Monday, 26 February 2018


IT’S not every day you get invited to enjoy music and food at the castle by the Duchess but then The Best of the West Festival isn’t like every other event. 
The Duchess of Argyll’s annual bash at Inveraray Castle is a real family friendly end of season showcase and will once again take over the picturesque grounds of Inveraray Castle from the September 7th-9th, 2018.

The event is arguably Scotland's finest boutique festival, where music and food lovers from across the globe gather to celebrate the very best in Scottish music, art, food and drink.

Inveraray Castle, the jewel in the West Highland’s crown, provides a unique and truly stunning backdrop to the weekend festival, which is mud free and fully under cover.
The imposing, turreted castle, sits on the shores of Loch Fyne surrounded by the breath-taking scenery of the west coast.

Now in its eighth year this stylish festival boasts an impressive list of headline musical acts.

On Friday night the event features Seven Nations, a Celtic rock band from New York City and the ever-popular four piece Scottish band Tide Lines.

Saturday brings two outstanding local bands Heron Valley, an energetic young band who grow in stature year on year and the crowd-pleasing Dr Hip and the Blues Operation, a Cowal band whose energy is infectious. Saturday’s music programme will be closed by a very special guest artist, who will be announced at a later date.

The event reaches its musical crescendo on Sunday afternoon with the Edinburgh roots/indie band Bwani Junction presenting an affectionate tribute to the seminal Paul Simon album ‘Graceland’ - which they will play in full. 
Then Skipinnish, Scots Trad Live Act of the Year, return for 2018 to end the party with a bang.

Other main stage acts, and performers for the Loch Fyne Whiskies Stage, will be announced soon.

The popular Festival Kitchen will see some of the finest west coast chefs, including Scotland’s Chef Gary MacLean, demonstrate their skills using the finest local ingredients. The food marquee will be full of much loved familiar names from the Food from Argyll group and invited friends to ensure the food offering really is the ‘best of the west’.

The Duchess of Argyll, Eleanor Argyll, BOWFest chairperson, said: “This year’s Best of the West Festival already looks exciting! As well as a fantastic line up of musicians, we have celebrity chefs, the best in Scotland’s food and drink and a whole host of children’s entertainments – something to keep all the family busy!”

A strictly limited number of Tier 1 tickets for Best of the West Festival will go on sale on Thursday 1st March 2018 priced at:

Weekend Adult £29.50; Weekend Child £14.50;
 Friday Adult £14.50; Friday Child £7.50;
 Saturday Adult £19.50; Saturday Child £9.50;
Sunday Adult £14.50; Sunday Child £7.50.
Children under 8 years of age free of charge.


SAM Heughan is amongst those nominated for a most stylish male award at the 13th annual Scottish Style Awards next month. 
The hunky Outlander star will be competing against artist and playwright John Byrne, Pop Artist Philip Colbert, Young Father’s Kayus Bankole, adventurer Aldo Kane and one of theshowbizlion’s fave people blogger John Robertson aka The Everyday Man at the star studded gala.  
Actress Pollyanna McIntosh will join a host of other stylishly dressed Scots at  lthe Moët & Chandon sponsored bash dubbed Scotland’s most Stylish Event of the year , in the Kevingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow on March 31. 
Guests will be invited to top their Champagne with Chambord, black raspberry liqueur, before enjoying a gala dinner complemented with Hennessy cocktail. The awards will commence thereafter. 
Ten prestigious presentations will be made in the course of this year’s show with accolades spanning the nation’s Most Stylish Male and Female, along with Tastemaker of the Yearwhilst the spotlight will shine on the Most Stylish Bar, Restaurant, Hotel, Entertainment Venue andRetailer. 
In a Scottish Style Awards exclusive, a runway presentation, “Deich bliadhna aig MuileannShiaboist”, celebrating the first decade of Harris Tweed Hebrides  will pay tribute to the iconic fabric whose quality and provenance is loved by the world’s biggest and best designers, fashion houses and luxury brands. Such is the uniqueness and importance of the cloth’s artisan manufacturing process that it is governed by its own 1993 Harris Tweed Act of Parliament, and the runway presentation will highlight these credentials to stunning effect.
Augmenting the runway further will be a Spring 2018 show from Cruise, starring fashion’s biggest names including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Givenchy, Valentino, Fendi, Lanvin, Vivienne Westwood, Victoria Beckham, Celine, Versus Versace, Balmain and DSquared2.   
Ken McCulloch, the visionary hotelier who, across the last five decades, has been the force behind many impressive statements including One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, the Malmaison chain, the Columbus Monte Carlo and now the breathtakingly bold Dakota concept, will be honoured for his Very Special Achievement.  
Mr McCulloch’s award is one of three headline presentations honouring individuals whose contribution to style and creativity is recognised on a major level internationally. The recipients of the finale Style Icon and Outstanding Contribution will be revealed soon along with details of this year’s illustrious Judging Panel. 
Winners across the award categories will each receive a striking Model-Citizen art collectable plus a Magnum of Moët.
 The Sanctuary, Glasgow, will host the Belvedere after party located only a few stylish steps from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
 MARY McGOWNE, Founder of the Scottish Style Awards said: “We are thrilled to be returning this year’s Scottish Style Awards to Glasgow, presented in celebration with Moët & Chandon and a host of prestigious partners. We are particularly excited to welcome Pollyanna as our host. Stylish and talented, she is guaranteed to receive a rapturous welcome on the 31st. “
Pollyannna added: “Delighted and honoured to be hosting this year’s Scottish Style Awards, an incredible celebration of the very best of all things cool and creative.  I can’t wait to see everyone in Glasgow for what is sure to be another legendary occasion!” 
 IZZY CAMERON, Moët & Chandon Regional Sales Manager, North said: 
"Moët is delighted to remain headline partner of the Scottish Style Awards for the 13th year – the nation’s most celebrated occasion of creative endeavour. Joining the Award’s annual toast to talent within Scottish style is an important part of our year-round global commitment to supporting the arts and culture, and there is no finer showcase."

