Funding first for Gaelic audio book

The Adventures of Captain Bobo are inspired by the iconic PS Waverley.

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Gillebride MacMillan. Photograph: Donald MacLeod.

Glasgow based Belle Media have been awarded money to produce a 10-part radio series of their Captain Bobo children’s books.

The series will be broadcast this autumn on national children’s radio station Fun Kids and a number of independent radio stations around the country.  In a first for such programming, the series will be recorded in both English and Gaelic.

The production is being supported by the Audio Content Fund. It is the first time the fund has supported Gaelic programming.

The Gaelic version will be narrated by Uist-born Gillebride Macmillan, Gaelic and Celtic Studies Lecturer at The University of Glasgow and a well-known musician. He appeared in Outlander as Gwyllyn the Bard. Gillebride will also translate the Captain Bobo books. The English language version will be narrated by Largs-born actor John Sessions and both will be recorded later this month.

The Adventures of Captain Bobo series have been written by R. D. Dikstra and Kay Hutchison with illustrations by Matt Rowe. They are inspired by the iconic PS Waverley, the world’s last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer, and tales told by Kay’s father, Captain Robin ‘Hurricane Hutch’ Hutchison, who was one of the youngest captains to serve on Scotland’s famous Firth of Clyde, where he worked for more than 40 years.

The Audio Content Fund is financed by the UK Government to support the creation of original, public service content across UK commercial and community radio.

Kay Hutchison, founder of Belle Media said: ‘This is an exciting time for us.

‘We are really looking forward to being able to share Captain Bobo’s stories with a wider audience. We are particularly pleased to be producing a Gaelic version as many of the crew my father sailed with were from the Western Isles. I know he would be delighted we are able to honour them in this way.’

Gillebride Macmillan, added: ‘The moment I heard about the series I wanted to be involved.

‘The stories are funny and they also celebrate our proud sea-going heritage.  It’s great that the programmes will be broadcast during Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.’

The series will run for 10 weeks from September 24.

Radio stations broadcasting the series include Fun Kids, Cuillin FM, Two Lochs Radio, Lochbroom FM, Purbeck Coast FM (Swanage, Dorset) and Isles FM 103.