Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Beverley Lyons
 WOLVERINE might possess enhanced physical capabilities,  and a powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor but Hugh Jackman admitted yesterday that his stomach was still reeling after trying out a deep fried Mars Bar in Scotland. 
The Australian X Men, Greatest Showman  and Les Miserables A Lister, who is  appearing at the SSE Hydro for a three night run from tonight (Tuesday), told the Daily Record of his encounter with the famed snack in Clydebank as he made his way into the SSE Hydro for two intensive rehearsals yesterday. 
And as he walked all the way from his stylish city centre  hotel at the top of town to the venue, almost unrecognisable in a green anorak carrying his red umbrella in case he got soaked in the downpour, he talked about his visit to a local chippy in Clydebank. 
He told us: “I liked my deep fried Mars Bar but unfortunately I don’t think my guts appreciated it.”
He added: “We loved the boat trip though. It was awesome.”
Hugh and his crew of dancers and musicians, who have been working out and staying at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, have wasted no time in getting to know the area since he arrived here on Saturday and to fans excitement online he kicked off his visit with a drive by The Hydro to check it out ahead of his opening night. 
He also put up a video of himself online listening to his tour being announced on Radio 2 as he travelled along the M8. 
Hugh decided to surprise locals at a nearby city gym early in the morning by going for a work out ahead of his packed schedule. 
In a picture believed to be taken in Glasgow’s Pure Gym he smiled as he worked out alongside some stunned fans and posed for a selfie.On Sunday afternoon, Hugh also chartered a boat on Loch Lomond to tour the sights including Inchcailloch cemetery in Balmaha and, after shucking oysters  on board, went into Spar in Clydebank to get the chocolate for his deep fried Mars Bar and Reece’s cups treats in a Scots chippy. 

When the heartthrob initially showed up at Bennies Chip Shop in Kilbowie Road, staff initially told his coach party that they didn’t have deep fried chocolate on the menu.
So Hugh and his gang offered to buy the chocolate themselves from the supermarket next door in order to try the special treat. 
Clydebank’s Stephen Boag was in the chip shop on Kilbowie Road when Hugh appeared. 
He said: “A coach pulled up outside and about thirty people came into the shop and they were all looking for deep fried chocolate. It was English and American accents and the shop wasn’t doing it but they offered to buy their own chocolate from the Spar next door.
“The shop agreed to do it but it wasn’t until someone else came back in that they recognised it was Hugh Jackman and The Greatest Showman cast. At first it was quite funny because they were just going mental in the shop and looking at everything they could get. There were about three cans of Irn Bru getting passed about everybody and they were ordering deep fried pizza and trying battered sausages. It was pretty funny just watching it all happening but when I finally clicked that it was Hugh I felt I needed to get a selfie. To be fair he didn’t really stand out at first. He just came in with the crowd and they were all pretty excited about trying out the deep fried chocolate. And he did selfies for me and a couple of people behind us.”
Yesterday Hugh said he couldn’t wait to hit the stage in Glasgow for the sell out gigs.
His costars were also delighted to be in Scotland including Keala  Settle, the bearded lady from The Greatest Showman Film who will be making a ‘surprise’ appearance to sing her now famous hit This  Is Me. 
She told followers on Instagram that she ‘made it’ to Glasgow from Heathrow following some rehearsals there. 


Beverley Lyons 
Hollywood star Hugh Jackman spent tens of thousands on a pre tour party before ending up  in a Glasgow chippy yesterday .
The Aussie film star treated his 70-strong entourage to the bash, ahead of the tour on May 7, which began with a party at a 5-star hotel on Saturday night and included a private boat tour along the Clyde the following day.
The Wolverine star who was being driven around in a chauffeur driven Audi popped into the suburbs of Clydebank with his party posse who were on a coach to local chippy Bennies Fast Food for some deep fried Mars Bars and Deep Fried Pizza after spending thousands of pounds chartering his own boat on the water with his entourage just days ahead of the first night of his opening solo tour. 

