Sir Tom Devine says Scotland's is gripped by "a virus of philistinism"

The eminent historian - one of the nation's pre-eminent public intellectuals - also lambasted the new BBC  channel as "immensely disappointing".

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Sir Tom said: “Frankly, a virus of philistinism seems to have taken hold across the land."

READ MORE: Sir Tom Devine: Our parliament has grown bolder - now it is here to stay

Sir Tom added: "So-called ‘celebrities’ of very limited talent are given more recognition by the public than great writers, scientists, artists and scholars.

“Also, throughout the press, television and radio media in Scotland, with only a few notable exceptions, we see a profound reluctance to take on challenging projects.

“In this respect the new BBC Scotland channel has been immensely disappointing, having mainly settled for safe rather than innovative programming.”

Sir Toms's remarks come after Hugh Andrew, a leading publisher, said Scotland was suffering from a "cultural cringe".