BBC Radio Scotland

It’s cannabis, you silly cabbage!

A red-faced BBC Radio Scotland presenter had to apologise after unwittingly offering advice to a listener on how best to grow cannabis. Frieda Morrison co-presents ‘Beechgrove Potting Shed’, a gardening advice programme, with Jim McColl and they were both convinced that the caller to the programme had asked about growing cabbages. The question was about ‘Northern Lights’ which is a variety of cabbage, as well as a cannabis strain. Frieda apologised on BBC Scotland this morning. She joked: “We are a very happening programme and want to be at the cutting edge of any grass!”

The problem started when a caller named Joe McLaughlin from Perth was put to air at 12.25pm on Sunday. He started by complimenting the programme’s hosts, telling them he’d learned a lot from them over the years. He then said: “I recently bought a progagator and I seem to be having no luck at all. Can you give me any advice on what I’m doing wrong?”
Jim McColl then asked the caller what kind of cuttings he was talking about and was told that it was a ‘hybrid of cannabis called Northern Lights’.
The show’s presenters then spent three minutes advising the caller on the best way to grow the plant in question, not realising that they’d misheard the word ‘cannabis’ as ‘cabbages’.

A million thanks

BBC Radio Scotland has attracted more than a million listeners in the latest figures just released – the only station in Scotland to top the million mark. The latest Rajar report for the final quarter of 2005 shows that the station attracted 1,017,000 listeners reaching 24.3 per cent of the population – an increase of 51,000 listeners on the previous quarter. Live streaming of Radio Scotland over the internet also attracted a record number for the last quarter according to BBC figures, with 358,000 requests – taking the total figure for the year to 1.14 million. Requests to listen to live SPL commentaries also proved a big hit, with 323,000 in the last quarter alone. The top-of-the-table clash between Celtic and Hearts in mid October, for example, received 14,225 requests – a record for an SPL streamed commentary – while the Edinburgh derby on 29 October was in second place with 13,889 listeners on the web.
Head of Radio at BBC Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, welcomed the latest figures: “We’re obviously delighted to be the only station in Scotland with more than a million listeners a week. It’s a real tribute to our programme makers across Scotland. We’ve tried out a lot of new ideas in the past year, and introduced many new voices to the station. We plan to continue with that kind of creative spirit in the year ahead. We’ll continue to provide exclusive SPL commentary, launch new comedy and drama and remain Scotland’s biggest champion of live music. Naturally there’s one thing we want to say to our listeners – thanks a million!”