For North Americans, access to the BBC’s Gaelic-language television programming is extremely limited, thanks to British licensing laws. That’s why Scottish Gaelic learners in Canada and the United States will be delighted to learn that Bannan, a BBC Alba drama in Scottish Gaelic set on the Isle of Skye, is now available to viewers in North America through the streaming service MHz Choice.
Bannan, first broadcast in 2014 and the first Gaelic language drama since the 1990s, tells the story of Màiri Macdonald, a young woman who returns to the Isle of Skye after several years on the mainland. The show has run seven seasons on BBC Alba and stars Debbie NicAoidh (Mackay) and Iain MacIllinein (MacLennan) among others. The first five seasons are available to stream via MHz Choice.
Here’s a link to the Bannan page on the streaming service’s website.
MHz Choice offers a broad selection of non-English television programs from several countries, all subtitled in English. A basic subscription costs $7.99 a month or $89.99 a year, costs comparable to other streaming services. The service can be accessed through several devices, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Chromecast. You can also watch programs online or through mobile apps.
Bannan is the first major Scottish Gaelic drama TV series since Machair, which aired from 1993 to 1999. The show is produced by Young Films for MG Alba, the content developer for BBC Alba. Chris Young, the head of Young Films, also produced the English-language show The Inbetweeners, as well as Gregory’s 2 Girls and the Scottish Gaelic film Seachd.
We hope to see more Scottish Gaelic content become available worldwide through streaming services such as MHz Choice.