Hugh, had spent the day sailing with his party on the waters of Loch Lomond with Sweeney’s Cruise crew aboard flagship vessel the Silver Dolphin. 
The vessel which claims to be the most luxurious passenger boat operating in Scotland boasts warm teak panelling, thick-pile carpeting, and nautical brass fittings akin to a bespoke private members club. The dining area on the lower deck offers panoramic views of the Loch and flexible seating while the upper deck with has its own teak dance floor, retractable sun roof, bar and entrance to the forward viewing deck. 
Described as ‘the perfect party venue’ prices start around £2,000 for hire of the boat which used to sail on the Thames. 
Hugh, who arrived in Glasgow on Saturday wanted to treat his cast and crew of the show after an intensive six weeks of rehearsals and also held a lavish party costing tens of thousands of pounds at his Scots hotel the night before to welcome them to the first leg of the tour. 
Hugh, who had been rehearsing in New York and London ahead of the show, is due to appear at Glasgow’s Hydro on May 7,8 and 9. 
Around seven pm on Saturday night staff at Glasgow’s prestigious Blythswood hotel opened the doors of their new Bo and Birdy restaurant venue for the first time. 
The lavish bar and brasserie restaurant which has just had a million pound makeover is due to open to the public later this week after an official party but Hugh and his fifty plus entourage got exclusive use of the facilities before anyone. 

Hugh who is believed to have been staying in the £2,500 penthouse of the hotel since he arrived on Saturday morning treated each of his crew to free drink and canapés all night as well as  gifting them each with a hoodie from Hugh himself. The black and white hoodie promoted his own ethical coffee brand Laughing Man.  
One of the guests commented: “Hugh has been really generous and put on a free bar for everyone all night. Preparations have been intense over the last six weeks so this is a chance for everyone to get a bit of chill before the tour begins.
Guests who were merry after knocking back the booze and partying till midnight were treated to songs from musicals as well as the latest charts while Hugh did a tour of the room. 
At midday on Sunday, a relaxed looking Hugh treated around twenty of his more senior entourage to a private boat trip round the Loch. 
He took in the surrounding islands on the route to Balloch. 

He was met by fans including Ailie, 17, and Lewis Carroll, 9, along the way. 
Lewis said: “Hugh signed my Greatest Showman CD and I told him I couldn’t get tickets to his show because it was sold out.  My dad asked if he could put us on the guest but he told us he couldn’t even get his own mother  on the guest list.”
Back at the hotel Hugh who says he will be featuring his own dogs Dali and Allegra in his musical extravaganza petted our very own basset hound Bertie on his way into the hotel and told a couple of fans outside that he’d absolutely ‘loved’ the boat trip. 
He said he couldn’t wait to hit the stage in Glasgow. 

We’ve been following Hugh’s every move this week- read more on 

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in The Sun and Daily Mail online. 

From Scotland with Love

Wednesday, 24 April 2019


Beverley Lyons 
GLOW’S Brian Matthews and Victoria Obahor have made a new TV programme which will show them having raunchy sex. 
The Scottish reality couple who were last seen on Couples Come Dine With Me after giving one another ‘terrible tattoos’ on Just Tattoo Of Us have been trying to keep hush about the sexy new show for Channel 4.
We can now reveal that the show called Sex Tape will see the often fighting couple cosying up in the bedroom in adult scenes while their love life is filmed for the viewing public. 
The show starts Friday 26th April at 10pm on Channel 4 and the couple told friends that they will see a different side to them. 
A close friend of the couple said: “Brian and Victoria have been boasting about their antics. From the sounds of it there are no holds barred for their sex tape.”
Brian admitted he and Victoria’s love life has gone from wild to woeful. He said: “At first we went through the Kama Sutra, but now there’s no spontaneity when it comes to our relationship anymore, especially when it comes to the sex. We need help because we used to have an amazing sex life and it’s flipped the opposite way now.”

According to a spokesperson for the show arguing couples will have their home rigged with cameras to capture everything from the heated rows and the reconciliation – to the sex.In each episode, the couples hoping to fix their relationships meet each other, along with a sex therapist, for a “new therapy”. Executive producer Gary Chippington said the show was a “ground-breaking series”. “Sex Tape promises to be a perceptive, revealing and surprising social experiment offering a fascinating insight into intimacy.”