Saturday, 24 February 2018


Beverley Lyons
Karen Gillan might be invited to dine at all the black tie dos with A list celebs like Vin Diesel, Jack Black, Chris Pratt, and The Rock but the Jumanji and Dr Who Star says she misses chippy sauce the most when she’s away from home.
The Inverness born former model who is in Glasgow for the launch of her directorial debut feature The Party Is Just Beginning revealed she gets homesick for the simple things.
As she sparkled on the red carpet in a stunning silver number by New York designer Thom Browne,  Karen, 30, told “The thing I miss most about Scotland has to be the chippy sauce. That’s it, but also my family and all the people here and also the sense of humour cause I feel that we have a very specific sense of humour in the face of adversity which is something I incorporate into the film. I miss it a lot.”
Karen who rose to fame as Amy Pond in Doctor Who and plays Nebula in the Guardians of The Galaxy movies told of her nerves and pride at directing her first movie.

Appearing at the GFT for her world premiere at Glasgow Film Fest she said. “I’ve done two shorts before but this is first feature I’ve directed. Tonight it’s being seen for the first time so I’m feeling very vulnerable but it’s exciting. There’s something lovely about  being behind the  camera.”
She joked: “Directing myself meant I had the ultimate shorthand so there was not a lot of discussion with myself and I gave myself a lot of options so every take was different and I had lots to choose from in the edit.
Speaking of her outfit the former model said: “The dress is by Thom Browne and they have put lovely jewels on it for me and I love it it’s really pretty.
I”d always imagined we were going to do the film in my hometown but there was something so trippy about seeing all those familiar places on a big screen like the places I used to eat chips as a teenager it was really weird. I couldn’t feel more proud to be a female director at this time when the numbers are so low.”
Karen also says she likes the idea of moving into directing full time once her acting career is over - and she believes change is in the air for women in the industry.
She said: “I love acting and it’s what I do - I love directing and being behind the camera and watching amazing actors doing amazing things so I’m quite taken with the idea of doing it more later in life. I’ve been bitten by the bug of directing.”
She said: “I felt like it was the most natural thing in the world to write. When I first decided to write my story I wanted to tell it from my perspective as a young girl growing up in the Highlands of Scotland. The story is about a young girl dealing with the suicide of her best friend and she’s having a hard time communicating with people and communicating her grief. It comes out in a self destructive way. 
“I do believe change is in the air for women. I feel so happy and grateful as a woman that we are finally being heard and that women are coming forward telling stories and am so pleased that conversation is starting. We are at the beginning of change but there is a lot to do.
I’m so pleased to be a woman director and hopefully I can inspire people to do the same.
I’ve made a point of showing off the places in Inverness that I grew up in - the local chip shop where I used to shovel chips in my face is heavily featured and you might recognise some other spots.
Asked about suicide rates being high in Highlands she added: “I think I found an answer and I hope that’s in the film. One of the main topics is communication and if anyone has enduring heartache then the main thing is to communicate. Our lead character is unable to do that and if she just communicated her feelings would be different.”

