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L!ve Wires; Capital is set for a telly revolution.

It's L!VE and very much kicking - and Scotland will never have seen its like before.

The most exciting television station to come north of the border will beam shows into homes from tomorrow.

And Edinburgh L!VE will give viewers the kind of television programmes they have always wanted.

Ian Hamilton, who is the man in charge of the new operation, said: "What we are offering is capital TV for a capital city.

"We will have the biggest TV set up in Edinburgh, with more resources, facilities and journalists than any of our competitors.

"As a result, we will provide the first truly local TV station for Edinburgh."

More than pounds 4 million is being invested in developing the ground-breaking TV scheme. The station is part of the Mirror Television L!VE TV cable channel network and will broadcast 24 hours a day to more than 56,000 homes, from brand new studios at Hibernian FC's Easter Road stadium.

Edinburgh L!VE will produce a fast-changing daily diet of news, sports, traffic, features and entertainment for people in the city.

Ian Hamilton added: "We will be on air for 12 hours a day with a constantly changing half-hour show.

"We aim to cover all the best stories happening in Edinburgh with our three outdoor broadcast units.

"People will be able to see the news as it happens in Edinburgh like never before."

The station also plans to put a public figure on the spot to quiz them on the main topic of the day. And there will be huge interest in Edinburgh L!VE's sports programme, which will be hosted by former Hearts star George Wright.

There will be a constantly updated weather forecast and a what's on guide.

Ian said: "Because we want to provide the most up-to-date service, people might see the channel as too serious.

"But we will also be looking at the fun aspects of Edinburgh. We will be doing vox-pops on the street and going to all the celebrity events."

Ian sees the channel as a breath of fresh air to viewers fed-up with London and Glasgow- based telly.

He added: "Every time we go out on the street, people say: `Thank God, we are getting our own TV station at last.'

"Edinburgh L!VE is coming at the right time.

"The general election is on the way and with Edinburgh likely to be the home for a Scottish Parliament, the capital will be placed very firmly on the political map."

EDINBURGH L!VE will go out every half-hour free on Channel 18 to every cable subscriber.

The remaining half-hour will be filled with L!VE TV's national network of fresh entertainment.

Cable viewers have already been able to feast their eyes on Topless Darts, The Weather in Norwegian and the Psychic Pet Show.

Edinburgh L!VE hopes to broadcast round the clock in the near future in its determination to produce the most radical telly station in Scotland.

Mirror Television boss Kelvin MacKenzie said: "This will be the biggest broadcasting event to hit Edinburgh since colour TV."

Getting Edinburgh L!VE from the studio to your home involves state-of- the-art technical wizardry.

A purpose-built studio in the south stand at Easter Road stadium will beam programmes to homes across the capital.

And the equipment, the most up-to-date in Scotland, will allow the Edinburgh L!VE team to produce the fastest possible news service.

Reporters will edit their stories and log them into a computer.

Staff in the transmission suite then press a button to call up the story for broadcast.

The story is then beamed to Telewest Communications satellite bank at South Gyle in Edinburgh.

And it will then be sent to the 56,000 homes in Edinburgh with cable.

Reporters will also be able to do live broadcasts from anywhere in the city from a hi- tech outside broadcast truck.

Edinburgh L!VE will also get programmes via satellite from L!VE TV's HQ in London.

Ian Hamilton added: "We will have the most modern broadcasting equipment around in Scotland.

"If there is a story going on, we will be able to report within minutes."

Eastern delights

Edinburgh L!ve will be Scotland's first truly local TV station.

The station's key presenters, George Wright and Gina Davidson, are both from Edinburgh - and even went to the same school.

Sports editor George, who will report on all the news from Hibs and Hearts, was born in South Africa but moved to Edinburgh at the age of six months with his family.

Despite being a Hibs fan, George signed for Hearts in 1987. He left Tynecastle after seven seasons and had spells with West Brom, Barnsley, Falkirk and Livingston.

George, 27, said: "I enjoyed my football, but I fancied getting into sport on telly or radio and I mentioned this to a TV reporter.

"He said Edinburgh L!ve was looking so I got an interview and two days later I got the job.

"We will be focusing on sport in Edinburgh, especially Hibs, Hearts, the Claymores, rugby and golf.

"And then there's cricket. There are more cricket clubs than rugby clubs in Edinburgh."

Anchorwoman Gina Davidson, 25, will present the daily news bulletins and join her colleagues on reporting duties.

The other faces we'll be seeing on screen are 29-year-old ex-model Kirsten Imrie who presents Sports L!VE, Gerry McCulloch, 25, Mandy Hamilton, 22, and 29- year-old Vicky Masterton.

L!VE TV became Britain's first national 24-hour television channel when it was launched in June, 1995.

Around 150,000 cable viewers can access Edinburgh L!VE for free as part of their programme package.

Edinburgh will be the third L!VE TV channel to be launched. Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle will follow next year.

Edinburgh L!VE will broadcast on Channel 18, initially for seven hours a day before building up to 24 hours a day.

There will be 25 staff based at the Edinburgh Live's studios in Hibs' Easter Road stadium.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 23, 1997
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