find guys to hang out with,
some older guys you could pick up from?
Well, Greg did me.
Ford and Greg first wrote Still Game as a stage show,
eventually taking those characters to Chewin' The Fat.
But while in this series, they were little more than OAP delinquents...
You were rubbish, son.
You go bottled aff - that's how you got that scar on the nose.
That's right. You know mine, Jack?
That was me wi' a screw tap, you know?
..on Still Game, Jack and Victor have become much more rounded -
which could explain why they're gone on to become...
..a cultural phenomenon.
# Sunday morning... #
Look at Jack and Victor!
Mind you, we haven't actually seen a new episode
since December 2007.
We're talking to the BBC at the moment,
we're hoping to do some more.
In a lot of sitcoms, the actors get older and the characters get older.
We can grow into the characters.
And that's kind of the charm for us -
we want to play these characters for a long time to come.
And while there's no denying our love for Jack and Victor,
I want to find out why demand for the live show has been so great,
it's meant a further 17 performances.
I think there's that sense of being part of
a Scottish entertainment phenomenon, really -
the fascination of seeing
how something they've seen in their living room,
how it's going to work in a big live arena.
-I don't know why I don't bar you two.
What is it about Still Game that appeals to so many people?
I think it's the familiarity and the sense that the characters...
Everybody can recognise these characters.
I was in a shop the other day -
Isa was in front of me.
Walking up the street to come here,
there's a wee man selling fruit that could've been Winston.
They cut completely across the board.
'Though being loved by the nation
'only adds to the pressure Ford and Greg are under
'to translate Still Game onto the stage.'
Started in the theatre, onto TV, and now back to...well, it's live,
but it's an arena, isn't it?
-When you start thinking like that, you would get scared.
But no, it's theatre, it's proper theatre,
because there's a big narrative.
But it's not like the format of a sitcom like Still Game,
cos it's a couple of hours, so...we've done it that way.
We're going to be as excited as the audience on that first night.
That's what's so cool about it.
Still, performing for 10,000 die-hard fans
at each of the 21 shows is a daunting prospect...
..especially for Sanjeev Kohli,
as, despite his alter ego being something of a cynic...
Every morning, I think,
"Will I get up and open the shop?
"Or will I cut my wrists?"
..in reality, he's a wee bit nervous
about performing in such a big venue.
I've never done theatre or panto in my life.
I did one production at the Festival
and that was, like, to ten people.
That's the only, sort of, actual, live stage thing I've done.
So I'm basically going from zero to Hydro.
But it's been so gratifying how Scotland's reacted to it.
We can but hope that series seven will soon be a reality,
though for now, you can always see the full and original cast,
live at the Hydro, for 21 performances
from September 19th through to October 10th.
You'll need to elbow your way past me to get tickets.
It's going to be a long summer
between now and the Hydro opening for Still Game.
Till then, the Clansman's shut.
-Aye, so it is.
-Two pints, ya p...
-Whoa! It's the back of seven.
Oh, aye, so it is. All right, Cheers.
Question - what do the following items have in common?
Sunglasses, a pair of sandals, pineapples, eggs,
a dozen tins of tuna
7kgs of prawns and a lacrosse stick.
What do you think that list is for?
I think a sort of holiday, cos of the sunglasses.
Yeah - eggs, a bit weird, and tuna, to take on holiday.
Is it something to do with the countries in the Commonwealth?
'He's close - the answer?'
They're all gifts that have been given to the queen
from countries around the world.
No other monarch has travelled the globe as much as our queen,
with 261 official overseas visits -
over 200 of them to Commonwealth countries.
And on every single occasion, she received a gift,
offered as a gesture of goodwill and friendship
between the visiting and host nations.
And with just over two weeks to go until the Commonwealth Games,
one aspect of planning is being kept under wraps -
the gift that the host nation, Scotland, will give the queen.
