Edith Bowman’s Hogmanay memories in Fife as she hosts BBC show at the bells

Fife-born broadcaster Edith Bowman is one of Scotland’s most experienced presenters having done everything from her own Radio One show to the BAFTAs.
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But Edith admits she was thrilled when she first got the call to host BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay show in 2021 and didn’t quite believe it.

And she is just as chuffed that she is going to be at the helm for the show again as we say goodbye to 2022.

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Edith, who grew up in the Kingdom said: “It is part of your DNA if you are Scottish, it is so iconic. It was a real proper pinch-me moment, when I got the call for the show last year.

Edith Bowman hosts this year's Hogmanay Show on BBCEdith Bowman hosts this year's Hogmanay Show on BBC
Edith Bowman hosts this year's Hogmanay Show on BBC

“I never in a million years thought I’d get a chance to do this and to get the chance to do it twice is fantastic.”

Given prevailing worries about Covid last year, the decision was taken to pull back on having an audience at relatively short notice but this year the show will have the atmosphere of members of the public being in the studio to add to the festive buzz of the event.

It is headlined by Lewis Capaldi, with Two Doors Down’s Joy McAvoy, and sporting heroes Eilish McColgan, Eve Muirhead and footballer Lyndon Dykes, plus rising acting star Lauren Lyle, known to many as Marsali MacKimmie Fraser from Outlander who has also been gaining plaudits for her lead role in the recent Karen Pirie detective series.

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It promises to be a night of great music and great guests, with a mix of emerging talent of the future and top names loved across Scotland.

Edith Bowman hosting the 2018 BAFTAs Scotland awards (Pic: John Devlin)Edith Bowman hosting the 2018 BAFTAs Scotland awards (Pic: John Devlin)
Edith Bowman hosting the 2018 BAFTAs Scotland awards (Pic: John Devlin)

Edith said: “Lewis Capaldi makes himself more comfortable with an audience by having so much banter with them, which is so lovely and amazing. You can’t beat a live audience when you have music on the go…the energy is terrific.

“It is also going to be so emotional with this line-up of Scottish sporting heroes. In preparation for the show, I’ve been re-watching that clip of Eilish McColgan and her Commonwealth run, and even now it has me in floods of tears. My parents used curl with the Fife Curling Club so my mum is totally made up that Eve is a guest.”

As with last year, Edith’s family are again very proud that their daughter is again bringing in the bells on TV.

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Says Edith: “My Mum and Dad are amazing, they have always been so supportive but with this they knew just how much it meant to me. They are super proud and there is just such great support from the community in Fife.

“It is lovely for my Mum, she gets so many messages from people about it. There is just a real sense of goodwill and I love hearing that. I love her phoning me and saying ‘you’ll never guess who messaged me and I got all these messages on Facebook about it’. I love the idea that something I’m doing, that I absolutely love, can make my Mum feel taller; it is brilliant, it is a lovely feeling.”

Like many Scots watching the Hogmanay show has been part of Edith’s family tradition, though it was a little different given her family ran a hotel, the Craw’s Nest in Anstruther.

So when she was little she spent the bells with her grandad.

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“I remember spending New Years at my Grandad’s house, because my Mum and Dad would be running the hotel and they would have a big Hogmanay gala with the guests. So up to my teen years I had the experience of staying at my Grandad’s house and you would be allowed to stay up and watch it.

“And it was that combination of Scottish faces, Scottish music, celebrating what everyone had achieved and looking forward to the coming New Year and making the most of it – that whole kind of thing really has stayed with me.

“And then in my teen years at the hotel, when I was waitressing it was a different experience, but even then we’d switch onto the TV for the bells.

“As for other Hogmanay traditions, I used to love going first-footing, finishing up work at the hotel when I was a teenager and then meeting up with my mates, grabbing whatever you could to take round, walking the streets freezing looking for house parties, following the noise to the best party, catching up with people…I loved it.

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“The event of Hogmanay, wherever I’ve been in the world whether that has been in Australia, London or the States, and I’ve spent Hogmanay in lots of different places, it is always makes you think of home and Scotland is home.”

Hogmanay 2022, BBC One Scotland & BBC Scotland 11.30pm-12.30am