BBC Drama a Less than Flattering Portrayal of 'Old School' Journalism

Will some aging Scottish hacks be watching tonight’s  second part of the BBC TV Scotland’s two-part drama thriller – The Field of Blood – in nostalgic mood or squirming with embarrassment?

Last night’s brilliant first part was littered with profanity, misogyny, drunkenness, lechery, cynicism and seediness.

The crime thriller, set in Glasgow in 1982, is from one of a trilogy of books by Denise Mina about a young want-to-do-it-all 'copygirl' and would-be journalist, Paddy Meehan (played superbly by former River City star Jayd Johnson), as she chases down a scoop on the murder of a two year-old boy and finds her loyalties split as her own family is drawn into the killing.

The thriller is centred round a fictitious Glasgow newspaper, the Daily News.

Wrote Steve Hendry in the Sunday Mail yesterday: “Ford Kiernan gives a stand-out performance as George McVey, a reporter who keeps a bottle of whisky in his drawer and his eye on the ladies for any opportunity to make a sexist comment.”

In an interview, Ford told Hendry that …“there was no stone unturned in what this guy should sound or look like.”

And the former ‘Still Game’ star revealed: “When I was young I used to go down to the newspaper office in Glasgow’s Albion Street and wash cars.

“I used to go into the Press Bar to pick up cars to clean and they were all proper hacks – smoking, drunken reporters, the movie idea of what journalists are. They existed back then.

“McVey is the office lech. I used to work in offices and I felt I knew that kind of person backwards. Dinosaurs like him and an office like that couldn’t exist anymore, with everyone smoking and having a quick half under the desk. It’s a different animal now.”

And in an interview in Scotland on Sunday yesterday, Kiernan described the real-life Scottish hacks as …”a bunch of big, drunken, riotous, sexist, badly dressed pigs”.

The drama has an all-star cast including David Morrissey, Peter Capaldi, Jonas Armstrong and Alana Hood.

The Field of Blood concludes on BBC One Scotland tonight at 9pm.

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