Friday, 23 February 2018


KYLIE MINOGUE is sure to dig out the hot pants when she returns to the big stage this November for a brand new show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. 
Seventy million records sales after the release of  I Should Be So Lucky, the tiny popstar from down under will be pleasing eighties fans of Neighbours  as well as disco dollies in town with her brand new extravaganza. 
Having spoken with the Kylie on several occasions we at know she will be psyched up to perform for her beloved Scots fans. 
Remember when she holidayed here last year - and tried out some scones as well as watched the pipers in Ballater? 
After the recent success of her track 'Dancing', her new show will centre around her new album 'Golden', although of course her amazing back catalogue will be embraced.
Tickets for the shows go on sale via all regular outlets, including Ticketmasteron March 2nd and can also be purchased via Kylie’s own website - Kylie fans can take advantage of a special pre-sale on February 28th. For info on the presale please see

Kylie Minogue - Golden Tour 2018

Tuesday 18th September – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena                      
Thursday 20th September – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Friday 21st September – Birmingham Genting Arena
Saturday 22nd September – Bournemouth International Centre
Monday 24th September – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Wednesday 26th September – London The O2
Thursday 27th September – London The O2
Sunday 30th September – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Monday 1st October – Manchester Arena
Wednesday 3rd October – Liverpool Echo Arena
Thursday 4th October – Leeds First Direct Arena
Sunday 7th October – Ireland Dublin 3 Arena
Monday 8th October – Belfast The SSE Arena


Tuesday, 20 February 2018


EDINBURGH and Glasgow are like sisters with a friendly rivalry that can only bring good results now that Edinburgh Summer Sessions has just been announced. 
The capital’s version of Glasgow Summer Sessions will see stars including Tom Jones, Rag N Bone Man, Paloma Faith and Kasabian all take to the stage this summer at the dinky Ross Bandstand, jist in front oftge enchantment that is Edinburgh Castle – providing a brand new music strand to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Welsh superstar Tom Jones joins the Edinburgh Summer Sessions line-up, taking to the Ross Bandstand on Monday 6th August 2018, with a set filled with hits from his 50 years in the music industry including ‘Sex Bomb’, ‘Delilah’, ‘It’s Not Unusual’, ‘What’s New Pussycat’ and countless others. The singer has perhaps one of the most famous, and recognisable voices in the music world, and charisma to boot.  His unique sound ranges from pop to rock, R&B to soul and dance to gospel, proving that Tom Jones really can conquer any musical style he wants to. The Grammy Award winning singer played Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade almost 4 years ago and in 2018, will now once again be part of the capital’s iconic history by making his debut at Edinburgh Summer Sessions.
And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, thr hugely talented Rory Graham a.k.a Rag’n’Bone Man takes to the Ross Bandstand on Tuesday 14th August 2018, another hugely exciting artist to join Edinburgh Summer Session’s line-up for its opening year in 2018. Mixing contemporary hip-hop with blues and rock’n’roll, Rag’n’Bone Man’s raw talent shines through in his immensely powerful voice and the ability to expertly command an audience and take them on a journey of loss and redemption. Rory’s bass-baritone vocals caught everybody’s attention with the release of hit single ‘Human’, and debut album of the same name which became the fastest selling debut album by a male artist in the 2010s, hitting Number 1 in the charts. Rag’n’Bone Man will stun Edinburgh audiences with tracks like ‘Skin’ and ‘Grace’, and combined with the beautiful settings of Princes Street Gardens, it is a show not to be missed.
London-born powerhouse songstress Paloma Faith plays Edinburgh’s Summer Sessions on Friday 17th August 2018, after scoring her first number one album with 2017’s The Architect and a nomination for Best Female at the Brit Awards this month. Paloma Faith’s debut album went double platinum in the UK, and set the precedent for her mesmerising career. With heartbreak tunes like ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’, ‘Crybaby’ and ‘Picking Up The Pieces’, Paloma’s songwriting skills are second to none and have proved her to be a real shining light in the UK’s music scene. Her eccentric retro style has garnered fans across the world, as well as the singer’s masterful blend of genres like pop, R&B, soul and jazz.
Heralded as one of the biggest rock bands of their generation, Kasabian will make their debut at Edinburgh Summer Sessions on Saturday 18th August 2018,  bringing with them a colossal career spanning over 20 years and culminating in 6 albums, 5 of which reached Number 1 in the UK.  The Leicester four-piece’s latest album For Crying Out Loudsolidified their penchant for combining dance beats with rock anthems, and captivating audiences around the world with their spellbinding live shows. With hits including ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’, ‘L.S.F’, ‘Eez-eh’and ‘Fire’ plus the band recently winning NME’s Best Live Artist, there is no doubt that Kasabian will host a magnificent party at Edinburgh Summer Sessions.
Edinburgh Summer Sessions’ artists will be part of festival history as they contribute to the city’s exciting new era of music in Princes Street Gardens. With Tom Jones, Rag’n’Bone Man, Paloma Faith and Kasabian already confirmed as headliners at the gigs, fans have even more to look forward to, and should stay tuned to @smmrsessions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more announcements coming soon.
Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts said: “We’re delighted to return to Princes Street Gardens and  announce our first artists for the inaugural series of Edinburgh Summer Sessions shows. With the success of its sister event Glasgow Summer Sessions, we’re thrilled to be part of Edinburgh’s electrifying atmosphere and culturally rich arts festival with these gigs. To have a legend like Tom Jones plus mainstays of the industry like Kasabian and Paloma Faith and the undeniably talented Rag’n’Bone Man proves our commitment to making Edinburgh Summer Sessions one of the real highlights of the summer.”

