Revised Book a Tribute to Documentary Filmmaker

A revised edition of a book about the community that used to live on the remote island of St Kilda is to be published later this month, incorporating changes that were being prepared by its author before his untimely death.

When journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker, Tom Steel, died four years ago, he was working on a third edition of ‘The Life and Death of St Kilda’, which was originally published in 1965, turned into a documentary in 1974 and updated in 1988.

The Scot's broadcasting career includes producer and director credits on ‘This Week’, ‘Today’ and ‘People and Politics’. Among his TV documentaries are ‘Destination America’, 'Remember Czechoslovakia' and 'Touch and Go – the Battle for Crete’.

In 1984, he wrote and produced a 24-part TV series, ‘Scotland’s Story’, for STV/Channel Four, which is believed to have been the first TV series to use documentary, interviews and actors. Narrated by David Hayman and Isobel Black, it includes actors such as Billy Connolly, Bill Patterson, Brian Cox, Ian Charleson and Rikki Fulton, as well as the descendants of leading Scots and politicians. Directed by Les Wilson, it won several awards.

He wrote the book ‘Scotland’s Story’ which was published in hardback by HarperCollins and by Fontana in 1985, and still continues to be printed.

The latest version of 'The Life and Death of St Kilda' has been completed by Steel's wife, Peta Van den Bergh, Steel, a former BBC reporter and Press Gazette columnist. It includes a new prologue and a postscript based on Steel's notes.

It is being published on the 29th, by HarperCollins, and is being launched in association with the National Trust for Scotland, in Edinburgh.

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