BBC Scotland will broadcast two televised debates with the leaders of five political parties as part of its coverage of the Holyrood election.

The broadcaster will hold its first of two leaders’ debates on Tuesday, March 30 at 7.50pm on BBC One Scotland – and will be presented by BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith.

A second debate will take place towards the end of the election campaign before polling day on May 6.

A voter panel, made up of a cross-section of members of the audience, will be used to inform BBC Scotland’s output across different platforms with their stories, opinions and questions.

BBC’s weekly Scottish political podcast, Podlitical, will run special election episodes.

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Debate Night will be on air each Wednesday during the election campaign on the BBC Scotland Channel, focusing on issues including pandemic recovery, education and climate change, with an audience for one of the programmes made up of young voters.

The late edition of Reporting Scotland will be extended two nights a week to become a half hour programme - The Campaign.

There will also be major interviews with the party leaders by Martin Geissler on the Sunday Show; and by Gary Robertson and Laura Maxwell on Good Morning Scotland.

BBC Naidheachdan will bring the Gaelic audience the latest news with a series of An La specials and extended reports on Radio, TV and Online.

The first Gaelic Political Podcast – Taghta – will launch on March 24, offering younger listeners an in-depth guide to the latest election news. The An Taghadh 2021 index will be published online, alongside specially commissioned election material on social media.

Gary Smith, head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, said: “With Covid restrictions still in place, this will be a challenging election campaign to cover.

“But our news and current affairs teams will be offering comprehensive reporting and analysis from round the whole of the country.

“We aim to give our audiences the facts so that they can engage with and debate the issues that will make this such an important election for the future of Scotland.”