Friday 14 December 2018


Award winning Scots band Young Fathers got tongues wagging when they dedicated their song Shame to Theresa May and The Brexit Brigade on Tuesday.
The lyrics include: “Nothing but a barefaced lie.”
The lads were playing their final gig of the year at Brixton Academy.
I bumped into Alloysious Massaquoi at the Blythswood Moet Evening last week and he remains as down to earth as ever despite champagne parties and celebrity invites.
Ally told me he had an amazing time in LA when he got an invite to John Legends house.
The band were feeling unwell after such a hectic time that they rescheduled the rest of their band dates in Newcastle, Manchester and Bristol until January.
He’s definitely due rest after what has been an incredible year. 

Tuesday 11 December 2018


Amy Macdonald celebrated having more than one million streams in Spotify this year. 
The performer has come a long way since her first ever tour when we travelled round the isle of in a people carrier and she plated to handfuls of people in churches. 
Amy who recently performed for charity the Big Sleep Out and was seen jetting around Scotland by hellocopter with KT Tunstall said she remains as down to earth as ever. She told me: “I always do think surreal it never gets normal and it is lovely and I always feel lovely and at home and happy got support for more than decade . Everything I do is normal on average Joe as normal.”
She also joked she won’t be taking any more acting roles for the foreseeable following her appearance on Still Game. 
She laughed: “Acting after still game I’m terrible at even making  music videos so the thought of doing proper acting is not on the agenda for now. I never expected Still Game and meant the world to me.”

Saturday 8 December 2018


THE incredible Susan Boyle cannot wait until her performance on America’s Got Talent airs in January. 
Susan said: “I received a phone call from Simon Cowell and flew over to the States for the show.”
The singing star from West Lothian who made her mark on judges including Heidi Klum who I’m told was a massive fan, was on sparkling form at the Scottish Music Awards on Saturday night at Glasgow’s SECC.
I’ve had the privilege of her company a number of times now and she’s looking better than ever.
Before singing at the bash to raise funds and awareness for Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity, Susan who has been working on a brand new album told me: “You do get nervous on nights like these but it’s good nerves, exciting. It’s a very special night for Nordoff Robbins too -the 25th anniversary so congratulations to them.”
After seeing a clip of herself on stage with Elaine Paige Susan who sang Wild Horses beautifully and was wearing a Frox of Falkirk fuchsia dress commented: “I’ve come a long way and I didn’t realise I’d done so much so I was very humbled.”
We will be seeing a lot more of the star next year when her new album comes out. She told me to expect a mix of classic and new songs on it and that she has had some fun making it in the studio. 

Wednesday 21 November 2018


ED Byrne claims his first child was conceived in Scotland and that he almost called it Ballachullish in memory of the occasion. 
Ed who used to study at Strathclyde uni and was at the Forth Awards said: “Scotland means everything to me. I began my career as a stand up here, met my wife here and my first child was conceived here. His name is Cosmo, not Scotland, but Cosmo which was the name of the first ever Scottish Archbishop of Canterbury, just by coincidence of course. We liked the name. “We thought  we could name him after the place where he was conceived but Balacullish just doesn’t have a ring to it. It’s a genuine place up near Glencoe.” 
Ed popped into say hello to Amy Macdonald at the event because he told me ‘we have a mutual friend’. He added: “She said hello and was a very polite woman.”
He continued: ”I’m writing my next show in little rooms above or below pubs with pieces of paper on hand trying out new stuff, some of which works, some of which doesnt. It’s the very exciting, very dispiriting occasionally quite scary part of the writing process. I’m getting the next show ready which I’ll then  premiere at Ed Fringe in August 2019.”

GO West pop star Richard Drummie  has revealed he is  regular visitor to Glasgow because his daughter is studying here. 
The eighties muso who attended the Forth One awards in the capital with Peter Cox told me he is always in the city. 
He said: “My daughter is at Glasgow School of Art so I go to Glasgow quite a lot. This year’s she’s specialising in photography and film making. She’s doing a four year course so she’s half way through. 
Peter Cox jokes: “She’ll do the band videos for free or a discount.”
The Kings of Wishful Thinking love it here and especially like to partake in some drinking in the true spirit of Scotland. 
Peter said of his Edinburgh trip: “We had a nice meal and drank loads of wine. We stayed at Tigerliliy. We don’t like to go out cause it’s harder to get back of hotel when you’re that drunk - so we ate in the hotel.
Every time we come to play here we get a great reaction.”

DRIVERS were trapped in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre carpark after a technical glitch meant the barriers locked down. 
I know, cause I was one of them. 
The 900 space car park recently adopted automatic number plate recognition technology meaning drivers don’t have to have a ticket to get in or out. The system recognises your registration and you pay before you leave by putting in your number plate details. 
Unfortunately on Tuesday night, the whole computer system crashed meaning there was a queue of traffic snaking all the way up. I’d already paid but still couldn’t get out and ended up having to call the person I was meeting to tell them I was locked in by a barrier. 
It took around twenty minutes before a car park attendant came to resolve the situation  as frustrated drivers peeped their horns. 
With Christmas round the corner let’s hope they’ve have no other technical glitches in the near future. 

