THE creator of Rab C Nesbitt, Ian Pattison, and Colin Gilbert, the

long-serving head of the Comedy Unit at Queen Margaret Drive, are

leaving BBC Scotland, it was confirmed yesterday.

They intend to set up their own Glasgow-based independent production

company. The move, which has been the subject of speculation for some

time, is completely amicable and will not affect BBC Scotland's


Filming of a new series of Rab C Nesbitt, starring Gregor Fisher, was

completed within the last few weeks and it will be broadcast across the

network early next year. If a further series is commissioned, it will

almost certainly be made by the new independent for BBC Scotland.

It is understood that Mr Gilbert, who has been responsible for all of

BBC Scotland's comedy output over recent years, has secured a deal to

make a new series of The Baldy Man, again starring Fisher, for the ITV

network. This is part of the reason he has decided to sever his ties

with BBC Scotland. To remain would have caused a conflict of interests.

Meanwhile, a new network comedy series created and written by Mr

Pattison for BBC Scotland, The Bad Boys, is currently filming in the

West of Scotland. It will not be affected by the move. Nor will plans to

make a series of the writer's most recent one-off sitcom, Atletico