Martin Compston’s Scottish Fling
Martin Compston, along with co-host and friend Phil MacHugh, delivers a stunning and fun-filled tour of his beloved homeland. Starts Thursday 8 September on BBC Scotland and Friday 9 September on BBC Two
This is the first time I’ll be meeting fellow Scots on camera, sharing their thoughts and passions. Having spent the last few years travelling for work, this is me getting reacquainted with my homeland – I’ve felt like I’m falling in love with Scotland all over again.”
This unforgettable road trip showcases what makes Scotland tick today, as the pair visit some spectacular and surprising places and – in Martin’s words – “drop in on a brilliant bunch of Scots… and get properly stuck in about it.”
Renowned for playing DI Steve Arnott in Line Of Duty, this is the actor’s first foray into factual television appearing as himself. For Phil MacHugh, who cut his teeth in the media as a presenter on Gaelic television shows, it’s more familiar territory. More recently Phil has been a regular face on Channel 5 News, NBC’s The Today Show, and CNN News – both as a presenter and guest – as well as being a businessman and columnist. Glasgow-raised and Edinburgh-based, Phil is a native Gaelic speaker and comes from a family enriched with Scottish music, heritage and culture.
As long-time friends they bring their shared passion for Scotland to the series, but offer up different perspectives: Martin’s childhood was anchored in the industrial town of Greenock, while Phil’s links are with Gaelic culture and the Western Isles.
Martin, who travelled across Scotland for work and leisure, says: “This is the first time I’ll be meeting fellow Scots on camera, sharing their thoughts and passions.
“Having spent the last few years travelling for work, this is me getting reacquainted with my homeland – I’ve felt like I’m falling in love with Scotland all over again. It’s the place but it’s also the people, that’s what makes it so special.”
Featuring remote locations as well as thriving cities and hubs of modern culture, their journey is immersive and personal, with Martin and Phil stepping out of their comfort zones.
Their on-screen travels begin and end in Martin’s home town of Greenock, but over the course of the six-part series, they will also be seen on the dramatic west coast, before journeying back to Phil’s ancestral turf in the western isles, onto the East Coast in St Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen, across the Highlands and the north of Scotland, then onto Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire in the Central Belt before winding up in Greenock again via Edinburgh, the Borders, Galloway Forest and Stranraer.
Along the way they meet some incredible characters, have unexpected adventures and take on challenges in amazingly scenic, but little-known locations: crazy golf on the verge of the water in Dunoon with Drag Race winner Lawrence Chaney; go karting in Britain’s most northernly race-course; land-yachting on the St Andrews beach made famous in Chariots Of Fire, and investigating Aberdeen’s burgeoning hip-hop scene.
Former Morton player Martin also makes his debut for Eriskay Football Club, whose pitch is recognised by FIFA as one of the most remarkable in the world. Back on the mainland they go stargazing in Galloway Forest, the UK’s first Dark Sky Park.
Across the series they also meet Instagram rambler the_hillwalking_hijabi, aka Zahrah Mahmood; Dundonian songstress India Rose; Aberdeen rapper Ransom FA; Syrian refugee Ousama, who is now a barber in Stornoway; legendary Scottish footballer John McGinn; singer Amy McDonald and actor Greg McHugh.
Martin also gets physical training with Tom Stoltman – the world’s strongest man two years running – and his brother Luke, another big lad who is himself a former European champion.
And Phil and Martin get a cooking tutorial in the truly great outdoors with social media’s Hebridean Baker, Coinneach MacLeod, in the roofless ruins of a croft battered by the elements on the Isle of Lewis.
Amid all these adventures (and many other escapades besides) expect the best of bants, a wee bit of rivalry, some classic driving tunes, lots of laughs – and some Gaelic coaching from Phil.
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