The Gaelic show that’s set to become a global hit

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - History - By Mur­ray Scougall www.pho­to­shop­scot­

A GAELIC TV drama is set to take on the Scan­di­na­vians at their own game – and the show’s 88-year-old star can’t wait.

BBC Alba se­ries Ban­nan is hop­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps of the Scandi-dra­mas, af­ter the Skye-based show was signed to an in­ter­na­tional dis­tri­bu­tion deal.

The se­ries’ pro­duc­ers recog­nise that view­ers are no longer put off by sub­ti­tles af­ter the world­wide rat­ings suc­cess of “Nordic Noir” pro­grammes such as The Killing, The Bridge and Bor­gen.

A source close to Ban­nan says there is strong in­ter­est in the show from Scan­di­navia as well as North Amer­ica. That’s great news as far as Peggy Wood is con­cerned, who is liv­ing her dream of be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional ac­tress af­ter decades of am­a­teur work.

“I was part of a Gaelic drama group for 30 or 40 years,” said Peggy, who has four kids, eight grand­chil­dren and eight great-grand­chil­dren.

“We had a good pro­ducer and went all over the coun­try per­form­ing, from Wick to Stirling, also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Mod.

“I also fea­tured in a few Gaelic films many years ago but I had never had a pro­fes­sional role.

“In­stead, I worked in a ho­tel on Skye, do­ing a bit of ev­ery­thing but mostly house­maid du­ties. It was hard work so I was de­lighted when I au­di­tioned for Ban­nan and got the part.”

She plays Peigi, grand­mother of the show’s main char­ac­ter, Mairi.

Peggy’s been in­volved with the se­ries since the first episode and shoot­ing of the fifth sea­son is now un­der way.

The pro­gramme’s mak­ers signed a new four-year con­tract this sum­mer and Peggy hopes to re­main in­volved for a long time to come.

“If I can carry on and keep learn­ing the lines, I will,” she smiled.

“I re­ally en­joy it and we’re all like one big fam­ily on the set.”

Peggy, who now lives in Kyle of Lochalsh, was born in the same year as Hol­ly­wood greats Grace Kelly and Au­drey Hep­burn, but her favourite ac­tresses are from closer to home.

“I have so many favourites, but I think my top two are Bar­bara Windsor and Rita from Cor­rie (Bar­bara Knox),”she added.

The fourth se­ries of Ban­nan starts on BBC Alba to­mor­row evening at 10pm.

He week

Justin Hofman.

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