Tuesday, 16 April 2019


HAVING starred in a string of blockbuster films and smash-hit TV shows, his status as one of Scotland’s most talented and celebrated actors is now established beyond all doubt.
But Robert Carlyle has revealed that, in the earliest days of his career, success seemed far from certain.
In fact, his dad was so worried about the young actor’s prospects, he started a savings account to buy him a set of ladders and brushes so he could set up as a painter and decorator in case it all went wrong.
In an emotional Q and A at Belfast Film Festival  Carlyle - whose screen credits include the Bond film The World Is Not EnoughThe Full MontyTrainspotting and the Netflix drama Once Upon A Time - has spoken for the first time about the contingency fund his labourer father set aside.
The 58-year-old, from Glasgow’s Maryhill, has described the hardships of his childhood,
explained that he and his father went to the cinema as much for warmth as for entertainment - and joked that he only went to acting classes as a way to meet girls.
Carlyle was brought up solely by his father Joseph after his mother Elizabeth, a bus company employee walked out when he was only three.
Speaking recently at a film festival event in Belfast Carlyle fought back tears as he revealed how his father had supported his surprising decision to try and make a living as an actor.
He said: “My dad was great. He was shocked because I was a painter and decorator. That’s what my father had done, and my grandfather, and everybody did, so when I broke this to my father he said ‘OK, alright son, I’ll back you up to do what you want to do.’ 
“I don’t think he was entirely sure. Cut to years and years and years later and I’d done Bond and everything at this point and my dad said to me ‘You’re doing alright son eh?’ I said ‘Aye.’ He said ‘So things are fine?’ There was something on his mind. And he said ‘Look’ - and he went into this drawer and he pulled out a bank book. He said: ‘When you told me you were going to become an actor I wasn’t sure how that was going to go, so I put a wee bit money away for you just in case it wasn’t going to work out.’ He said: ‘I thought it would get you a wee set of ladders and brushes.’
And he showed me this bank book and there was three hundred quid. Now for my dad that’s a lot of money and he showed me this £300 and I said ‘Dad you’re going to spend that tomorrow.’ So my dad had a wee contingency for me.”
In the moving interview, former Hamish Macbeth star Carlyle revealed that he first showed an interest in film because he was so poor it was warmer to sit inside the cinema than it was at home.
He explained: “My mother left when I was a wee boy. I was only three and my father brought me up on his own and that period from three years old to ten we would go to the cinema three, four, five times a week. Back then you’d go into watch the movie and you could actually watch it all over again. They wouldn’t even throw you out.”
“Our living conditions were dirt poor so it was always cosy and warmer in the cinema. I grew up in places like this. I grew to love it. I had no notion of being an actor, maybe a notion of being a cowboy. Acting came an awful lot later.”
In fact it was Robert’s interest in girls that eventually prompted him to seek out theatre groups where the number of female performers outweighed the boys.
He laughed: “A friend of mine was getting involved in drama when I was probably round about 18 or 19 and he was going to this place called Glasgow Arts Centre. I know it’s not a very PC thing to say but he said ‘There are a lot of good looking women here and you should go’ - and he was right, so I went. It was filled with girls who wanted to be actresses and very few guys so there was little competition which was great. I sat there for three or four months in this place.”
Robert who attended twice a week was happy to ogle, but reluctant to join in with the workshops, and was so adamant that he wasn’t going to actually act he threatened to walk out during an ultimatum with his drama teacher Maggie Kinloch to whom he owes his career. 
He said: “Maggie came up to me one of those nights and said to me ‘What are you doing? Why don’t you join in?’They were doing improvisation and I said ‘No, I’m not interested and she said ‘Well you have to leave then.’ It was kind of harsh but probably true and I was chippy back then and said ‘Ok f*** it’ and walked towards the door and she said ‘Hey, are you just going to walk out?’
‘You can either take that one way or the other. You can either use it as a challenge or you can walk out the door’ and I thought ‘I fancy a challenge’ I did and I went back after that and I got up and improvised something, and it was funny, and I spoke and people laughed, and it was like a drug. I liked it, and I thought ‘This is good’ and there was some kind of acceptance for me.”
 Carlyle’s passion for acting took him to the RSAMD or Royal Conservatoire as it is now known. After graduating in 1991, he and some friends set up Raindog Theatre Company and shortly after he starred in his first film Riff Raff by Ken Loach, who later directed him in Carla’s Song. 
 Robert revealed that the entire success of the film about a Glaswegian bus driver who woos a Nicaraguan refugee for which he won two best acting awards - relied on his ability to drive a bus. 
He said: “I found out if I hadn’t passed the test, the film was no more because Glasgow council had said ‘There is no way we are letting an actor jump on a bus unless he knows he knows what he’s doing’. So all the stuff of me driving about the streets is real.”
Following a high profile role as a murderer in Cracker with Robbie Coltrane, Carlyle was offered his starring BBC TV role in Hamish Macbeth as a Highland Policeman from 1995-97.  
Lifechanging movie roles in Trainspotting in 1996 and the Full Monty which earned Carlyle a BAFTA in ‘97 soon followed. And the proverbial icing on the cake came when he was asked to play the arch villain Renard in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough
Carlyle said he had to pinch himself when he got the villainous role. He said: “007 was a privilege to be involved in the franchise. There are things that happened that would take your breath away. My very first day was filming in Pinewood on the 007 stage which is like Hampden Park.It was a big deal for me because Sean Connery was huge and the only guy that spoke a little bit like me in films in the sixties.”
Carlyle also revealed that  Danny Boyle had to persuade him to play the psychopathic Francis Begbie in Begbie in Trainspotting with Ewan McGregor, a role he was initially unwilling to take because of his size. 
The slim built five foot nine actor explained: “Danny said ‘What about Begbie and I said ‘Forget it, no way’ and he said ‘Why not? and I said ‘Because he’s a monster, a big monsterous beast of a guy’ and - I wish I could claim this line - Danny said ‘Nah, small psychos are the best.’”
 During Full Monty, a movie about amateur strippers which saw him stripping off in the final scenes , Robert made a new penpal in the form of English born Emma Thompson who would later co-star in his Scots film The Legend of Barney Thomson in 2015.
He said: “At the time that Full Monty was around I got a postcard through my agent from Emma Thompson. I’d never met her but she sent this beautiful card saying ‘I’ve never met you but I’m so proud of you’. It was unsolicited. I’ve still got it.”
When Robert was looking to cast a Scots mother in Barney Thomson, a film he directed many years later, he recalled the postcard and decided to contact her. He smiled: “I scoured around and remembered Emma doing Tutti Frutti year’s ago and thinking she was Scottish. It was the first time I’d seen her.
‘ I thought ‘This is maybe the ‘In’ here.’ I sent her a script and said I’d never forgotten her kindness and asked her to have a look at this bizarre thing - to play my eighty year old mother - and two days later she accepted.”
The Scots talent has been inundated with roles over the years and says he has turned down a few that he later regretted.
One such part was for time travelling seventies TV cop show Life On Mars in 2006. Robert lamented: “I wish I’d done it. That was a decision that went back and forward and they said I could play either of these parts so I got in touch with my pal Ray Winstone and he was looking at it, and we were both going to do it. I can’t remember what happened to make us knock it on the head but I turned it down and regretted it. I think it would have been really good.”
Robert, who currently lives in Vancouver, Canada with his family after moving there to make globally loved Once Upon A Time where he played Rumplestiltskin aka Mr Gold admits that he is very lucky.
He said: “It’s difficult to know what to do now. The show finished this time last year and we were packed up and ready to go and the kids said ‘We want to stay.’ We are there for a bit and will let them finish their school there. Who knows what will happen next?”

