Bringing in the bells at Govan Old Town Hall

Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald will host the live celebrations.  Photo: Craig Watson.
Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald will host the live celebrations. Photo: Craig Watson.

BBC ALBA stars Cathy Macdonald and Niall Iain Macdonald will be saying “slàinte” to the New Year in style, after revealing a fantastic line-up for the channel’s live Hogmanay Ceilidh celebrations.

The event will be broadcast live from Old Govan Town Hall, ahead of a very special year for Glasgow Gaels.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, Scotland’s first Gaelic-only primary school, which opened in 1999 and Glasgow’s newest Gaelic school will open in Govan itself later in the year.

Govan Gaelic Choir is celebrating its 90th anniversary. And 2018 marked the 125th anniversary of Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association; both choirs will be performing on the Hogmanay Ceilidh show.

The line up for the event boasts a tremendous array of artists, from soloists to bands, with a diverse mix of entertainment.

Making a name for himself on both sides of the pond having performed on James Corden’s Late Late Show, acclaimed singer / songwriter Colin Macleod will be performing tracks from his debut album Bloodlines.

Singer and presenter of the MG ALBA Trad Awards, Kim Carnie, will be singing live, joined by the spirited Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band led by Ingrid Henderson, the show’s Musical Director.

Performing live are singers Kathleen MacInnes and Sineag MacIntyre who form part of the Urban Teuchtars band, and the piping quartet Seudan, featuring Calum MacCrimmon, Angus MacKenzie, Fin Moore and Angus Nicolson.

Renowned sean-nòs singer Murdo ‘Wasp’ Macdonald and Hò-rò a dynamic band of Highland and Island multi instrumentalists completes the Hogmanay Ceilidh line up.

The 100th anniversary of The Iolaire tragedy will be commemorated in the early hours of 2019 with a touching tribute from the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association. HMY Iolaire was carrying servicemen home from the Great War when she hit the rocks at the Beasts of Holm off Stornoway in Lewis in the early hours of January 1st 1919. She sank only twenty yards from shore.

Communities in Lewis and Harris were devastated when 201 local men lost their lives.

The programme will also mark 100 years of Armistice Day. Piper Andy Cant of Orkney will be performing his own composition ‘In Remembrance’. Andy performed this tune at home in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall to commemorate the Battle of Jutland and at Glasgow Cathedral to mark the end of the Great War.

Steeped in history, Old Govan Town Hall, like The Highlanders Institute, was once the dance hall of choice for Gaels living in Glasgow. The location of this years’ show will bring a touch of nostalgia to the contemporary ceilidh celebrations.

This year’s event is to be broadcast live from 11:30pm on BBC ALBA, with worldwide audiences able to view via the BBC ALBA website – bbc.co.uk/alba

Cathy Macdonald said: “Bringing in the bells live on BBC ALBA is always a real pleasure and it’s great having my co-host Niall Iain back for another year!”

Co-presenter Niall Iain Macdonald added: “With such incredible live Gaelic music and song and the ceilidh craic and atmosphere the audience and artists bring to the show, there is nowhere else I’d rather be at Hogmanay!”

Cèilidh na Bliadhn’ Ùire coverage starts on BBC ALBA at 11.30pm on Monday, December 31.