Angus MacVicar, 93, was

the author of more than 70 books, several plays, and countless radio and television scripts. He was the eldest son of the legendary minister of Southend Argyll from 1910 until 1957, also Angus, but known in his family and introduced to his son's readers as ''The Padre''.

Angus MacVicar was edu-cated at Campbeltown Grammar School and Glasgow University, where he graduated in arts and then started

to study for the ministry of

the Church of Scotland. He was a reluctant divinity student, and when, after his first hesitant sermon in the east end of Glasgow, a sympathetic member of the congregation said to him: ''Oh son, never mind. Some day you'll have a laugh about it,'' he knew that the pulpit was not for him, though to the end of his life

he retained a respect and affection for the Church of Scotland, and he was extremely disappointed that he was unable to attend the induction just a few days ago of a new minister in the parish of Southend, where he was a very committed elder.

After his brief career as a student of divinity, Angus MacVicar returned to the manse of Argyll, determined to make a career as a writer. He won first prize in a short story competition run by the Scottish Daily Express, and joined the staff of the Campbeltown Courier in 1930 for (pounds) 3 a week. ''I was assistant editor, roving reporter, office boy, and sticker on of labels.''

Three years later his first novel, The Purple Rock, was published. Encouraged by its success (it sold 2000 copies and made (pounds) 75 for its author), he gave up his post as a staff journalist and became a freelance author. It was a decision he was never to regret, though a review of his second novel by Dorothy Sayers must have dented even his confidence: ''It opens prominently with the murder of three clergymen,

but from then on becomes unmitigated drivel.''

A few years later, the invitation to write and present a documentary for Children's Hour on herring fishing in Carradale marked the beginning of a

parallel career as a script-

writer and broadcaster. He provided the BBC with more than 500 radio and television scripts, many of them for children's programmes, based on novels he had written. Stubby Sees it Through, King Abbie's Adventures, and Faraway Island were books which all made a successful migration

to the then hugely popular radio world of Children's Hour, and, in the 1950s, the series of books centred on the Lost Planet was turned into television serials.

MacVicar's writing career was interrupted by war service as a captain with the Royal Highland Fusiliers in Madagascar, India, the Middle East, and Italy. Before the war he had married Jean, and they had built the house, Achnamara in Southend, which was to be their home for the rest of their lives, and the base from which MacVicar's career grew in the years following the Second World War.

In the 1950s, he scripted for radio The Glens of Glendale, featuring a minister, the Rev P J Glen (played by Alex Allan, brother of Rev Tom Allan) and his wife, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Angus's father and mother.

It ran to 117 episodes and was produced by some of the great radio producers, James MacTaggart, Finlay J Macdonald, Archie P Lee, and W Gordon Smith. When the series was criticised because it dealt with drink, illegitimacy, and occasionally used mild expletives, MacVicar replied with a quotation from one of his favourite ministers, the Rev Kenneth MacLeod of Gigha, ''I'm always suspicious of a man who never smokes or drinks or goes with girls - and who likes cocoa.''

The parish of Southend was a popular holiday village, particularly with ministers, and BBC Scotland's longest-serving head of religious broadcasting, Dr Ronald Falconer, used to holiday there regularly.

He invited MacVicar to contribute a series of epilogues, and this led to MacVicar becoming one of the presenters of Songs of Praise, introducing programmes from Peterhead, Elgin, Fort William, and, his own favourite, from Greenock with the Toad Choir and Ian McCrorie. He also wrote the film script for a programme, The Old Padre, about his father which was shown around the world.

Just at the time when his career might have been expected to wind down, MacVicar's popularity as an author took

off again, first with Salt in

My Porridge: confessions of

a minister's son, quickly followed by Heather in My Ears, Rocks in My Scotch, Silver

in My Sporran, and others. Nobody could work a successful seam like MacVicar, and these books, which combined personal reminiscences with anecdotes from the Mull of Kintyre and historical musings mainly about St Columba, became bestsellers. They were all published by Hutchinson, who specialised in Scottish authors such as MacVicar, Bill Knox, Hugh McCutcheon, and Cliff Hanley.

MacVicar loved Southend and the Mull of Kintyre. He was both captain and champion of Dunaverty Golf Club

and was proud that he had

once got his handicap down

to five. For most of his life

he was involved with the amateur Dunaverty Players, for whom he frequently wrote

one-act plays and whom he

followed to festivals around

the country, revelling in their successes. He was loyal to,

but frequently critical of, the Church of Scotland, especially when its administration took

a different view from the one he held. When, as for some years recently, his parish faced difficulties, he felt these deeply and personally, not

just because the kirk in Southend was literally in his blood but because he was devoted to its welfare.

He was a good, kind man, who mattered as much to the community he lived in for

so long as he did to his extended family. He was great company, whose anecdotes merited the malt whisky which occasionally inspired them.

He was an honorary sheriff substitute for Argyll, and in 1985 Stirling University gave him an honorary doctorate.

His wife, Jean, died some years ago and he is survived by his son, the sports journalist, Jock MacVicar, and his two remaining brothers Kenneth and John.

Angus MacVicar, author

and broadcaster; born

October 28, 1908, died

October 31, 2001.