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Beverley Lyons
Could this be Scotland’s biggest gluten free pancake? 
Dakhin South Indian restaurant in Glasgow’s Candleriggs will be making loads of the special South Indian crepes this pancake day.
 Known as dosas, they are made from rice, lentil, a little bit of sugar and salt so are gluten free.
They can be filled with mashed potatoes, chicken, lamb, seafood or even ice cream, or other treats for those who like a bit more sugar. 
And although staff reckon they’ll be serving up hundreds this pancake day, the special crepes are available all year round. 
At two to three feet in diameter have you ever seen anything this big? 
Rakesh Kandari from Dakhin said: “Dosas are a very popular dish in South India and only take a few minutes to make. They are maybe a bit big for people to make at home but they are ideal for hungry customers who want something more than the average plateful.”

Sunday, 11 February 2018


Beverley Lyons 
FORMER SFA chief exec Gordon Smith and ex Celtic forward Jim Melrose are hoping to clean up with their new business idea - quite literally. 
The two former Manchester City players have teamed up to score in the disinfectant business and are even planning to approach the Scottish government with their plans to start selling their long lasting germ busting formula. 
 Gordon, a director at Rangers before it went into administration, who declared bankruptcy shortly after, believes their Bacoban product will revolutionise the way people sanitise products. 
Speaking at the launch of Falkirk’s Envisage Dentist surgery where he showed off his new product he said: “I’ve set up a company called Bacoban with Jim Melrose, a former teammate at Manchester City. We’ve been friends for years and he told he was getting a license for the uk for this German made product and I thought it looked very good. It’s really unique. Normally when you clean something it can become reinfected  in an hour but Bacoban lasts for a week to ten days which means you have security for that amount of time which  is fantastic.”
I think it’s going to take off. It’s not long on the market but it has all the licenses and certifications now. It kills most of the infections out there.”
The product which comes as spray or wipe can be used on door handles of toilets and public places and it’s also available as a smaller spray for shoes or football boots. 
Jim said: “You can’t buy it off the shelves yet. We have a lot of infections in this country and this kills all known infections and all the flu viruses. It’s ideal in certain environments like schools, hospitals, airports, transport and hotels. I believe it will be of major benefit to people in this country.” 
Gordon laughed: “The Germans are very good at creating things. You can trust their products and manufacturing and never ever come out with anything less than 100 per cent of what they say it is. The Germans were very good at football and still are. They win world cups and we don’t.” 
The two men are scouring the UK market for sales and hope to pitch it to government ministers in a few weeks. 
Gordon said: “The government should be looking at this. People tell us that the government looks at cures rather than prevention and that has been a problem and we are trying to get beyond that and say we really should be looking at prevention first. This will make a big impact to prevent major illnesses and infections coming into Scotland.
I’ll be speaking to the minister of health or education in weeks to come about this because I do want to get to a high level on it.”
Gordon added that it was difficult to change career paths after football and said he wouldn’t rule out going back into the game. 
He said: “I’ve not applied for the new SFA job but I never rule anything out. It’s hard when you give up the game and such a fantastic lifestyle. I’ve been an agent and assistant manager and always had plans to do coaching but it didn’t happen until I was out of the game for three years, working as a financial advisor. I’ve had a few offers since to be back in football as a coach and assistant manager of other clubs  even down in England and I haven’t taken them cause everything was going well with my business and what I had.”

