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Scotland’s Sacred Islands With Ben Fogle: Southern Outer Hebrides (S1EP2 BBC One Sun 17 Oct 2021)

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Southern Outer Hebrides: In the second episode of the series, Ben Fogle explores Catholic island life on Barra before heading to North and South Uist where he learns about the power of Gaelic hymns and a royal secret sanctuary from the 1970s.

Travelling to the southern islands of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, Ben encounters the depth of feeling local Catholics still have for a priest who died 100 years ago, and learns how hand-knitted fisherman’s jumpers reflect the landscape.

Aboard a fishing boat in the wild sea, Ben heads for the remote – and deserted – Mingulay island, also known as The Isle Of Whispering Ghosts. There, he learns how the extremes of life forced the community to abandon it.

Arriving on the Isle of Barra, Ben discovers how his own hand-knitted Gansey fisherman’s jumper is inspired by the hazardous life on these islands.

Travelling across a causeway, Ben reaches South Uist to join Paul McCallum, The Singing Crofter. Paul composes Gaelic Hymns and believes that faith, work and song all go together.

As Ben journeys north he finds the island’s iconic 30ft Our Lady Of The Isles statue overlooking a Nato missile base, which was erected to remind the military that a greater power watched over them.

In 1987, Prince Charles came to the Hebrides for a week to escape media scrutiny. No-one leaked his presence to the press and Ben drops in for morning tea with the Prince’s host, 90 year-old Gloria MacKillop, to learn the art of keeping a secret.

Finally, Ben camps down for the night on Hosta Beach in North Uist, to reflect on this stage of his pilgrimage and what he’s gained from it.

The four-part series is a Tern TV production.

Airdate: Sunday 17 October 2021 at 11.30am on BBC One.

Season 1 Episode 2