Bonnybridge journalist Kenneth Roy to retire from reporting after 56-year career

Kenneth Roy, long time journalist from Bonnybridge who is stepping down as editor of the Scottish Review.
Kenneth Roy, long time journalist from Bonnybridge who is stepping down as editor of the Scottish Review.

A Bonnybridge man who became one of the country’s best known broadcasters has revealed he will retire from journalism following a 56-year career in the industry.

Kenneth Roy plans to file his final story and close his notebook for the last time in January, and is now looking for someone to succeed him as editor of the ‘Scottish Review’, an online current affairs magazine.

In a statement posted on the publication’s website, he said: “In January 1995, I launched the Scottish Review. On 7 January 2015, exactly 20 years on, I will relinquish the editorship, hang my last prejudice out to dry, and give up journalism. Blinking in the pale sunshine of a winter morning, I will be free to concentrate on that other creation of mine, the Young UK and Ireland Programme.

“The new editor should have a working knowledge of Scotland, a rough ability with words, a desk and chair of some kind and a respect for the magazine’s sceptical traditions.”

Roy (69) began his career as a journalist at the age of 13, when be began filing Bonnybridge news for the now defunct Falkirk Mail. He became a full-time reporter upon leaving Denny High School aged 16.

In an interview with The Falkirk Herald in 2011, he 
recalled: “My working day consisted of attending the court and going round the 
police and fire stations.

“Three nights a week I had to cover the dog racing. It used to draw huge crowds. Myself and John Inglis from The Falkirk Herald would both be there. I could never understand why we couldn’t just pool our resources, but there was a huge rivalry between the papers at the time.”

The Falkirk Mail closed in 1962, but Kenneth and his chief reporter Frank Thomson – a former timetable setter with Alexander’s buses – both found work at The Falkirk Herald.

This week, Roy said: “My main memory of The Falkirk Herald is of writing a stinker of a review of a local operatic society and being the most unpopular chap in town for months afterwards.”

Roy subsequently presented BBC Reporting Scotland for almost 10 years, before helping establish West Sound radio in 1982.

He returned to journalism as a columnist for The Scotsman before establishing the Scottish Review.