TELLY presenter John Mackay might own plenty of ties but he admitted he doesn’t possess a leopard print one. 
I found this out as I stepped off the studio floor at STV following a chat on  Scotland Tonight about I’m A Celebrity and it’s huge viewing figures on opening night. 
John told me he quite fancies going into the jungle which I think could be quite fun.
He explained: “I’d love to go on I’m a Celeb because my tactic would be to get out as quickly as possible then stay in the luxury hotels.”
He then offered to cut off the sleeve of my snazzy new leopard skin jacket from stylist and boutique owner Phil’s Boutique in Glasgow and make it into a tie so he would be themed up. 
I’m not sure Phil would approve.  

DR Who’s Peter Capaldi was floating about the Merchant city for family member Tony Capaldi’s  birthday party this week.
The former timelord looked relaxed as he partied with friends and posed for photos in Bar Square with some gate rashers as well as those invited. 
Craig Murphy who was at the bash told pals online: “Having a pint with Malcolm tucker, the doctor, Peter Capaldi. 
  • Normal Friday night...”
Talking of Capaldis, I asked singer Lewis Capaldi if he fancied swapping roles with his acting relative when I met him at the Forth awards in Edinburgh. 
He told me: “Peter is my father’s cousin or something and came to the London show last year.  If there is a frustrated rock star in him, there is s  frustrated actor in me waiting to get out if he is up for it.”

LEWIS Capaldi says he might have Niall Horans number on speed dial but he doesn’t like to bother him too much. 
The brilliantly funny Lewis, who supported Niall at his Glasgow show, told me: “I’d definitely like to do something with Niall Horan at some point because we’d be good together. Paolo Nutini is always cool too.
Lewis admitted his life has been ‘insane’ of late after touring with Sam Smith, and his sold out gig at the Barrowlands 
He said: “Never in my wildest dreams would I think I’d get to do these arena tours and sell out the Barras and London gigs.  It’s been pretty mental.”
 Lewis said he was tempted to go out and go wild in between his music commitments but has not yet had the chance. He laughed: “Never never rule it out. It can sneak up on you. Maybe you have put the idea into my head now. I’ve been behaving myself for quite some time now but I could get loose soon.”

SHE might have put a Celtic tattoo on her Rangers loving ex live on MTV, but Victoria Obahor has no regrets. 
Victoria, who has put up with Brian Matthews womanising ways over the years says she’s not intimidated by the online hate she’s received since pulling the stunt in Just Tattoo of Us. 
She told me:  “I think two fingers up to lot of them who think it was evil. It’s not them who went through it. It’s me. It’s heartbreaking that Brian cares more about the tattoo than me because I thought he was in love with me and he’s not.”
Victoria, who claims the tattoo was ‘her revenge for what he got up to that night with Jane Park and countless others’ added that she’s now staying at her mums. 
However she told me she is still in touch with Brian to keep things as amicable as can be. 
What’s the bet they’ll be back on by Christmas?  

I felt like I was living one of my worst nightmares when I tried out some new activated charcoal tooth whitening powder.
 I’d been sent a tub of the stuff by U.K. company Procoal to test out. 
I know it is charcoal but I still didn’t expect it to leave my hands looking like I’d messed up a first year art project. 
The bathroom sink looked like I’d not cleaned it for months, and as for my teeth... 
I’m not sure if they look whiter because the rest of my face is now dirty... 

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Wednesday 14 November 2018


STRICTLY’S James Jordan encouraged Glasgow punters to grope him at a charity night in a Scots hotel.
James had his bum pinched at least three times while he performed with his wife Ola at the Hilton hotel for the Rainbow Calley charity ball.
And after one woman began the touching trend he told her: “Thankyou for that Madame. It was rather lovely. We’re not very PC up here are we? There are children here so I’m not going to swear, but I like that one. What I mean is, a lot of people would complain, but grope me all you want.”
James was then challenged to some dance moves by one man who pinched his bottom at the end of the routine, while another man asked if he could see who had a better bottom  - and pinched it again.
James and Ola helped to raise thousands of pounds for the charity inspired by the late Johanna MacVicar who passed away after a lengthy battle with leukaemia.
James said of his Scots visit: ”I’m known for being very outspoken, some people say gobby. I like to say honest, you might laugh.
I’m a little disappointed in the Scottish audience. I could drop her and she could potentially die and I  have sweat pouring down my brow and not one person was watching me. I understand the catsuit was lovely and I love the catsuit.”
He added: “Maybe I’m part Scottish cause I don’t take myself to seriously either and maybe that’s why I love coming up here. I bloody love Scotland. You’re up for a laugh you’re amazing.” 