So to get an idea of what kind of thing we can expect,
I've come here to Edinburgh and the palace of Holyroodhouse.
On display is a remarkable selection of gifts
presented to Her Majesty over the last 61 years,
reflecting the diverse traditions, craftsmanship and creativity
of the 2 billion inhabitants of the Commonwealth,
everywhere from Antigua to Tanzania.
Curating this collection of the eclectic and the exotic
is Deborah Clarke.
How do you go about choosing what goes into the exhibition?
Well, we've got a limited amount of space,
so that determines it in one way,
but also, we wanted very much to represent all the different areas
of the Commonwealth and as many countries as possible.
They're not all very grand, are they?
No, exactly, and I think that's what's so nice about these gifts -
they very much represent
the country that they come from.
From extravagant gifts to the hand-crafted,
out of the 70 on display, here are my top five favourites.
Scotland, take note.
Making a splash at number five,
a porcelain turtle from The Bahamas.
Overtaking at number four,
a decorated model bus from Pakistan.
A tapestry from Botswana weaves its way in to the number three spot.
At two, this smoking-hot peace pipe,
courtesy of a Native American tribe in Canada.
And number one,
this fabulous interpretation of the queen's face
from Papua New Guinea.
Mrs Quinn - or, as is translates, Mrs Queen -
by the artist Mathais Kauage.
And you can see, it's a very different type of portrait.
I'd love to know what the queen thought of that one.
But what I still don't know is
what will Scotland be giving from this year's games?
So I asked some of you what gift would be fit for a queen?
Eh, a plant.
A tuna pasta mayo that I'd made myself.
-Are you good at that?
That could be tricky to wrap.
But we'll finally find out what Glasgow's given
after the Games officially open on 23rd July.
Until then, you can see the Commonwealth gifts to the queen
in Edinburgh until November 2nd.
For more information, see our website...
-Stay with us...
..as comedienne Susan Calman
explores Scotland's Cold War secrets.
"Dear The Nation, just to reassure you that I'm fine.
"I hope you are, too."
And Martel discovers size really does matter.
-I could curl you with one arm.
-You could curl me with one arm?
That's the best chat-up line ever!
Though, right now...
MUSIC: "Morning" by Edvard Grieg
For one weekend every year, this tranquil, rural idyll...
ROCK MUSIC PLAYS
..turns into Scotland's biggest music festival -
T In The Park.
It's 21 this year and, for three days,
85,000 people will descend on Balado, just outside Kinross,
to transform it into Scotland's fifth-largest town.
As a DJ and a massive music geek,
T In The Park has become a really special place for me
and the thousands of other music fans who flock here every year.
This will be the 18th year these 600 acres of farmland
turn into a sea of tents, stalls, bars and ten stages,
as a crowd drawn from right across the country
party to some of the biggest names in music.
It's the biggest yet this summer and it's also the last time for Balado,
as the festival moves on next year to a new site
18 miles away at Auchterarder.
So before the 2014 festival kicks off,
I want to find out what T In The Park means
to the people that actually live here.
When the festival first rolled in to Kinross,
locals didn't exactly know what to expect.
First year, we were all a bit apprehensive, locally.
Our worst fears weren't founded at all.
The atmosphere with that show,
people that come to the festival, is top notch.
You must have had some bizarre requests over the years.
One of the artists that year
wanted to go onto the stage in his bare feet,
so into the staff room, ripped up a red carpet off the floor...
Off your own floor?
..and out on site, walked onto the main stage
-and laid it about five minutes before the band came on.
Over the years, townsfolk have even gotten involved.
Everything from providing a pampering tent...
HE PLAYS BAGPIPES
So it must be amazing,
getting to play in front of that many people.
How does that feel?
It's a little bit daunting, especially the first time -
you feel your legs going a bit rubbery to begin with.
But because you're standing there, you don't hear the feedback,
then you suddenly hear this blast of 30,000 voices
singing Flower Of Scotland back to you.