Thursday, 11 April 2019


Disney on Ice is taking over the SSE Hydro for four days and Scots fans of the great Walt himself can’t wait to welcome the spectacular. 
The show runs from Thursday April 11 to Sunday April 14 and we’ve compiled some Disney data for you to make the occasion. 

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves star Dopey was meant to be a chatterbox, but producers couldn’t find a voice to suit him so he went silent instead.

2.Jackie Chan played the Beast’s voice for the Chinese translation of Beauty and the Beast—including the singing. He even sings the title track in Mandarin with Sarah Chen.

3. It takes about two days to unload the props for Disney On Ice and the backstage crew is made up of about 14 people, all working together on lighting, the music, the backdrop, the sets and the props that bring the show to life.

4. To mark the show coming to Glasgow, TriBeCa US diner in Glasgow’s Bell Street has created three new Disney style treats- Pink Princess and Genie In A Glass milkshakes with lots of magic flavours and a colour-in Mickey Mouse pancake with edible colouring like sprinkles, strawberry and chocolate syrup. They are only available from 4pm-8:30pm while the show is here. 

5. The Beatles were originally asked to provide music for the Jungle Book but John Lennon refused. Other real life figures have inspired Disney including Tom Cruise Who was the inspiration for Aladdin's face and Alyssa Milano who helped to inspire Ariel’s features.

6. Dwarf names that were passed over in Snow White were: Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzy, Wheezy, Hickey, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty, and Burpy.

7. On average forty five trailers arrive in each city for Disney On Ice with nearly 5000 LED lights per tour and 250,000 rhinestone Swarovski crystals on display per show.