I had the real pleasure of catching up with 60s Scottish boybander Alan Mair of the Beatstalkers.
Alan and I had chatted earlier in the year about his involvement with Freddie Mercury and after seeing Bohemian Rhapsody and I remembered and gave him a call.
Alan employed Freddie in his Kensington market shop selling boots and leather clothes for four years and admitted he got emotional when he watched the movie about Freddie’s life.
He told me Freddie was a great salesman and added: “Fifteen people were working for me and I never needed to do a stock check with Freddie. I could tell I could trust him.”
He also told me Freddie wanted him at come  gigs because he had been a musician.
He admitted: ”I did say to him once, early on, that he pushed his voice quite hard at gigs, just being excited by it all. He’d go a bit sharp and I’d say it in the nicest way, not after the gig in his dressing room, but later on in the week when we were back over at the shop unit. I just told him: ‘Be a little careful because you are going sharp a bit-hold back a bit’. You could be honest with him.”
Told you a few weeks ago I was obsessed.

DJ Ironik was at Parkhead for launch of the Christmas nights when he told me of his strong desire to work with Calvin Harris.
Ironik who has worked with Elton John and Snoop Dogg reckons he could and Xalvin could both learn from one another’s worlds.
He told me to write: “Calvin,  if you are reading this, give me a shout. You recently did a record with my friends De Neyo so let’s do something.”
He added:  “I would like to go into Calvins world and step out my comfort zone. “
Ironik loves Glasgow and I’ve partied with him before after the Mobos here. One time we ended up with a bunch of music makers at the Crowne Plaza and another time in the now defunct club Kavali.
He told me: “The best Mobos were in Glasgow because I remember going to Nando’s for dinner and I was recognised. There were queues of people outside and I  never realised it was like that here for me.”

Entertainer Edward Reid reckons he now has to practise what he preaches.
Ed has been inundated with requests to perform ahead of the festive season.
He teaches mindfulness in his spare time bit admitted to me at the Rainbow Valley Ball: “I need it - I’ve had such a busy time that my mindfulness is helping my life because I’m getting in the zone and just chilling. When you perform in front of a room of 500 people it’s very easy to get caught up  in it and it’s good to get chilled and own it.”

I have turned into a wee piggy this cold weather and it’s not being helped by all the parties. Moxy hotel Merchant City opening on Tuesday saw me and some pals including Emma Mykytn from Foodie Explorers, Everyday Man, The Gentleman Select and more stuff our faces from the free sweetie table. It was like something you’d see in Wilkie Wonka. We filed ourselves eating in slow mo just to see how gross it looked. The hotel boasts goodies 24/7 for party animals who get hungry in the night as well as lots of funky features including giant artwork, lots of plugpoints for mobiles, a pool table in reception, and check out via social media.

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Monday 12 November 2018


Beverley Lyons
SCOTS presenter Jean Johansson might have landed her dream telly job on house hunting show A Place In The Sun, but she says she’s not had a chance to wear her bikini just yet.
Greenock babe Jean, 37, who is married to former Rangers player and now Greenock Morton manager, Jonatan Johansson, 42, has already travelled to Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol for the Channel 4 show.
Jean, who also presents on Animal Park and the One Show said: “It’s the dream job and everybody wanted it. I’ve been filming over the last few months already in Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol and it’s a nice dynamic because you are working in the sunshine and everyone is relaxed and excited. The weather has been amazing and the days are long but I’ve not put a bikini on since the start of filming.”
She added: “It’s been funny. I got sent out with a stylist who dressed me for the show because the temperatures are really high for this time of the year and I’ve got to look fresh and invigorated on screen during a ten hour filming day which can be difficult.
Sometimes we end up sweating a lot in the houses because they turn the air conditioning off so it doesn’t make a noise when we are filming.”
Jean initially auditioned for the telly job two years ago but was pipped to the post by fellow Scot Danni Menzies from Kenmore.
She said: “I was having chats with my agent about telly jobs and I wanted one that matched my personal interests. She matched me up to the show but I lost out to Danni. I managed to get an audition again this year and after three days of screen tests they said I had the job. I haven’t met Danni yet but it’s great that two Scots are on the show.”
Jean who will be seen in our screens from November 30 reckons her life experience as a footballers wife will help her to assist house hunters on the show.
She explained: “I’ve moved so much with Jonatan - about six of seven times - and I’ve had to drop my life at the drop of a hat.”
“We’ve moved in the past from Glasgow to London, to Norwich, Sweden, Edinburgh and finally Skermorlie and each time I’ve had to find out about the nearest school, gym and all about the local area as well as renovate. I’ve had to make big decisions quite quickly so it puts me in the shoes of the house hunters. I’ve got to know them pretty well over the course of filming too.”
She said: “I don’t want to give away too much of the technicalities but on the Sunday night we have a welcome dinner for people to get to meet the crew and talk about what they want so we can get an idea of who they are. I definitely feel a responsibility towards finding them the best properties for their needs.”
Jean has spent a lot of time holidaying in Spain over the years and is familiar with a lot of the local hotspots.
She said: “I’m a big fan of Spain and I holiday there quite a lot in places like Malaga, Esta Ponsa, and Marbella. It’s so easy to get there from Scotland. I know a lot of places and can show people around, so I’ve been giving the house hunters tips on where to go for drinks and where to eat.  I’m a foodie and that’s why I did Masterchef so we’ve had a bit of time to sample tapas and Spanish wine.”
Jean recently renewed her wedding vows with Jonatan in Mallorca and says she’s keeping a lookout for any potential properties there as a  future holiday home for her own family.
She said: “I lived in Finland and Sweden with Jonatan but I’ve not found a wee two bedroom place in Spain yet as lovely as the houses in Scandinavia. I’ll keep an eye out for bargains and the nice thing about A Place In The Sun is that we take you outside of tourist spots to quaint Spanish villages.”
Jean who has a six year old son Junior has had her mum and dad help her with babysitting duties while she’s been working abroad.
She said: “It’s the usual mum juggling act that all working mums have to do. Mum and dad come and move in for a week while I’m filming and since Jonatan is the new manager at Morton it’s the busiest we’ve both ever been over the years.  Junior has the best support network  and he’s turned into quite the Skype aficionado and gets to see amazing places while I’m filming and pin it on the map.”