I'm sure every festival goer remembers hearing
the sound of the pipes.
And this year,
Nigel gets to rub shoulders with the likes of Biffy Clyro,
Arctic Monkeys, Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini,
Calvin Harris and Elbow
along with 200 bands and performers.
Ah, all this festival chat
is getting me right back in the T In The Park spirit.
Got my tent - all I need now is a place to pitch it.
Though come July 11th,
I'll be joined by 70,000 other people.
Mind you, this pop-up town will need some serious infrastructure.
Over 35,000 metres of fence and barriers and thousands of toilets,
em...7,500 staff, by the time we get up and running over the weekend.
Yeah - it's a phenomenal amount of work and effort.
-But as you know, it pays its rewards in the end.
It's the final year for Balado to host T In The Park this weekend,
from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July.
You can catch it on the BBC, or there are still tickets on sale.
So come along for the day or camp for the weekend.
I've got my pitch sorted.
Only...four days to wait?
# I'll take a dog's life
# Just laying in the sun
# A dog's life... #
Next on this roadtrip, a tale of dogged determination.
# A dog's life... #
Now we're probably all familiar with the story of Greyfriars Bobby,
but I bet you don't know the story about Bamse,
the Norwegian St Bernard who went from a cuddly mascot on a ship
to a WWII hero.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of his death
and it'll probably be the last time veterans and family
will gather here in Montrose to pay their respects.
But this tale begins in April 1940 with Hitler's invasion of Norway.
At this point, Bamse - meaning "teddy bear" -
was just a few months into his naval service.
Though, when his ship was attacked, he stood stoically on deck,
protected by his steel helmet,
and provided a comforting presence for the terrified young sailors.
Thousands of Norwegians came here to Britain
to help with the Allied war effort
and Bamse was one of them,
arriving in Montrose with a fleet of about 400 naval seamen,
stationed here and in Dundee,
and they worked 24 hours a day to keep
a corridor of sea between Shetland and Edinburgh free of mines.
And according to historian Andrew Orr,
it wasn't long before Bamse made himself at home.
He just strutted around the place
as if he owned it and he knew all the shops to visit.
The butcher's, the baker,
and the fish and chip shop, of course.
What was his actual role on the ship?
It's extraordinary, what he did.
He had this role of looking after the crew.
And one night, a drunk Norwegian sailor went clean over the far one
and into the River Tay
and Bamse was the only person who saw this sailor going overboard,
so he jumped down from the deck of the ship -
a drop of about 4m - into the water
and swam over to the sailor, who clung to him like a life buoy.
Bamse also saved the life of an officer
who was the victim of a knife attack
and eventually, he became a symbol of bravery and freedom,
earning him a burial with full military honours
and the PDSA Gold Medal - the animal equivalent of the George Cross.
But as well as his contribution to the war effort,
he also provided the community with a much-needed boost of morale,
something Jessie Paton remembers fondly from her childhood.
He went into the butcher's one day
and the door was open and there was a string of sausages hanging up.
And rather than wait for what he was getting,
he ran off with the string of sausages.
The whole string? The whole string of sausages.
PIPE BAND PLAYS "SCOTLAND THE BRAVE"
In fact, the locals were so fond of Bamse, in 2006,
they erected a statue in his memory.
And another statue in Norway faces this one.
It's a real testament to the love that people have for Bamse,
on both sides of the North Sea.
A fitting tribute for a breed of dog
more commonly associated with mountain rescue.
They were originally bred
by the monks to rescue in the Alps
and partly because of the acute sense of smell,
-which was more than most other dogs.
-But anything over and above that?
It's hard to say - it's like a sixth sense, maybe a built-in DNA
that they have this ability to source and find people.
In Bamse's case, he's so revered, every decade since his death,
the Norwegian navy has sent a ship to Montrose to pay tribute.
Though, as fewer veterans are still with us,
sadly, this year will probably be the Norwegians' last voyage.