Thursday, 8 February 2018


Beverley Lyons 
YOU might think this is a picture of Scots singing talent Paolo Nutini - but it’s not.
The Paisley heartthrob had an even more famous doppelgänger in 1916 - in the shape of the superbly talented Charlie Chaplin.
 Paolo’s fans have been going crazy over the facial similarities between the famous silent movie star from London and the Sunny Side Up and New Shoes singer. 
Though decades apart they both appear to sport the same hairdo, have similar eyes, lips and jawlines and even seem to have the same taste in trendy clothes.
The picture of a 27 year old Charlie was posted online by Brazilian digital colourist and restorer Marina Amaral who decided to restore the old image and show it to her followers.
She told them: “Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977.”
As soon as she showed off her new image it was shared throughout the net. 
Sound engineer Martina Brennan said of the pic: “Image of Paolo Nutini. #Charliechaplin #paolonutini #lookalike #1916.”
And she wasn’t the only one. 
Gazza from Glasgow added: “Looks like Paolo Nutini” while  Lydia Hannah said: “Yes he does resemble him.”
Jen McPartland from Manchester also commented on a black and white original version of the photo saying: “This is a picture of a young Charlie Chaplin !! Who else can see the similarities with Paolo Nutini?? This along with the famous speech of Charlie's that Paolo put into his song iron sky !! That some weird synchronicity right there 😲 #paolonutini #charliechaplin #ironsky #lookalikes
Both talents do have some other creative things in common.
Like Paolo, Charlie Chaplin was an accomplished  songwriter having had hits with his composition Smile from Modern Times in 1936 and his Oscar winning music for Limelight as well as Petula Clark classic This Is My Song.  
Meantime Paolo’s monster song Iron Sky from the album Caustic Love features an audio excerpt of the famous speech Charlie Chaplin gave in his film The Great Dictator in (1940). Like Chaplin Paolo feared that man is slowly being replaced by machines and pleads for unity and humanity in our world.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


Beverley Lyons 
STRICTLY winner Joe McFadden has thought of the perfect follow up to Holby City - playing legendary Scots detective Taggart in a remake of the series. 
Joe, who recently left the hospital soap was a guest on STV2s Late Show with Ewen Cameron when he told the presenter he’d be right up for the famous crime role. 
The 42 year old who is currently in Scotland to star in the live Strictly shows at the SSE Hydro revealed: “There are rumours of a remake of Taggart actually. That would be amazing. I’d do love to play Taggart. I’d do it in a heartbeat totally. It would be amazing. Should we start a campaign? It makes total sense. They are bringing all those shows back from eighties and it would totally work and you’d have to go different with him .  You couldn’t be all gruff. Mark McManus was amazing but you  couldn’t go similar to what he was. You’d have to shake it up a bit.  From your mouth to God’s ears. If Taggart comes back I’m absolutely interested.”
After Ewen suggested they have a meeting with the execs in the STV building after the show Joe roped in his dancing partner Katya and said: “We could have a glam Russian dancer killer in the first episode.”
The role would take Joe back to his first telly appearance when aged 12 he played a schoolboy on an episode entitled ‘The Root of Evil’ in 1988. 
He said: ”My first acting role was thirty years ago in a Taggart episode called the Root of Evil.  Every time I appeared on screen they played angelic choir music. I went to a really posh school in Edinburgh for it - George Elliot’s and being a little scrunter from the the south side of Glasgow I was like ‘oh god what am I doing in uniform?’ I had never worn a uniform before in my life .”
It was the test of the Glasgow Garden Festival and we had the wrap party on a boat.  It’s been enough time now that I can go thats a different person  now and not me anymore. I was a kid and didn’t know any better. Hopefully I got a bit better over the years.”
Joe has been enjoying his time back in Glasgow and as well as seeing friends and family went on a night out on Friday to the Polo Lounge with judge Craig Revel Horwood. 
An onlooker said: “Both men looked relaxed as they mingled with punters and were happy to away from the rigorous rules of the dance floor.”
Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Sun 
From Scotland with Love -

