VIV LUMSDEN has put in a lot of broadcasting mileage since she left

the morning AA road reports for radio in her wake. She has become an

established TV personality and controllers fight over her.

When she said she was to quit BBC Scotland because Scottish had made

her an offer she ''could not refuse,'' Jim Hunter, Controller

Television, was not at all pleased. She was taken off the list of

presenters for the daily BBC1 live networked series, The Garden Party,

due to be done from the Botanic Gardens, and replaced by ex-London news

reader Jan Leeming.

The golden-haired Ms Lumsden was not pleased either as it had been her

intention to play her role at the Garden Party -- as she did the year

before during the Garden Festival -- before moving over to Cowcaddens.

She is capable of good, blunt, straight-forward talking when necessary,

and, with this development, did some good, blunt, straight-forward

talking. But to no avail and she took up her new job last September

without getting to the party.

Now, in addition to co-presenting the evening news and current affairs

programme Scotland Today for Scottish, she is soon to present a new

weekly series called Scottish Home Service, which is what Radio Scotland

used to be called before it became Radio Scotland. In her blunt,

straight-forward way, and proving that she has a mind of her own, she

says: ''I gather that it will be a cross between a chat and a magazine

show and won't be just the Wogan thing, which I find terribly terribly

boring (put me down for one of those, too).

''I don't want us to jump on the band wagon of: Scottish Television

doesn't have a chat show, therefore, it's time we did one. There's the

settee, there's the coffee table, sit ye down and off you go. I would

maybe be talking to about four people, and, if we're talking about

Scottish people, it would be all the same people we saw on Hogmanay. We

had the same people cropping up -- and I include myself in this, because

I was on two programmes that night, both pre-recorded.

''Andy Cameron was on three times and so was Paul Coia and Rikki

Fulton. Tony Roper was on Scotch & Wry and and Rab C. Nesbitt's Seasonal

Greet, and he'd written The Steamie on STV. It was just ridiculous. If

we are drawing purely on Scottish people, entertaining though they are,

particularly someone like Andy Cameron who is just brilliant company, we

have to get a fresh formula.''

If they were going to imitate Wogan they would have to get a bite at

the American stars, a bite at everybody, and, obviously the resources

were not there in a small station like Scottish. She adds: ''And,

anyway, it will have been done already. Who wants just to repeat the

same interview that Wogan got the night before? So this is going to be

ordinary people who are in the news. It's going to be some famous people

as well. It's maybe going to be talking to politicians about their

hobbies rather than their hobby horses . . . and taking a sort of new

look at the whole thing.''

It is likely there will be some filmed reports, a bit of variety, and

just a bit more pace to it instead of a succession of talking heads. And

there will be music, too. It will be going out ''as live,'' which means

slightly pre-recorded on a Sunday afternoon between four and five.

''My first reaction on hearing of the timing was: Hello, graveyard,''

she says, ''but I am assured that this is a brilliant slot and that

people are very keen to watch television at that time.'' Scottish are

taking the same slot that Gloria Hunniford has on London Weekend

Television when she sticks more to the chat format for a show that is

never seen in Scotland. The Hunniford programme gets excellent ratings

and, it is on this basis, that Gus Macdonald, director of programmes,

Scottish, will be predicting a strong response to the Scottish Home


An Edinburgher and a product of James Gillespie's High School for

Girls, Viv Lumsden went on do the three-year course at the Royal

Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and, because of

circumstances beyond her control, spent some of her earlier years

turning jobs down. Her career did not begin in earnest until she was 30

and she is 37 now.

She was training to be a teacher, and, after the first year, was asked

if she wanted to switch to acting; she believes this might not have been

because they saw signs of a great actress but because she was not very

academically inclined. She had no head for history, which was an

essential part of the course.

Mary Marquis is the only other person who has gone through the same

drama-school process and ended up roughly in the same area of television

in Scotland, although, by coincidence, Maggi Lavender (Flight Check),

another of the early morning radio people, was in the same drama class.

She persevered and came out as a qualified speech and drama teacher

and was offered a job in Portobello High School where she had done a

spell as a trainee. But, dare one say it nowadays? She exercised her

woman's prerogative to change her mind about wanting to become a teacher

and turned the job down. In the course of her compulsory year at

teachers' training college, in addition to three years at drama school,

she got hooked on radio. In fact, her whole life took a new direction.

Her poetry lecturer at Jordanhill, Iain Anderson -- the one who now

presents Sun and Candlelight on Radio Scotland -- told her she had a

good voice. Why didn't she go along to Radio Clyde, which had just

started, and see if she could get some summer work there? So it's really

his fault. He's the one responsible for strong television executives'

eventually fighting over her.

''Two of us went along and saw Andy Park who was running the show and

we were actually on the air within minutes. It was ridiculous. We were

rotten as well; really bad,'' she says.

As she had missed out on the launch of Radio Clyde because everyone in

it had ''lived, eaten, breathed and slept there to get it on the air and

coming in afterwards, you felt like an intruder in an exclusive group,''

she applied to Radio Forth, the next river on the airwaves. She was duly

offered a job there, but she was now due to marry the chief engineer at

Clyde and had to decide between Radio Forth and her husband. So that was

another job turned down.

The next year, they had a baby daughter and that postponed any plans

for a career, although she kept voicing adverts for Clyde -- like

''Ye'll never guess whit ah saw in that sale, Margaret,'' in best Glesca

accent. She and Maggi Lavender often teamed up as the two housewives,

''ending up corpsing more often than we got anything out.'' Next she had

her son. Victoria and Christopher are now aged 13 and 11.

When Christopher was three and going to nursery school, the Automobile

Association just happened to be advertising for a freelance voice, hours

6.30am to 9am. The unsocial hours were perfect for her situation. She

could still work and be a mother during the day. And she had her foot

back in the door of radio.

That went on for a year and a half, during which time she separated

and was divorced -- ''Rather than an interest outside of the home, the

work suddenly became necessary to feed us. So, I suppose that's really

when my career started, when I was 30.'' She auditioned as a continuity

announcer for Radio Scotland and as weather girl for STV and heard

nothing for weeks. Then, out of the blue, BBC said they wanted her to do

television instead. The same week, STV phoned and asked her to become

weather girl.

She was just coming to her peak as a television presenter when STV

made her the second offer -- the one she couldn't refuse.

It was obvious she was attaining a certain amount of celebrity status

when the Comedy Unit called on her services for a couple of programmes,

including Rab C. Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet, one of the shows in which she

was seen on Hogmanay. She handled the Glasgow end of the national

Children in Need appeal, and fronted the Television and Radio Industry

Club of Scotland annual television and radio awards.

She got a taste for comedy at the BBC and would like to appear in

pantomime, although it would have to be as the wicked witch as she says

her legs are not long enough for principal boy and she can't sing.

If there is anything bad to be said about anyone in television, you

usually hear it. She is regarded as someone easy to work with, a

professional. Recognition and autograph hunters can be a problem when

she is out news-gathering. She says: ''You daren't do the big star bit,

especially working out of the news room. You'd get sat upon instantly.''