Thursday 8 November 2018


THE Scot who employed Queen star Freddie Mercury for four years in his London market shop says watching new film Bohemian Rhapsody made him well up because it was just like reliving the past.
Glasgow born Alan Mair, who had huge success with sixties boy band The Beatstalkers, owned a leather clothing and boot stall at Kensington Market when he first encountered a long haired Freddie at the end of 1969.
He said: “It was late 69 when I got the clothing stall and Freddie and Roger got a shop unit there a few months after, three doors away from me in the upstairs section. Freddie was selling his art as well as second hand clothes but his shop wasn’t busy.”
Alan, whose leather trousers, skirts, jackets and matching boots became sought after by London’s cool kids including David Bowie, and Noddy Holder offered Freddie a job.
He said: “By 1970 I had my stall in Kensington, another on Kings road and a factory.  I said to Freddie ‘Can you look after the shop in the morning?’ because I was busy at the factory. Freddie’s shop hadn’t taken off, so he could come to my place  and keep an eye on his along the passageway.”
Although no mention was made in the movie of Freddie’s market days, Alan, who was called by researchers for the film early in the process, felt like he was reliving his past when he saw Rami Malek play a young Freddie.
He said: “Mary was in Kensington market with Freddie and although they didn’t mention it and almost glazed over Biba, when I saw Rami with his long hair at the start of the movie it was like a step back in time.
“Freddie’s affection for Mary was spot on. He definitely only had one person in life at that time and that was Mary. If we were hanging out on Saturday night it was him and Mary. In the market they were known as girlfriend and boyfriend and Mary was a very sweet and lovely person. Developments regarding Freddie’s real persuasion came later.”
Smile’s first gig is something Alan recalled fondly.
He said: “I went to the first gigs by Freddie’s Smile band -including Imperial College and they were fantastic. Roger and others were students there so would get gigs there. That is where the film really portrays Freddie. He was perfectly flamboyant if not a bit awkward. Freddie developed over the years and he would change his style so much it was hard to get a sense of what he looked like at the start so it was a real flashback.”
He added: “Freddie wanted me to come to the gigs because I had been a musician. I did say to him once, early on, that he pushed his voice quite hard at gigs, just being excited by it all. He’d go a bit sharp and I’d say it in the nicest way, not after the gig in his dressing room, but later on in the week when we were back over at the shop unit. I just told him: ‘Be a little careful because you are going sharp a bit-hold back a bit’. You could be honest with him.”
Alan employed Freddie for four years and said he was articulate and honest - although, as the film suggested, he was known for being a little late at times.
He said: “Fifteen people were working for me and I never needed to do a stock check with Freddie. I could tell I could trust him. Some people in Kensington market would tell me Freddie opened the stall at eleven amnot ten am, but in the shop the stock was always sold so I didn’t mind whether he was there at ten am or not.”
Freddie and Alan would often have a soft drink on Saturdays after work at the Greyhound pub in Kensington.
He said: “Being married with a son, I didn’t go out much. Freddie and I would get soft drinks and play snooker.”
Freddie worked in the shop until ‘74 even after getting his record deal and Alan, kept in touch with him, occasionally popping into his big house for an ornate cup of tea.
Alan said: “We’d reminisce. I was backstage at the sold out Hyde park Concert and I saw him in LA in 1980 when I played with The Only Ones. In ‘75, I saw him after the Hammersmith Odeon show when it was all going to his head and he was a different Freddie. For want of a better expression he was being an a***hole. When we supported the Who for six nights at the Forum all of Queen came in. I went to say hello but remembered how he was, changed my mind and walked away. I heard some heels clip clipping behind me and it was Freddie who said to me: “I know I’ve been a bit of an a***hole but I’ve put all of that behind me.” We spent the rest of the night having a drink and chat.
“ In the film Freddie eats humble pie and that shows the true heart of the person. He was very kind and thoughtful and I got emotional when I saw the hardships he’d been through. It was like a tapestry of my life - but through Freddie’s eyes.”

