Billy Kay: Still grieving for September 18


Leading Scottish cultural historian and commentator Billy Kay says he’s still grieving for September 18 2014 – referendum day – and its aftermath.

Billy visited the Newsnet studio to catch up with Bateman Broadcasting’s Derek Bateman, months after a pre-referendum visit where he had looked forward to victory and a day of great personal joy.

Now he describes the No vote as “the ultimate expression of the Scottish cringe”, but adds that he has regained his optimism and believes change will come.

Always looking forward Billy himself is enthused about a series of forthcoming radio documentaries he is making for BBC Radio Scotland. They include a series on Scotland’s historic connections with Russia. And they will of course include a programme about that referendum and its impact on Scotland.

As ever, this is a wide-ranging discussion driven by Billy’s enthusiastic and encyclopaedic knowledge of Scotland and Scots, especially those who travelled worldwide in search of fame and fortune. Apart from Russia, these tales range across Africa and Latin America, covering imperialism, the Enlightenment, international intrigue and the Scots’ fond and long-standing relationship with French claret.

Find out more about Billy’s work here.

A video version of Billy’s latest meeting with Derek is also available here.