Peggy returns to her Skye roots in new television documentary


A new Gaelic documentary will reveal the family and island ties of Skye-born performer Peggy Wood, who has become a TV star at the grand age of 86.

‘Peigi Wood — Na Bannan’ will chart the places and people that have shaped the life of this energetic and charismatic actress.

Peggy’s portrayal of the astute and wise matriarch of Camus has earned her plaudits across the viewing generations and helped created the most popular character in BBC Alba’s Gaelic drama series, ‘Bannan’.

This was certainly not in the script for the young girl brought up in a two-roomed house in Fiscavaig in north west Skye. Peggy was 12-years-old before she travelled as far as Portree and as a teenager her first job was as a hotel housemaid, earning 25 shillings a week.

In the half-hour programme, to be screened on BBC Alba on Hogmanay, Peggy revisits the communities and landmarks of Skye that have had special significance in her life. Those places include Fiscavaig where her parents established a home, having settled the area along with a number of other crofters from Harris and Lewis, and the small village of Eynort where Peggy and her late husband Frank established their first home and raised their family.

Peggy also returns to the Sligachan Hotel where she had her first job at the age of 17, and recalls the hard work as well as the friendships and memories she holds dear to this day.

Frank and Peggy were always involved in community events, as contributors and supporters. They were regulars at dances, and were stalwarts of Portnalong Players, the successful amateur drama group which won awards at National Mods and Scottish Community Drama Festivals. Their stage performances led to small TV opportunities but Peggy’s big break came when she was asked to read for the part of another Peigi, the wise and sharp-witted grandmother of ‘Bannan’.

In the documentary she visits her ‘Bannan’ home and reflects on the joys of filming days and the opportunity to share her experiences and wisdom with cast and crew.

Peggy’s memories are augmented by archive footage of Skye and excerpts from her varied television appearances, including the film ‘As an Eilean’, TV comedy ‘PC Alasdair Stewart’ and ‘Bannan’. Her eldest daughter Nan, and close family friend Danny MacLeod, will give their own accounts of Peggy Wood, her boundless energy and kindness, her love of life and inspirational sense of humour.

‘Peigi Wood — Na Bannan’ will be screened on Thursday 31st December at 10pm and again on Monday 4th January 2016 at 10.30pm.