John McLellan: Salmond has sold his reputation with Russia Today show

Alex Salmond's fee for Russia Today show will not be peanuts. Picture: PA
Alex Salmond's fee for Russia Today show will not be peanuts. Picture: PA
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There is a rather underwhelming glass and steel construction at the corner of Canning Street and Torphichen Street called Exchange Tower. This is home to Sputnik, the radio station and website owned by the Russian government which is the modern manifestation of the Soviet Union’s shortwave channel Radio Moscow.

Student rebels of a certain age might remember putting up with the hiss and white noise to listen into the “real news” from Moscow, and yes it really did broadcast propaganda guff like record tractor production.

And so today, Sputnik’s website has interesting features like “Who’s the enemy? Russia or those telling you it’s Russia”, for military aircraft enthusiasts “Why the Lockheed F-35 should fear Russia’s Su-35” and of course “Scottish ex-Premier Salmond to host political chat show on RT”.

Not just Sputnik has featured Mr Salmond’s venture into chat shows on its TV equivalent Russia Today, and it can only be presumed that the massive free marketing boost the subsequent row has created was reflected in his fee. Mr Salmond won’t have sold his reputation for peanuts.