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Wednesday 31 October 2018


Graham Norton was resplendent  in a tartan suit as he stepped out to talk about his new book in Glasgow. 
Graham was staying at the Blythswood hotel before heading through to Edinburgh where   he admitted one if his favourite authors was Scots born Denise Mina. 
Graham got the crowd laughing at the bash particularly when one fan asked him to listen to their radio show Despite Irish born Graham being a Celt there were language barriers as he misheard the title and asked if it was spelled bomb.
The radio person replied in ernest, ‘No drop as in D.R.O.P’
Graham should have had his big red chair with him. 

Billionaire Tom Hunter was looking pretty cool in a tracksuit when I bumped into him in town. 
Sir Tom told me he wasn’t on a keep fit regime. 
Instead the 56 year old who was with wife Marion and friends including former Clyde 1 boss Paul Cooney been at a gig in town and told me he wanted to fit in with the rest of the cool crowd. 
Tom has always been a very down to earth man and I remember visiting some of Glasgow’s favourite chippies with him and his posse in the past. 
He’s been busy of late working on the kiltwalk and he asked me to ask you if you can take part in the next one. 
I might well be doing it too now. 
You can choose a charity of your choice and Sir Tom will top up by forty percent whatever money you raise. 
He said: “We has over 20,000 walkers this year and are very chuffed with that.”

I indulged in what must be one of the most unusual desserts of this year at Oro Italian in Glasgow. 
Their ice cream cheeseboard sees Melt in the mouth versions of Mozarella, Marscapone and Ricotta all appearing on one plate. 
It was really odd when the Buffalo Mozarella flavour was served up with olive oil, salt and balsamic glaze, but it all worked beautifully!! 
What an amazing concoction by chef and restauranteur Domenico Crolla who tells me is now off to Roma to pick up yet another food award. 
Kilts were very much in vogue on Tuesday night as both Enrique Iglesias and Eric Cantona wore one to mark their visits here. 
Enrique’s kilt was presented to him by radio presenter Adele Cunningham who managed to get him a special pink Heart radio kilt made to order by Slanj. 
Robin Galloway, who was also backstage, advised Enrique to wear nothing underneath but only those in the front row can tell whether he did - or not. 

I’ve triple booked myself this Friday night so if I see you please give me a drink of water to rehydrate me. 
Firstly I’ll be saying a very quick hello at The Dockyard Social where they have a special evening with some bloggers ahead of their Halloween market this weekend.
Then I’ll be heading westwards to Clinica Medica to go live on Facebook around six thirty pm and talk about some fat removing treatments with Dr Awfa Paulina (I should take the hint after all my weeks of gorging) 
And lastly I’ll be freaking myself out at the launch of GlasGLOW at Botanic Gardens - with a Halloween themed magical sound and light show.
I’ll let you know if I survive...

Saturday 27 October 2018


The King Eric Cantona in the meantime sported a rather fetching number to his Street Soccer event at the Hilton.
Footballing giant Eric had popped out in the afternoon for a stroll and a fitting before the big bash.
I met him before he changed into the outfit and said a wee Bonsoir to him. I studied French and management at Glasgow uni so it was nice to try a bit of my Oral French on him! The other journos there were a tad bemused.
Eric and Scotland manager Alex McLeish had a good laugh as Alex reminded Eric that he scored two goals out of three in a France Scotland match. Alex delighted in saying that the shoe was on the other foot when the French came to Scotland and we beat them.
Mark Hateley was amongst the guests too and told me Eric was a ‘controversial genius who lives on the edge.’ He recalled that he played against him in Monaco when he was a really young boy.
Eric who helped to raise over 190,000 for the Street Soccer Charity, was loving his kilt and even popped downstairs for a wee drink while wearing it.
One enthusiastic fan showed him old pics of Charles Aznavor and Johnny Halliday and Eric joked that they were all known as the French Collection.

