THE producer of the Hollywood blockbuster Rob Roy claims BBC Scotland is ripping him off with plans to make a documentary series about Scottish football based on his original idea.

Peter Broughan, who also produced The Flying Scotsman, came up with the concept of a series documenting the social history of football 30 years ago.

After pitching the idea to several channels, Broughan eventually teamed up with BBC Scotland to create Only A Game. The show was a success and spawned the comic BBC spin-off Only an Excuse.

Last month Broughan says he learned that the broadcaster was doing an update of Only a Game - understood to be called Still Only a Game - when a former colleague got in touch with him.

Broughan, has worked in the TV and film industry for nearly 40 years, but is best known for producing the hit Liam Neeson movie Rob Roy.

Broughan says he initially welcomed the move by the BBC to effectively remake his old show and tried to contact the broadcaster to negotiate a fee.

However, he was knocked back for payment and the row has now escalated. Broughan says he will consider legal action in a bid to stop the new series from going ahead if a settlement cannot be reached out of court.

Broughan, 63, said he is in disbelief that the dispute has got to this point and wants BBC Scotland to act “properly, professionally and morally”.

He said: “I never at any point wanted this to get contestational. I wanted it to be amicably sorted out as early as possible. The BBC has not taken this attitude.”

Broughan said the email from his former colleague said BBC Scotland were doing an “update/remake of Only a Game”.

“I emailed the executive producer and there was silence,” Broughan said. “Eventually I communicated with him. He denied it.

“I went to the loft and got out my documentation and I still have all my correspondence of my attempts to get it made.

“I was still living in London at the time - I came up with a 24 page proposal document that I wrote which went to Granada, Channel 4, BBC London, STV who all knocked it back politely. When I took it to BBC Scotland they liked it.

“I was issued with a contract which gave the BBC limited rights for two years to make a series based on my proposal. That’s what I’m still relying on for the basis of my claim to the BBC. I think the BBC have to realise I’m the owner of the underlying rights to that.”

Broughan says his fee for the original show did not cover repeats or remakes.

He called Only a Game “one of my babies” at the time.

“It was the very first history of social football done anywhere,” Broughan said. “It was a groundbreaking series in that respect.

“I think the best form of flattery is imitation. It spawned the comic response Only an Excuse which is still going – I have no claim on Only an Excuse.”

It is understood that the new show could be called Still Only a Game and producers are looking to run it alongside the European Championships next summer.

Broughan, who is currently working on two major film projects, said: "They can’t do it if we issue an interdict against them as we will definitely do if they carry on their path."

Broughan is being backed by his MSP, Jackie Baillie and MP Martin Docherty, who have both written to Ken MacQuarrie, BBC Scotland Director.

In her letter to MacQuarrie, Baillie said: “I am distressed to learn that there seems to be some resistance to paying Peter a fee for the update.

"I believe he has an entitlement to payment given the detailed proposal produced at the time and his clear ownership of the format rights.

"It would be most unfortunate if the remake of a popular programme starts off on the wrong foot and I am sure that this is a simple error which is easily rectified. I would therefore be most grateful to you if you would intervene to ensure that my constituent is treated justly."

Baillie told the Sunday Herald: "I welcome plans to update Only a Game which was enjoyed by many in my generation.

“It is however disappointing that the BBC is not willing to recognise that Peter Broughan, as the originator of the programme, has certain rights. They should do the decent thing and make arrangements to pay Peter what he is due."

A spokesman from BBC Scotland said the broadcaster had not received evidence backing up Broughan’s claim and argued the broadcaster was not re-making the original series.

He said: “We have not been presented with any evidence that would substantiate Mr Broughan’s assertion, despite requesting it.

“We are planning to produce a documentary series about Scottish football but we will not re-make the same programmes from 30 years ago.”