Sacking of Elgin-born radio anchor could lead to BBC strike action

Gary Robertson

Staff at the BBC are threatening strike action over the axing of Gary Robertson from his job presenting Good Morning Scotland.

Colleagues of the former Elgin High School pupil are said to be “stunned” after the national radio broadcaster was told that his contract would not be renewed when it ends in August.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) officials are now set to meet with BBC Scotland bosses today with strike action an option being considered.

A union official said: “There is the real possibility of industrial action during the weeks through to and including September. We are already close to balloting on industrial action over problems with treatment of the staff.

“There is a huge amount of shock over Gary being dumped because he has worked tirelessly, often on long shifts, for 15 years and is a very talented broadcaster.”

Mr Robertson was born and brought up in Elgin and attended the High School before going on to become a journalist and presenter at Moray Firth Radio in May 1985. He left the Inverness-based station to join the BBC in January 1990 as a producer of national news programmes for Radio Scotland.

He moved south to join Radio Five Live in 1994 as a presenter, returning to Radio Scotland in 1999 to take over the anchor role on Good Morning Scotland.

Staff at the BBC are reported to have questioned why it is so many high-profile presenters are being ‘parachuted in’ from south of the border to present programming at a time when local staff are having their contracts ended as ‘cost saving measures’.

A BBC Scotland insider was quoted in the Sunday Post as having said: “Gary is no junior member of staff, he has presented our top current affair programme ably for years. He’s widely respected by his journalistic colleagues at the BBC in Scotland.

“To let him go in such an important year for Scotland is an incredibly bad move.”

Mr Robertson’s contract will end just weeks before Scotland goes to the polls to decide if the country should be independent.

A BBC spokesman commented: “The meeting with the union is a general one and we’ve had no indication that possible industrial action would be discussed.”

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