BBC Scotland urged to replace Neil Oliver to placate historians and attract broader range of viewers

oliver crawford

Neil Oliver BA Archaeology    Dr Ross McKenzie Crawford PhD in History

TuS Culture Correspondent, Assistant Professor Rosetta ‘Greek’ Thompson, has urged BBC Scotland to drop the ‘past-it’, unqualified and ‘displeasing’, Neil Oliver, from his many presenting and walking-around trying to look hard, roles in its history shows.


Thompson in 1938

Oliver, whose powerful nose reputedly detected a cancerous presence in the Scottish independence movement has been a controversial figure since his spat with legendary history professor Tom Devine in 2009.



At the time, Devine questioned Oliver’s competence to present a new national history series, given his lack of a history PhD or, indeed, any history qualification. Calling for a real heavyweight academic historian to present the series, Devine allegedly described Oliver as ‘a pygmy on giants’ territory’, as being ‘hapless’ and as having ‘a sad lack of authority.’

Oliver struck back at Devine’s lack of dress sense and compared him to an old man in the Muppets series. Oliver was awarded the Grey & Browne prize for dress-style in 2009.


Thompson has recounted the moment when she first realised Oliver had to go. It was her husband, Glasgow ‘art collector’, Arthur’s outburst, on waking suddenly, seeing Oliver on screen and shouting ‘My god, Pocahantas has let herself go!’


Thompson (98) has suggested that the ‘eminently qualified’ Dr Ross McKenzie Crawford (above), who stars in Oliver’s recent series on the Clans, might replace Oliver. She insists that ‘the camera loves him’ but denies recognising any inappropriate feelings. Arthur (105) has, with a groan of relief, endorsed his wife’s proposal.



8 thoughts on “BBC Scotland urged to replace Neil Oliver to placate historians and attract broader range of viewers

  1. gavin December 19, 2018 / 9:06 am

    BBC Hootsman has a commitment to search the utmost length and breadth of Scotland for talent—so as to avoid employing them.
    Instead, in what might be called the “Susan McCalman Exemption”, it has a policy to only employ those who cannot dance, sing and just ain’t funny. A wee codicil also allows faux historians with a certain 19th century perspective, rock’n’roll hair, and a squinty, sideways sneer, also to appear.
    Oh, and the BEEB also insist on only British nationalists, but don’t tell everyone—its meant to be secret!
    squinty, sideways

    As they wittily now say in Westminster —“go home Jocko’s”, or words to that effect!………………..To the Isle of Skye–its nearly a song!
    Bless their xenophobic wee hearts!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gavin December 19, 2018 / 9:13 am

      An extraneous *squinty, sideways* popped up out of nowhere.
      Alas, keyboard skills seen to fade away when age and decrepitude take over.

      The good thing? When you’re in your dotage, you just don’t give a monkeys what shows up on the page!

      Liked by 2 people

      • gavin December 19, 2018 / 2:59 pm

        Perfect? Is Nelly perfect?
        Well, the practiced pout, the blusher, lip gloss, girdle, lifts, hair plumper and those autumn colours—all conspire to make a certain je ne sais quoi statement.

        Its like these books you see carelessly positioned on a Morningside Matron’s coffee table. Wonderful pictures, but the content is empty and vacuous—— just like Nelly’s commentary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Lamont December 19, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    Rise of the Clans was just an embarrassment plain and simple! Utterly cringeworthy! Tried but couldn’t watch..


  3. Tom Crozier December 19, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    I deliberately avoid programmes with Oliver. Might have been interested in recent series on Clans but,with Oliver was no goer for me


  4. rantingoldbagsblog2 December 21, 2018 / 1:20 am

    I gave it my best shot and managed the first episode and 5 minutes of the second. Then the sight of pretendy clansmen walking about the countryside, spouting pretendy Medieval dialogue got to me. Not to mention seeing too much of Neil Oliver onscreen for no real reason.


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