Thursday 25 October 2018


CHRIS Pine skipped out of his film premiere in Edinburgh to spend time in the security office of Cineworld.
Fans of the star couldn’t believe it when they caught a glimpse of the star in the basement office of the cinema just half an hour after the film began.
One said: “We were having a nosey at the back of the building when we saw Chris Pine in the office with the security guards. He was about to come out for a smoke but when he saw us he turned round and went back in.”
Most of Edinburgh and beyond we’re thrilled when Chris walked the red carpet at the Edinburgh
Some fans had been out earlier in the day searching for him but Chris was too busy being interviewed in Borthwick Castle before heading to Edinburgh Castle afterwards for a reception.
The star has a huge love of history and spends a lot of his time exploring museums near where he is shooting.
I can now reveal that when he was in Glasgow shooting earlier this year he headed out to the transport museum where he almost went incognito.
Unfortunately for him he was spotted by own young fan as he  got a quick bite to eat in the museum cafe by the Riverside.
Chris is followed by fans wherever he goes and the collective name for them has always been Pine Nuts but since the film which features s full frontal of the star the term has er, coined a new meaning.  

Saturday 20 October 2018


FROZEN singer and former X Factor Star Saara Aalto is a secret Outlander and Sam Heughan fan.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the uber talented singer ahead of her opening tour gig at The Poetry Club SWG3.
She told me: “I love the Outlander book series so much and read it ten years ago and fell in love with Scotland because of the book.  When I first went into X Factor I was at the Edinburgh auditions and that moment changed my life so Scotland has special place in my heart. The first time I came to Glasgow was with the X Factor tour but last year when I did Glasgow Pride I came here with my fiancée and we made a road trip and hired a car and my girlfriend drove.  We tried to find  Culloden Battlefield and some others places from Outlander like the castle and I would have loved to meet Sam Heughan.”
Saara who was also asking after singers Emily Middlemas and Ryan Lawrie as well as Caitlyn Vanbeck during our convo was looking forward to showing off her classical and acoustic side as well as performing her big showgirl numbers. 

Wednesday 17 October 2018


London born singer Azim will be crying Freedom when he comes to Paisley on October 18.
Azim, who has recently been working with Scots songwriter and producer John McLaughlin  will play the  Bungalow music venue after releasing his new single Freedom on October 12.
Azim who offer up a mix of tracks based on conflict and tension can’t wait to play the Bungalow venue. 

  Having learned the acoustic guitar after Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens made his comeback he has always strived to reflect the reality of London life, encompassing religious or socio-political opposites, or the epic odyssey of a migrant father fleeing war
He said: “Theres so much to being much out there to draw upon, especially since we had Brexit and TrumpI dont want to hide from any of it.”
Azim, who cites his influences as Richard AshcroftNoel Gallagher and Jimmy Hendrixexplained: ”My song Freedom is a depiction of modern life in a big city. My music is my freedom and if people want to go their own way freedom belongs in their hands.”
“I know how important the word Freedom is in Scotland so I’d love people to come along to the night and embrace it.”

Monday 15 October 2018


Boaby the Barman may be no more but Still Game’s Gavin Mitchell is still numb.
He said: “It’s not sunk in if I’m honest. We finished a few weeks ago and then I got the lurgy.”
I met the lovely Gav at the 35th anniversary celebrations for STV’s famed detective series Taggart.
Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema had taken over Maryhill Community Central Hall for the occasion and Gav was in esteemed company alongside show creators - writer Glenn Chandler and producer Robert Love.
Gav told  me: “I actually appeared three times, in three roles on the show, as a barman of course and then a pathologist Robin Carlisle Forbes who was actually kind of posh, and then as a gangster kind of businessman which was a brilliant storyline.
He added jokingly: “He was nice but a bit like me, so er, don’t cross me or I’ll break your nose with a pool cue.”
As we sat watching the first ever episode of Taggart - then a three part mini series called Killer in 1983 - it struck me just how brilliant it was - and how timeless the writing still is. Only the dodgy patterned wallpaper was a bit out of date.
Gav said: “Robert and Glenn both created Taggart, so to be with the creators thirty five years on in Maryhill in the community Central halls is phenomenal. To be in Jim Taggarts stomping ground, in his hood with his creators is refined company indeeed. It’s a bit like being with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and I’m the Ronnie Wood of the company. I’ll always be the newbie.”

Friday 12 October 2018


Two Scots Italian Restaurants have beaten their English counterparts by being nominated for the Italian food Oscars. 
Glasgow’s own Oro restaurant in Kilmarnock Road joins Edinburgh’s Locanda De Gusti in being nominated for a trophy at the Melius Ristorante awards -rewarding the top 100 restaurants outside of Italy. 
And while Scotland has two nominations, England only has one - in the form of restaurant Beck at Brown’s in London. 
Scots chef Domenico Crolla said: “Every time I’ve competed in the U.K. for the past ten years Scotland has always done better than England whether it’s a pizza or restaurant contest. Scotland has always beaten England.”
Domenico reckons Scots restaurants are better rated because they are owner run.  
He said: “We have a culture of owner run restaurants here including Indian, Chinese and Italian which are all operated by the owners who offer an authentic experience. 
Other restaurants from Dubai and China are one the list so to be on the same list as them is quite an honour.”
Domenico can’t wait to represent Scotland when he visits Rome on October 29 for the awards ceremony. 
He said: “I don’t have the legs for a kilt but I’m looking forward to it. All the restaurants are of a high standard and it’s going to be close competition.”

