Alex Salmond is making his latest comeback attempt tonight as he desperately tries to stay relevant with the relaunch of his chat show.

The former first minister, now leading the Alba party, is attempting to put his stint on Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today behind him by returning to the screen, sort of.

Mr Salmond’s new chat show will only be available on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as the former SNP leader continues his obsession with trying to stay relevant in a political world that has moved on significantly since his heyday.

Expect the same awkward smiles and uneasy on-screen chemistry synonymous with the first attempt at being a broadcaster.

Read more: Alex Salmond to relaunch broadcast career with social media only show

Mr Salmond is keeping the relaunch in close circles, with Allan MacAskill, brother of Alba MP Kenny MacAskill, being interviewed as part of a deep dive into Scotland's renewables potential.

Before Mr Salmond stood trial and was acquitted of all criminal charges of sexual misconduct against him, the former MP and MSP raised eyebrows with his original Alex Salmond Show.

The chat show, featuring some cringy presenting by Mr Salmond and co-presenter and former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, was broadcast on Kremlin state television channel, Russia Today.

That was problematic for quite obvious reasons, not obvious to Mr Salmond.

It caused headaches for political parties too, particularly for the SNP, with Salmond allies and serving politicians wanting to take part, despite the glaring moral reasons not to appear on RT.

Mr Salmond's time at Westminster and Holyrood built him relationships with politicians of all parties and that appears to remain the case. 

Opposition parties wasted little time to jump on the RT situation, which backfired spectacularly for the LibDems when Vince Cable unexpectedly appeared on the show one week to flog his book, much to the dismay of a party press officer who admitted it “was not helpful”.

Read more: LibDems squirm as former leader Sir Vince Cable appears with Alex Salmond on 'Putin propaganda' channel

Mr Salmond’s ability to woo some of his former SNP colleagues to appear on RT shows that he still carries some weight in his former party, and the wider Yes movement – but it is clearly a dwindling stock.

The relaunch of his broadcast career comes as the SNP nosedive in the polls amid the party's financial scandal - maybe that is a deliberate move. 

Before Mr Salmond, the SNP was anything but a serious political entity, as was the campaign for Scottish independence.

Mr Salmond helped shift the SNP to the left, chiming with disaffected Labour voters.

Back in 1979, Mr Salmond as a prominent member of the ’79 group’ was expelled from the SNP for trying to transform the party into a socialist one.

Read more: Alex Salmond: 'no regrets' about show on Kremlin-TV channel despite war in Ukraine

It is now somewhat ironic that Mr Salmond is regarded by many in the Yes movement as a regressive force, opposing progressive policies like the gender recognition reforms and more drastic action to tackle the climate crisis given his efforts to transform the SNP into a leftwing party.

The SNP under Mr Salmond arguably had its finest years, placing Scottish independence as a very real possibility and elevating the party to government and the dominant political force in Scotland.

But how much of that is tied to Mr Salmond? If we look at what happened once Mr Salmond left the party, very little if anything has been reliant on him.

Read more: Alex Salmond's RT programme suspended until 'peace re-established'

Under Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP continued to dominate the political landscape in Scotland, an incredible achievement given how long the party has held power at Holyrood, while levels of support for independence have remained high but pretty static.

But Mr Salmond has never given up on being a part of the movement that made him or arguably he made, even if large chunks of that campaign don’t want or need him anymore.

Electorally, Mr Salmond’s new gig, as leader of Alba, has been disastrous.

The party has failed to make a breakthrough at any election and its two MPs, who both defected from the SNP, are likely to lose their jobs at the next Westminster election – putting the party on a road to absolutely nowhere.

Mr Salmond was acquitted of any criminal behaviour following his high-profile trial in 2020.

But during that trial, Mr Salmond’s own defence team admitted behaviour that is not appropriate for any elected politician. His lawyer Gordon Jackson admitted the ex-first minister had acted in an “inappropriate” manner at times, but stressed this was not criminal.

Read more: Alex Salmond ducks questions over past ‘inappropriate’ behaviour with women

He added that Mr Salmond had “behaved badly” and could have been a “better man”.

Meanwhile, former speechwriter and adviser for Mr Salmond, Alex Bell, called as a witness by Mr Salmond’s defence, described Mr Salmond as “a creep”.

The admissions by Mr Salmond’s legal team put forward the argument that he has no place in modern Scottish politics – that he is yesterday’s man and an inappropriate figure to hold public office.

Mr Salmond’s troubled legacy outside of the SNP was made obvious at an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time last month, in another attempt at Mr Salmond re-entering the political landscape.

Mr Salmond was on the show alongside SNP Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan – a very capable minister fast-tracked into a key government role by both Ms Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf.

During that show, Mr Salmond was keen to boast that since 2007, the SNP “did lots and lots of good things in government”.

He then claimed Ms McAllan had “drawn the short straw” by having to defend the “very difficult position” the SNP finds itself in over its finances.

Asked if that’s how she felt, Ms McAllan, almost laughing at the former leader of her party in an apparent dig, simply said: “ I’m very proud to be here as an SNP representative.”

Mr Salmond has simply struggled to become relevant since his relationship with the SNP ended.

The need Mr Salmond felt to rush into a TV gig with a Russian propaganda channel, the apparent rush to set up a pro-independence party outside the SNP which clearly has no appetite from voters oozes of desperation.

Instead of calling it a day, Mr Salmond maintains a thirst to be part of the now.

But all he really has to go on is the past, some of which remains uncomfortable.

In the promo for his Twitter and Facebook show, viewed some 600,000 times, Mr Salmond insists that “understanding our past will help us determine our future”.

Maybe that is just Alex thinking aloud.