Sunday, 7 April 2019


Susan with PA and friend Geraldine

Beverley Lyons  
SUSAN Boyle joked that she would have had to call the fire brigade if there had been enough candles on her birthday cake this week.
The West Lothian born BGT star,  who is celebrating ten years of being in the public eye since her now legendary shock  performance on the show, also joined friends to enjoy the festivities for her big birthday. 
Susan went for lunch near her home in Blackburn and said of her 58th birthday celebrations: “I had a lovely birthday and was thoroughly spoilt by my friends. I got some lovely gifts, including a hamper of spa products, which is perfect for my new bathroom. I went out for a lunch and had a surprise birthday cake!”
She laughed: “Thank goodness they didn’t put 58 candles on it or we’d have been joined by the fire brigade.”
“It was a great day and I felt very loved and happy by friends, family and of course my wonderful fans who sent me cards, messages and gifts wishing me a happy birthday.”
Following Simon Cowell’s revelation that he gave her a pep talk during the lead up week to the finals on BGT in 2009, Susan claims she is older and wiser now that she’s 58. And she said she wishes she hadn’t worried as much when she was younger. 
She said: “As for what I would tell my younger self, it would be not to worry and enjoy every moment and experience that comes my way.”
Susan who has previously credited Simon as being the best boss ever said: “I’m looking forward to the next week celebrating ten years since my first BGT audition and what a wonderful 10 years it has been.”
Simon revealed on Lorraine this week that he gave Susan a pep talk on how to deal with her fame, as the pressure of the competition piled up. 
The 59-year-old judge explained: ‘The lead up to the week of the final we sat down with her and her friends.We said, “Look, if it’s too stressful, because it’s all over the media”…she said it was fine, she was going to do it. And I’m thinking, “Fine, she’s going to win.”’And I'll never forget it [when they said] 'The winner is Diversity'. "I was on that stage under 20 seconds saying into her [ear], 'We've got an album deal. Literally from that moment." Simon said that from that moment on it was up to her when she wanted to make an album and insisted that she was "part of the family" now."

Friday, 5 April 2019


Beverley Lyons 

Sir Billy Connolly met up with Scottish former rugby union player Doddie Weir in Hong Kong ahead of his appearance at New York’s tartan day celebrations this weekend.
And Sir Billy was looking dapper as he chatted with MND sufferer Doddie at the fundraising dinner in Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt hotel.
Players past and present joined the Big Yin and Humungous one as revellers endearingly referred to them.
Amongst those promoted to attend the bash were Scott Hastings, Andy Goode, Brian O Driscoll and Gregor Townsend.
In a photo posted on Twitter,  Sir Billy looked dapper in his black tux and chose to go tieless with his white shirt for the occasion while Doddie opted for his now famous tartan suit. 
One of the dinner guests commented: “Billy was in great spirits and very happy to be there. He and Doddie has a great chat and Billy entertained guests with his answers during the Q and A session.”
Scottish artist Gerard Burns had painted a portrait of Doddie in the suit which raised almost £100,000 at the event.

The dinner, attended by around 500 guests, was organised by the Scottish business community based in Hong Kong as a precursor to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on April 5-7. More than £300,000 was raised in total by the event.
The new pictures will come as a surprise to many fans who thought that Billy’s health was ailing. 

The 76 year old was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012 and has been pictured looking frailer and more subdued than the larger than life character we have come to expect. 

Billy who also had to have his prostate removed following a cancer diagnosis several years ago and has joked in the past about his shaky hand, over which he has little control, admitted in a BBC documentary in January that his diagnosis with the degenerative brain condition meant he was now "at the wrong end of the telescope of life". 

Billy said at the time: "My life is slipping away and I can feel it and I should. I'm 75 and I'm a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning. 

"But it doesn't frighten me - it's an adventure and it's quite interesting to see myself slipping away, as bits slip off and leave me, talents leave and attributes leave.

"It's as if I'm being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill. I've got all this stuff to lose first, and then I'll be at the shadowy side of the hill doing the next episode in the spirit world."

Sir Michael Parkinson also said in 2018 that Billy had trouble recognising him, a claim that Sir Billy has since dismissed. 

Sir Michael, 83,  said at the time: “His wonderful brain has dulled. I saw him recently – he's now living in America – and it was very sad, because I was presenting him with a prize at an award ceremony [...] We had an awkward dinner together, because I wasn't quite sure if he knew who I was or not."

It certainly seems that Billy is not ready to give into the debilitating illness - as he jetsets round the world for a busy year of public engagements.

From Scotland with Love