Which is why this celebration will be the biggest to date,
complete with a huge parade
featuring a pipe band and St Bernards.
They are gorgeous, aren't they? How could you resist them?
Only downside? Sometimes there's a wee bit of drool.
Sorry about that...
If you want to get involved
in celebrating Bamse's extraordinary life,
the Norwegian ship will be open to the public on July 20th,
while the main parade and commemoration
takes place the following day.
We couldn't showcase the best Scotland has to offer this summer
without mentioning a Highland Games -
one of the most majestic takes place this August in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.
It's been going on for over 140 years
and this year, they're celebrating a local hero
by recreating an unusual weightlifting challenge...
..as one of the UK's strongest men attempts to become the first person
in 154 years
to match the achievement of legendary Scottish sportsman Donald Dinnie.
This record-breaking strongman won over 11,000 prizes
during his illustrious career,
but his most famous feat took place in 1860,
when he carried two stones weighing 351kgs in total,
a distance of 17ft over the nearby Potarch Bridge.
And while these stones might not look that big or indeed that heavy...
..they really are!
One man who knows all about what it takes is David Webster -
former judge on the World's Strongest Man
and THE Donald Dinnie enthusiast.
'He's going to demonstrate with breeze blocks
'what it means to life a mighty 351kg.'
What have we got here?
Well, we've got 14 bricks of 27 kilos each.
It takes a whole huge truck to lift these stones.
Now, Donald Dinnie did this by himself and carried them
across the width of the bridge.
On the day, one plucky challenger will attempt to carry these monsters
with his bare hands across 17 feet marked out on the village green.
It's not only taxing on the hands.
You've got to have strong back muscles, leg muscles,
and an awful lot of determination.
Would you like to see someone beat Dinnie's record?
It would prove to everybody it is humanly possible.
And the brave contender who's going to try and prove it...
is Mark Felix.
One of Britain's strongest men
and a finalist in the World's Strongest Man competition.
What does your training involve?
Going to the gym, like, six days a week...
training two to two and a half hours a day.
I think I'm ready for it. I'm ready to go for the challenge.
But his preparations don't stop there.
He also has to scoff over 7,000 calories
and practice walking with heavy weights.
So, Mark, these you're going to lift.
-How heavy are they?
It's pretty light compared to what I'll be lifting.
You say pretty light, but that's me plus more.
I could curl you with one arm.
You could curl me with one arm?
-That's the best chat up line ever.
Together, these weigh 190 kilos - the same as a large motorbike.
On the day, Mark will have to carry twice that.
That's a fast walk. HE LAUGHS
Mark's attempting to break Dinnie's record at the Aboyne Highland Games
on Saturday, 2nd of August.
And if anyone can do it, you know, I reckon he can.
And if you want to see if he does, you can come along and cheer him on.
Or why not visit one of the many other highland games yet to be
held across the country this summer?
With an event at Alva and Junior Games at Braemar this weekend.
And finally tonight, comedian Susan Calman is taking us on
-a surprising journey.
Her destination? St Andrew's...
in order to uncover one of this country's best kept secrets.
I'm all packed up for a fab weekend in Fife,
heading to a quiet, secluded spot to celebrate
a very special 20th anniversary.
Because beneath this unassuming farm house lies Scotland's
secret nuclear bunker.
-No-one in this country of ours wants a war.
Yes, this was a cold war command centre...
..an attack by the Soviet Union.
..100 feet below the ground...
Democracy will triumph.
..in a space the size of two football pitches,
and surround by walls three metres thick.
Britain is a nation prepared.
We're about 50 miles north of Edinburgh,
probably a bit far for a four-minute warning.
But if an attack was imminent then senior ministers would have
fled Auld Reekie and sought shelter here,
where they would have been safe from a nuclear attack.
Though with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late '80s,
and the Cold War coming to an end, the bunker was eventually abandoned.
