As part of its new season of music and nostalgia for 2021, That’s TV has acquired the rights to show all 1,516 episodes of Take High The High Road, the soap made by Scottish TV from 1980 to 2003.
Take the High Road, later revamped to just High Road, was set in the fictional village of Glendarroch. Interior scenes were shot at the former Gateway Theatre studios and, the now demolished, Scottish Television Studios at Cowcaddens. Exteriors were recorded at the real village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, with the loch often the setting for the opening titles.
The show followed everyday village life, with popular characters including village gossip Mrs Mary Mack, played by Gwyneth Guthrie, who became one of the most memorable personalities in the production.
The series was devised by the late screenwriter Donald Houghton who had previously written episodes of ATV’s medical saga Emergency Ward 10, motel soap Crossroads and BBC sci-fi drama Doctor Who.
Take The High Road went into production in 1979, airing from 1980 across the ITV network usually in a daytime slot. However after just over a decade it was dropped from network schedules, in 1993, when ITV executives said viewers in England and Wales had become tired of the serial.
The show was then left, as Crossroads had been arranged previously, up to each ITV region to decide if they wanted to schedule the programme. Some regions dropped it entirely, however, broadcasters such as Anglia, Central and Border were keen to keep the show on the air; with even a few ITV regions scheduling it in the early evening rather than daytime.
In its latter years, only a handful of the regions aired High Road with the show mainly gaining its viewers from its homegrown Scottish Television (now STV Central) and Grampian (now STV North) areas; with the majority of the UK unable to view new editions as regional broadcasters one by one dropped it before it was finally axed in 2003.
The series was most recently rerun by STV2 – originally branded STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh – and continued on the STV Player when the station closed down to be taken over by That’s TV local offerings.