Tuesday, 30 January 2018


Beverley Lyons
FORMER Scots X Factor contestant Caitlyn Van Beck says she turned down Love Island but has hinted she may return to the reality series after notching up an incredible 64 Million view’s online in just four hours.
The Edinburgh born singer appeared on X Factor 2016 and got through to the judges house before being eliminated from the competition.
A video of her first audition was posted up on the Facebook channel of X Factor Global just days ago and was viewed 64 million times by an audience around the world - in the first hour hours.
Fans then inundated Caitlyn with direct messages in a bid to know more about her and find out what she is doing now.
Caitlyn, who has been training to be a primary school teacher in amongst gigs has now revealed that she will consider reentering the show.
She said: “It’s just magnificent it’s still doing the round and had racked up so many hits in just a few hours. It has all has gone a bit hectic.  When I first entered X Factor I  was at teacher training so it was very hard for me to focus on one particular thing. My journey ended where it do and although it was unfortunate it gave me time to work on myself and do my thing and work on my degree but obviously  Music is where my heart lies and it’s where I want to be. I did get an offer from Love Island and turned it down. Everybody is looking for love but music is my passion at the minute and the love will follow.”
Caitlyn also revealed she is in the midst of recording a song with Chandler Riggs who plays Carl Grimes on telly series The Walking Dead.
The two became friendly after Caitlyn was asked to sing at The Walking Dead convention in London last year.
She added: “We’ve been working on some material and although it’s not official yet there is potentially something coming your way from both of us.”

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Beverley Lyons

SHEENA Easton claims her children wouldn’t be able to name her hits because she never played them when they were growing up. 

The Morning Train, For Your Eyes Only and Sugar Walls singer who is currently starring in 42nd street in London’s West end revealed: “My kids don’t listen to any of my stuff. You’d be lucky if they could name you three of my hits. I don’t know if they listen to any of my hits. I made a point my whole life of just saying ‘mum is going to work’. There are no shrines to me in my house, no gold records on the wall or awards sitting around. It’s not one of those houses. The children grew up in a normal house.”

Bellshill born Sheena, 58, who now lives in Nevada, has never encouraged her two adopted kids Jake and Skylar to follow her into her profession after seeing friends in the business struggle. 

She said: “Neither of my kids is in the business and I bless the day for that. I know I’m an anomaly in the sense I managed to make a living out of this, managed to support myself and had a career where I worked. I earned but worked always whereas so many friends struggled to put food on their tables and had to work two or three other jobs. As an industry there is not a lot of work from it on a steady basis and as a mum you want a job where your kids can afford to pay rent and fortunately my kids do. I have loved earning a living from it.”

Sheena also revealed she once hated hearing her hits but has now come to love them.

She said: “You have a hit and then you go ‘I never want to hear it again. Then the circle comes back around and I’m very fond of my hits because there is enough distance now. 

I can look back on the early hits and think ‘wow’.

I also love when I start the intro to a song and I see peoples eyes light up or they nudge or grab one another and it’s their favourite song and it helps connect me with other people.”

Sheena also said she doesn’t envy the pressure now placed on young artists to keep in touch via social media preferring to stay low profile. 

She said: “There was an isolation to a lot of the early years with the travelling and I took it for granted that was part of gig. When you went away you’d tell people you were going away and tell them ‘I’ll call you when I get back’. Now they expect to be connected to you no matter where you are and what you are doing.

In some ways it was beneficial because it kept me focused and centred on what I needed to do and today I’m grateful I’m not a young artist starting out today. They expect the younger kids to be on twitter and Instagram all the time and to document what they had for lunch that day. I’m a very private person and I don’t think I would have handled that well. I think that would have made me crazy. Isolation can be negative and hint at loneliness but it gives you the chance to focus what you’re doing and get the job done and then get back into the real world.”   

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Mail on Sunday 

From Scotland with Love 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018


Beverley Lyons

WITH a huge sparkling atrium, chandeliers, artwork and a spa that is heaven sent, it’s clear that you don’t have to play golf to stay at the luxurious Fairmont St Andrews hotel. recently took in the incredible sights and style on offer at the 520 acre five star hotel and we really didn’t want to come home.
We were lucky enough to attend a night of fine cuisine courtesy of the UKs top chefs at the lavish venue and we also had time to explore the brand new fixtures and fittings in offer.
The hotel offers tranquility and cliff top views as well as two prestigious golf courses, a sumptuous spa, St Andrews bar and grill restaurant serving the freshest of steak and seafood, afternoon teas and 220 luxury guest rooms.
With offers of valet parking and a traditional concierge service it aims to make everyone feel like a VIP.
Modern portraits of Billy Connolly, JK Rowling, David Tennant and other global Scots adorn the corridors while stag heads, warm fireplaces, and wooden furnishings adorn public areas.
The spa itself offers everything from the pool, saunas and steam rooms to massages, facial and relaxation therapies using exclusive Aromatherapy Associates products in 10 chic treatment rooms.
The hotel service was second to none and although the hotel attracts an older crowd with its tongue in cheek spend your kids inheritance packages for seniors of sixty and over at around £126 a room per night it also offers dinner bed and breakfast packages around £96 per person per night and and spa escapes for £142 per person per night with full Scottish breakfast and a treatment included.
We opted for a facial and felt revived after just one night.
If you feel like a wee holiday to kick of the new year it could prove the perfect pick me up.

