A documentary facilitated by VisitScotland and hosted by Alan Cumming has scooped one of the most prestigious prizes in American television.
NBC’s 1st Look: Scotland, which saw the award-winning Scottish actor take host George Oliphant on a whistle-top tour of his home nation, was named best Lifestyle Program (Program/Special) at the recent 60th annual New York Emmy Awards.
1st Look is a popular lifestyle magazine show which broadcasts across America immediately after Saturday Night Live. The episode, which was planned and developed by VisitScotland’s US Global Brand Team, saw Alan and George travel to Scotland for a week-long shoot, which took in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Perthshire, Angus, Glasgow and Loch Lomond.
Filmed through Alan’s eyes, the aim of the programme was to inspire US visitors to follow in his footsteps and plan their own visit to Scotland. Working closely with Scottish tourism businesses, VisitScotland created the show’s filming itinerary, which saw the hosts enjoy everything from a traditional ceilidh in Glasgow to a dram by the fireside at Glamis Castle, where Alan recited lines from “The Scottish Play” – Macbeth.
Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre Alan’s home town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire all feature in the documentary, first broadcast in the United States in February, while Alan and George are also given a tour of the National Portrait Gallery by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Ahead of its broadcast, VisitScotland organised a private screening of the episode for US media in New York, leading to large pieces of media coverage in the likes of Conde Nast Traveler US.
At the awards ceremony at New York’s Marriott Marquis’ Broadway Ballroom, NBC Producer Brian Mait gave VisitScotland a special mention in his acceptance speech, also telling attendees that they “should go visit Scotland”.