A FORMER BBC producer has shared examples of BBC bosses critiquing the coverage of the 2014 referendum.

Billy Kay, a leading Scots author and broadcaster from Ayrshire, made the comments at an event with The Stand as part of their Edinburgh Fringe In Conversation series.

Hosting the conversation was Times sportswriter and broadcaster Graham Spiers, originally from Bearsden. At the end of the event, Spiers said that Kay’s work over the years had “illuminated” him on Scotland as a country and culture, as well as its language.

The pair discussed Kay’s work with BBC Radio Scotland in the 1970s, including Odyssey, an oral history series which captured the diverse lives and experience of men and women across Scotland.

Kay shared a critical view of the media’s role in Scots culture, language and politics, including during the 2014 referendum. He said that “the media is getting worse and it’s a ridiculous set of circumstances where 90% of the media is against 50% of the population”.

READ MORE: Alasdair Allan: How Scots grew proud of their Scottishness

When asked how his time in the BBC had informed this view, Kay said: “I’ll give you two examples of that, I’ll not name names but speaking to people just after the referendum, both high up in the BBC, one who confessed that they had supported independence and one very critical of the BBC – BBC England's mainly – portrayal of the situation during the referendum.

“Another one who said he was ashamed of BBC television news’ depiction leading up to the referendum.

“So that’s two people, high heid-yins who said that to me and I think that it’s got worse since then, I really do."

Kay went on: “Having said that, you have to remember the political department of the BBC are very, very different to the cultural dept and the football department who are full of Yessers, and pro-Scottish independence and pro-Scottish culture people, so I always have to differentiate when I talk about the BBC the different branches of the corporation.”

Kay further highlighted several shows he produced or narrated that would likely not be broadcast on radio or TV nowadays.

When asked where the negative emotion towards Scottish language and culture comes from, he said he believed it was due to the political environment of the UK where people are “threatened by expressions of Scottishness”.

READ MORE: Scottish independence cafe helps raise hundreds for food banks

When referring to presenting the Time for Reflection address to MSPs in Scots in 2020, Kay said: “I was used to it so it didn’t bother me that much but my two lovely sisters who were there and proud as punch couldn’t believe the reaction, the hostility, the hatred that I got for something as basic as being in my national parliament reading a speech in my nation's language.”

Spiers asked Kay when he believed independence was going to happen. The author of Scots: The Mither Tongue said “by 2030” which he puts down to the lack of Scottish cringe in younger generations and a widespread desire to rejoin Europe.

This echoed MP John Nicolson’s comments the previous week when asked the same question who said that due to the Yes demographic, Scotland becoming independent is “inextricable”.

Spiers admitted he was not aware of the “ground swell” of young people support Yes, so as polls show with the latest YouGov poll showing both 16-24 and 25-49 sitting at 60% Yes.