Sunday, 7 January 2018


Beverley Lyons
A Scots reality star turned filmmaker ended up sleeping rough on the streets at Christmas to document the plight of our homeless over the festive period.
James English, an ex model from Glasgow who most recently dated Kerry Katona and appeared in reality series Glow admits he had to resort to defacating in a bag for the life changing experience.
James slept rough without a phone and with no money or food for seven days during the run up to and including a Christmas Day - but he doesn’t want applauded for his bravery.
He claims he was doing it to highlight the plight of Glasgow’s homeless and show everyone the great work that is done for them by Scots charities for a new documentary.
James, who used to have a gambling addiction and drink and drug problem, admits that the whole experience has left an indelible mark on him and he’s still trying to adjust to being back in his comfort zone.
He said: “My head is messed up now that I’m back into normality. You feel it’s a world within a world where you don’t exist in the human race and it’s such a weird feeling.”
I can see why people turn to drink and drugs. I’d never promote drinks and drugs but when people have that kind of life they have nothing. It’s definitely been an awakening.”
James grew a beard but also wore a fake Santa beard and hat during his week on the streets so no one would recognise him.
He said he spent his time moving from street to street trying to find somewhere to rest his head as well as begging for money in between.
He said: “At first you can’t sleep and you hear every noise. Every time you close your eyes you feel as if there is someone standing over you. There are shelters but there are only thirty or forty beds so you go into bus stops or doorways. I would go to the Buchanan Galleries and beg for money and sometimes slept under a bridge. I got eighty two pounds during the week and I think that was because it was Christmas and there were more people wanting to give. I didn’t take my phone and I had only the clothes on my back and a sleeping bag as well as a Go Pro provided by my cameraman Gordon Campbell to film it all. I was lucky because it wasn’t too cold last week but it has got colder since.”
James was given wet wipes and a survival kit with a toothbrush and toothpaste in it by some charity workers but he said he didn’t shower once during the whole experience.
He said: ”There are showers at some places but I didn’t want to deprive others of them.”
He also found himself caught short with no where to go on Christmas Eve and ended up defacating in a bag down a lane.
He said: “I had to do it. It’s survival and there’s nothing you can do. It had to be done because everywhere was closed and there was no stopping it. I felt dirty but there was no option.”
James had Christmas dinner at a shelter. He said: “They fed two or three hundred people and there were Christmas songs. There was a lot of violence around about Black Friday. I was with two friends on Buchanan street and saw them being attacked. Some people told real horror stories about getting hit and battered, set on fire or getting peed on . They are the real heroes and became my friends.”
“I realised it wasn’t all alcoholics and junkies who use food banks. A lot of people had two jobs and still can’t afford to feed their families.”
“I went in blind and kept thinking that if my family and friends hadn’t been around when I was gambling that I could have been there.”
When I got home on Boxing Day I just felt so strange about everything. I was sad because I knew I had a family to go home to.”
James is keeping in touch with the friends he made and is trying to help them since the experience.
He said: “I want to say a massive thanks to the City Mission, The Invisibles also Second Chance Scotland and the Humanists who were working round the clock in Glasgow given out shelter, food and clothes every day and night and talking with homless people. The world needs more people like them as they do so much work and the majority of these organisations are non funded so they do it off their own back. The Lodging House Mansion there is open 365 days a year offering a bed for the homless and food and these people are amazing.
“And down Cadogan street there is a diffident charity organisation every night doing a soup kitchen or handing out clothes
while Street Connect do 12 week drug programmes to help with people with addictions.”
He added: “I was only there for seven days but old Pete under the bridge has been there for twenty years. I’ve only scratched the surface and hope that when we release the documentary at the end of January that something more can be done.”
From Scotland with Love - the
Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Daily Record.

Thursday, 4 January 2018


IT’LL be guaranteed all Killer and no filler when British soul legend Seal comes to Scotland on tour next month. 

The man behind the incredible hits Killed and Kiss From A Rose is on tour this February and coming to Edinburgh on 10th Feb 2018 and Glasgow on 11th February in support of his tenth studio album “Standards”. 

Backed by a big band, the multi-award winning star will be performing songs from the new album as well as others notched up over a career spanning three decades, racking up over 30 million records sales worldwide and a string of Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello awards along the way.

Seal’s new album “Standards” brings the glamour of Old Hollywood straight to the present. 

His tour also sees him take in Manchester, Brighton, London and beyond. 


