Newsnight

Kirsty Wark's TV diary

It’s the party season but, rather than the usual dry sausage rolls and even drier quiche, BBC Scotland’s catering team pulled out the stops for the celebration of 10 years at PQ – that’s Pacific Quay to the uninitiated – on the River Clyde.

I have a love-hate relationship with the building. I love the architect, David Chipperfield, but the vast liner on the Clyde has often felt rather austere and underpopulated.

We made The Review Show there and, most memorably this year, it was the best and most modern-looking part of the BBC’s general-election night.

Kirsty Wark's TV diary

Easter Monday and a pilgrimage, but in the culinary, rather than religious, sense. I was in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains in Mallorca with my husband, Alan Clements.

High above us, up a death-defying mountain track that passed for a road, the ancient white walls of Es Verger restaurant glinted in the sunshine.

Es Verger is always worth a hike, even if on the snaking trail where you have to jump out of the way for Mallorcan drivers, sober on the way up and less so on the way down.

The battle for news viewers

BBC News at Ten with Huw Edwards

This month, the BBC will unveil a longer version of The BBC Ten O’Clock News. The flagship bulletin will also come with enhanced production values. Even though the changes to the programme, fronted by Huw Edwards, have been under consideration for months, it will be seen as the latest round in the “battle of the bongs”, following the October relaunch of ITV’s News at Ten, with the user-friendly Tom Bradby.

Tony Hall: On a Rescue Mission

Tony Hall

For an insight into the day job of the BBC Director-General two years into his role, I pop into Tony Hall's plate-glass eyrie at New Broadcasting House. I arrive in the aftermath of one of the regular encyclicals that DGs dispense.

He's sung the praises of the BBC's place in a "thriving, free and competitive market", an alternative to what a colleague terms the "Joni Mitchell" school of heartstring-tugging about the Beeb's innate brilliance.

Profile: Ken MacQuarrie

Ken MacQuarrie

When Tony Hall needed someone to investigate Jeremy Clarkson's attack on his producer, he looked north and summoned Ken MacQuarrie, the calm and reserved Director of BBC Scotland.

 

As an experienced member of the Editorial Standards Committee, MacQuarrie was an obvious choice. His terse report sealed Clarkson's exit. What the Top Gear presenter made of the enigmatic Scot, his polar opposite, remains the stuff of speculation.

Paxman and Stewart on TV's election coverage

Jeremy Paxman and Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewart may have hosted British television’s first political leaders’ debate in April 2010 but, more often than not, it was Jeremy Paxman who had the last word at a rumbustious RTS Legends lunch in May.

Steve Hewlett was the ringmaster at this highly entertaining event, which sought to bring an insider’s perspective to the recent general election.

For much of the time, the two TV anchor men agreed to disagree. Paxman was as cynical as Stewart was enthusiastic. Maybe he’d recently attended a positive-thinking course.