That is until Peter Mitchell, a lifelong history buff,
happened across it quite by accident.
We saw this advertised as a country farm house for sale -
no mention of a bunker.
We looked around it and then the estate agent,
holding up a big key, said, "I've got one more thing to show you."
He said, "This place has got a rather large cellar with it."
Well, that's the understatement of the year, isn't it?
-Tell me about it.
So he took us downstairs, switched the lights on,
and lo and behold it was a bunker.
I couldn't get the cheque book out quick enough.
Though while Peter now had his very own museum,
unfortunately it was empty,
as the equipment used to be here belonged to the
Ministry of Defence, so he tracked down the bunker's former CO.
I said, "Well, we're turning it into a museum."
I said, "Any change of getting it back?
"Cos surely a lot of it must be obsolete?"
So he said, "Leave it with me."
Three days later, he phoned me up and he says, "Peter, I've got
"good news for you - you can have it all back for nothing."
This year, the bunker celebrates its 20th anniversary as a museum.
And after closing for several months over the winter,
it's now being completely refurbished.
We've taken out some of the mannequins that were here
because you didn't get the feel as if the people that worked
here just up and gone five minutes ago,
and that's what we wanted to create.
MAN'S VOICE: If any member of the family should die
whilst in the shelter, put them outside,
but remember to tag them first for identification purposes.
Not only could this facility house up to 300 people
in the event of an attack, its radar room was also manned year-round
by people like Douglas Lumsdaine,
who did his national service here in the mid-'50s.
We were coming up here on a daily basis, nine till five,
five days a week...
-Not before that, after that, or at the weekends?
-No. No, no.
So if the Russians had wanted to attack,
Saturday morning quite a good time?
The Russian's weren't so clever after all,
cos if they had only known the could have come in in the evening
or over the weekend, it would have been no problem.
But fear not. After 5pm, and on the weekends,
monitoring for Soviet incursion was carried out by one of 36 other
stations throughout Britain.
Though, in the event of the bomb being dropped,
this one could easily sustain its 300 residents
for up to three months.
In fact, according to Cold War historian Grant More,
potentially, it still could.
If it all goes pear-shaped up there, can we hide down here
until the worst of it's over.
You wouldn't even have to plug anything in.
You could close the doors, turn on the air conditioning,
and you would be good to go in here.
But while this facility was designed to save lives,
its bigger purpose was to maintain command and control,
so, if need be, the nation could be governed from these very rooms.
One of the key functions of the bunker was to communicate
with the people that were surviving after the...
bomb had gone off. So in the building here,
we have a BBC studio, a broadcast studio,
which is just immediately next door.
I think we should have a look. Shall we try and broadcast to the nation?
MUSIC: "The Bomb" by Pigeon John
After all, if a nuclear war is what it takes for me to have my own show,
hell, so be it.
-IN A POSH ACCENT:
-Dear, the nation,
this is Susan Calman speaking to you from the secure nuclear bunker that
I've managed to get into somehow.
Don't worry, I'm fine and I'm sure you are, too.
And to play you out, and to relax you somewhat,
please enjoy the musical stylings of Lulu and Shout.
MUSIC: "Shout" by Lulu
RECORD SLOWS DOWN
If you'd like to discover Scotland's secret bunker and see the result of
its 20th anniversary make-over,
it's now open once again every day from ten to six.
Though, in the event of nuclear fallout,
please call ahead first.
Join us, same time next Monday, when award-winning chef Tony Singh
goes in search of culinary inspiration
at Scotland's open garden scheme.
How awesome would it be if your garden was like this?
And Martel discovers the challenges facing the musical
director of a star-studded live concert at Edinburgh Castle,
which will screen on BBC One.
It's exciting, but terrifying at the same time.
The big names include the Kaiser Chiefs,
Katherine Jenkins, Jessie J and even yours truly.
On how to get tickets, go to our website...