Saturday 10 February – Edinburgh Usher Hall

Sunday 11 February – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Tuesday 13 February – Gateshead The Sage

Wednesday 14 February – Manchester O2 Apollo

Saturday 17 February – Brighton Dome

Sunday 18 February – Bristol Colston Hall

Monday 19 February – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

Wednesday 21 February – Birmingham Symphony Hall

Thursday 22 February – London Palladium [SOLD OUT]

Friday 23 February – London Palladium [NEW SHOW ADDED]



Beverley Lyons
HERE’S music legend Tito Jackson trying out his awful Scottish accent to wish punters a great new year ahead of a Scots music fest next July.
Taking time out from his tour, the Blame It On The Boogie and ABC singer tried out Scottish slang like Hoots Mon and Lang May Yer Lum Reek as well as admitting he couldn’t wait to explore the capital’s haunted dungeons as he teamed up with Scotfest to give 500 free tickets to deserving children.
Tito and his famous brothers The Jacksons are coming to Edinburgh to play Scotfest eighties and nineties music event at Ingliston’s Royal Highland Centre on July 6 and 7.
The singer, who has just celebrated the band’s fiftieth birthday this year said:
“We love Scotland and can’t wait to play our full stage show for the first time at Scotfest in Edinburgh in July. We might even have a tour of the castle and haunted dungeons when we’re there.”
Revealing that organisers of the big bash have donated £12,000 worth of free tickets to the NSPCC with their blessing as a special present to those in need, he added: “My brothers and I are so happy that we and other artists can help the children of the NSPCC through Scotfest.
“It is important to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves at this time of year. It’s a lovely idea for a unique New Year present and it will be great to see them boogieing to our music over the two day festival.
We are looking forward to meeting with other artists including Five Star, and Boyzone during our summer trip to Ingliston.”
Tito who reckons the impending visit will be pure brilliant managed to mispronounce Edinburgh in our video but also sent a New Year message to fans saying ‘Lang May Yer Lum Reek.’
Scotfest is bringing other acts including Liberty X, B*witched and 5ive as well as local talents Blue Delta, The Session and Timed Out to the 35,000 capacity event which takes place the same weekend as Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival.
Festival boss Mark Bennett who ran the PKD festival in Dunfermline for eight years which was nominated for Scotland’s Best Outdoor Festival in the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards, alongside events like T in the Park, is hoping to offer a family friendly event.
He said: “Charity has always been at the heart of the festival and we are delighted to team up with NSPCC this year. We’ll also be offering lots of child friendly activities during the festival and have special areas to keep the children safe while their parents enjoy a great weekend out.”

Wednesday, 3 January 2018



Beverley Lyons 

Ex’s and Oh’s charttopper Elle King returned to Scotland for the festivities in a successful bid to get back together with her estranged Scots husband. 

Triple Grammy nominee Elle, 28, whose father is comedian Rob Schneider, flew in from The States over the festive period to give her marriage to Andrew Fergie Ferguson another chance - and the star was clearly besotted. 

Elle who stayed at the city centre’s plush Dakota hotel enjoyed a whirlwind romance with Uddingston lad and former Cruise employee Fergie at the beginning of 2016, and the couple were secretly married in February that year, just weeks after meeting after Fergie ,33, proposed to her under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Elle even appeared in a series of US wedding show Say Yes to the Dress.

The pair announced their intention to divorce in February last year Elle was pictured getting cosy with rocker Josh Logan in September but last month announced proudly that Fergie was ten months sober.

She wrote: “Somebody smart told me that every day should be national grateful day. Not just thanksgiving. I just want to say that I am grateful to have made it through this year. And the guy I married is 10 months sober today.

"I'm proud of him setting a good example. I'm grateful for forgiveness and new beginnings. I'm proud of you Ferg. 10 months is a long time to be sober and I'm grateful for you being alive.”                                                             

It was the news she was waiting for to give things another go with ‘the love of her life.’

Having taken in the Christmas lights at George Square, Elle even went to a Rangers match with her man and also posted an Instagram story of the two of them in bed, singing ‘Let it go’ repeatedly in his ear.                             

She tried out the bagpipes with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and enjoyed food at Julie’s Kopitiam

She said of her visit:”Goodbyes suck. I look forward to a new stage of my marriage in 2018. Not just forgiveness from each other, but moving the f*** on from it. Thankyou to kind souls who give support without judgement. Fergie and I are only human. I love you Fergie. I can’t wait to share my new record with the world. Bring on the new year.”

From Scotland with Love -

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Daily Record.