IAIN Jarvie’s lengthy and impressive eulogy to Robert Cunninghame Grahame in Saturday’s paper (“Film-makers ought to revisit the life of the Aristocratic Socialist”) ended with his quiet and pleading question: “Are there any film producers out there?”

Well, I am one (Rob Roy, etc.) and I have indeed long cherished the notion that Don Roberto’s life would be a perfect basis for an international feature film or, perhaps even better in these Netflix days, a quality serial drama.

I also sadly realise that developing such a project would be a waste of time and life.

The short version of the problem is that we don’t have a feature film industry in Scotland, and the BBC - our “national” broadcaster - is only interested in throwing scraps in the direction of producers up here, if at all.

I was once told by a BBC Films executive that Hogg’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner was just not a good enough book to be worthy of film adaptation.

Crime thrillers are the staple drama diet of television and serious large-scale projects about major Scottish figures and events are not on the BBC agenda.

BBC Films productions involving Scottish subjects, even when generously defined, constitute less than five per cent of their output.

Dramatised films about the production of Dad’s Army and the lives of figures like Frankie Howerd are what they do on TV down there. Nothing wrong with those kind of productions as such, but are BBC Drama at all aware of their nationwide obligations?

I would be amazed if the blessed Oxbridge commissars of culture at the BBC had ever heard of RCG.

The brutal and simple truth is that the astonishing, glorious and dramatic stories of Scotland will never be told on screens until there is an independent Scotland, and a country with the resources and will to do so.

Feet will still have to be held to the fire to achieve that if the managerial masters of the new Scotland are still allowed to spout fantasy economic gibberish when producing more puff about a Scottish media event while supporting those “industries” to a vastly lesser degree than anywhere else in Europe, as now.

Here’s a manifesto. Jettison the pulp nonsense. And let a thousand movies and series bloom.

Peter Broughan,



I HAVE often thought that there are many honourable Scots who deserve to be given the big-screen treatment, or even to have their lives and achievements commemorated by one of the streaming services.

How about Thomas Muir, the advocate who did so much to agitate for parliamentary reform? He had a most remarkable life.

Or how about Andrew Carnegie, the great philanthropist and industrialist? Or the indomitable Glasgow activist and social policy pioneer, Mary Barbour? Or John Logie Baird?

K Fraser,