Thursday 4 October 2018


THE Greeks no longer smash plates during a good night out - instead, since the 1970s legislation which now makes it forbidden, they are more likely to toss some flowers or napkins at one another in celebration.
And did you know olive oil forms the basis of the triangular Cretan diet (meat and fish at the top) and, as well as its other health benefits, is a recognised aphrodisiac?
These two facts are just some of those I learned on my Cretan holiday.
You see, as the good professor once told me, Crete is like a bikini.
You might think you can see it all, but the best bits are always hidden away from those but the most curious of eyes.
A week in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is just not enough to delight in the many thrills it has to offer.
From the myths and legends of the Minotaur and its associated labyrinth, and Gods like Zeuss and Poseidon, to the history of the Minoan civilisation and its place as the important 'first link in the European chain' to it's current status as a front runner in eco-tourism and ambassador for the healthy Mediterranean diet, its DD cup runneth over.

Located by the Agean sea - so named after the myth of the King who drowned there- it also offers more pleasant aquatic opportunities by way of cruising, scuba diving, snorkelling, and wind surfing as well as beaches like Elafonissi.
And for those with a fish phobia, like me, who prefer a piece of glass between them and the creatures of the deep, the Thalassocosmos-Aquarium, a former American base at Gournes will prove an exhilirating experience in less intimidating surroundings.
Here you can stare eyeball to eyeball at over hundreds of species and thousands of living organisms from the humble Octopus to winged fish, sharks and seahorses.
The largest city in Crete is Heraklion and direct flights from Glasgow or via London will bring you straight into its central airport.
Catering for families and couples, as well as those who just want a retreat from our ever bustling cities, it is mountainous and picturesque, with little fishing villages and harbours to break up the landscape.
You are more or less guaranteed 13 hours of sunshine a day during August, and the temperature still hits the mid-20s in October.
My particular experience was of the five stars on the island - of which there are many, but those with a more limited budget will find plenty including some lodges at places like the eco-friendly Millia Village priced at around £75 a night.

A stay at The Aldemar Royal Mare Thallasso was a real treat - a refined yet sumptuous five star with an olde world attitude towards service and quality and an adjoining spa. The nearby oppulent Minos Palace hotel offered real style and sophistication and some rooms even come with a private pool.
Tourists love a good night out and The Cretan Village in Karouzanos is up a windy cobbled footpath where food, drink and dancing awaits - not to mention the odd donkey. Romance is very much alive and as the raki - grappa wine- goes down, you may find yourself getting amorous with... anyone!
Near the main city of Heraklion lies the world famous Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, restored, by archaeologist Arthur Evans who had an educated if not imaginative mind. With its frescoes and restored interiors it undoubtedly brings alive some of the late Minoan relics.
A visit to the Archaelogical Museum of adjoining Chania showcases some of the artifacts removed during the excavation work.

Chania also boasts a pleasant harbour by which to walk at night and an imposing lighthouse, and nearby is the serene Cavo Spada hotel - a modern retreat with a pool so large the lifeguard needs a boat to get from one end to the other.
For budding historians, a trip to the Melidoni Cave with its rudimentary prayer altars proves haunting. A monument to those burned alive in 1821 forms the centrepiece of these caves and somewhat eerily the pictures I took here depicted facelike forms etched in the walls, soi much so that I had to seek comfort in some of the local food - of which pastries are a speciality.
Crete has so much to offer so who needs plates? You'll find a holiday in Crete smashing in so many other ways. was a guest of the Greek National Tourism Organization.

- Posted with love from Scotland by

Sunday 30 September 2018


Glasgow’s businessmen and women raised over £9000 for the victims of Kerala floods. 
One hundred people including the Indian Consul General and MPs Anas Anwar and Martyn Day turned up to a special charity dinner at Glasgow’s Dakhin restaurant who donated the venue, food and staff for free on the night. 
Business PG Paper also sponsored the event as well as the new owners of TriBeCa restaurant. 
The funds will be used to help with the infrastructure and rebuilding homes in Kerala for those who were devastated by the damage. 
Indian Consul General Anju Ranjan from Edinburgh said: “I was shattered to see the loss of property and people following the flood in Kerala. More than five hundred people were killed and more than thirty five thousand people rescued and more than two million people were put in camps. It is very sad. Scotland and India have a shared history and the spices from Kerala like cardamom and pepper came over to Scotland after Scots went over there to work on the rubber plantations.”
As well as funds, the Council General is keen to hear from anyone who can help with infrastructure in Kerala.
She explained: “There is no weather forecasting system in place like we have here and the children need help with education too.”
MP for Linlithgow Martyn Day who was in Kerala when the disaster struck also spoke of his experience visiting the worst hit areas.  


IF you like Vodka, Coffee and Fine Food then you need to book into a very special Birthday Party on Thursday October 4.   
Luxury brand Belvedere Vodka has teamed up with the ever stylish Citizen Hotel in Glasgow for an exclusive birthday celebration - and it lasts for the whole of October.
The has always gone wild for  Belvedere and we love the stylish bottle that glows in the dark. 
 This time round Belvedere is bringing the iconic cocktail – the espresso martini – to The Citizen on St Vincent Place in the heart of Glasgow as part of an exclusive month-long ‘pop-up with a coffee twist’.
The city centre pop-up – a Scottish exclusive - will provide style and substance for a retail therapy recharge as well as for purveyors of fine gastronomy and vodka connoisseurs. 

Belvedere in Italian translates to ‘beautiful to see’ and the cocktails on offer this month are exactly that.  The Citizen’s mixologist Matteo Clerici has curated three other very special coffee-inspired cocktails that offer new twists on the classics - The Cold Brew Gimlet, The Chocomint Martini and finally a Don Cortez, which adds a subtle nod to Belvedere’s Polish roots. 
On Thursday October 4 there’s a party marking the first birthday of The Citizen and we’ll be there to try it all out. 
The history of The Citizen as the home of one of Glasgow’s first newspapers is legendary, the Grade A1 listed building it is set within – Scotland’s first red sandstone - is iconic, and its inspired gastronomy is unashamedly Scottish. Add to this an ambience that is chic and fun and the birthday party promises to be an unmissable occasion.
Guests will ascend into the striking building, and through to the Editor’s Suite – a stylishly restored homage to the venue’s heritage when in 1889 it was the headquarters of The Evening Citizen newspaper. 
On arrival into The Editor’s Suite, flashbulbs will pop and, for one night only, disco will reign supreme with a very special DJ set from Billy Woods of famed club night Supermax. Party goers will toast the occasion with the connoisseur’s cocktail of choice - the Belvedere espresso martini - as well as pairing canapés and birthday cake.

Tickets to attend the party are now available through this link or by calling 0141 222 2909

They cost £25 per person and include 3 Belvedere cocktails, canapés andbirthday cake.

Izzy Cameron of Moët Hennessy said: "The Espresso Martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the UK, with the coffee and spirit world growing closer together in their purity and quality. We are excited to be collaborating with The Citizen who are blending the natural character of Belvedere vodka with quality ingredients to showcase five unique coffee cocktails."
 Tony Conetta, Co-owner of The Citizen added: One year ago, after an extensive restoration, we opened the doors to what is one of Glasgow’s most impressive buildings with an equally iconic history. Now, as we celebrate our first birthday, and in the spirit of The Citizen’s pioneering legacy, we are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Belvedere for this unmissable party and unique month-long pop-up.” 

Friday 28 September 2018


SHE was going to Walk on By, but Dionne Warwick stopped in her tracks as she was serenaded by a group of teenagers outside her Scots hotel.
The singing legend had performed at Glasgow’s Armadillo and was making her way back into the Blythswood hotel when she was treated to the impromptu performance.
Three young members of five piece Scots pop band G Side had wanted to meet her so decided to give her a rendition of her famous hit Heartbreaker in a bid of grab her attention - and it worked.
Dionne who was with her granddaughter at the gig listened intently to the singing trio before thanking them with a bow of the head and stepping inside the door.
Her granddaughter told me afterwards: “That was awesome.”
Earlier in the day Dionne had become emotional when she was shown pictures of Whitney Houston by one of her Scots fans. 

Tuesday 25 September 2018


I had my first taste of moon cake to celebrate the Chinese full moon festival at Lychee Oriental on Tuesday.  
(Please don’t confuse moon cake with space cake - they are both very different things! and the moon cake was sweet like a pastry made of tablet.)
I enjoyed a full five course banquet prepared by telly chef and all round good guy Jimmy Lee at the restaurant.
It was a real delight with everything from an incredible Ginger Broth Congee (like savoury porridge but so moreish) , to Crispy Wontons with Soy Butter Dip, Five Spice Beef Flank Stew with Pak Choi and Steamed Rice, and sweet dessert of Hong Kong Peanut Butter French Toast with Banana Fritter.
Jimmy is a a real whizz when it comes to cooking - and I’m so glad he quit his job in financial services to become a master chef.

This September, people around the world will celebrate China's Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival. As the last days of late summer fade and the leaves on the chestnut trees begin to turn a golden brown, families come together in the cool, crisp air to enjoy a feast under the glow of the full moon. Red lanterns strung with riddles dance in tree branches, while the sweet fragrance of osmanthus flowers wafts through the evening air.
Lychee Oriental Head Chef, Jimmy Lee has created an impressive five-dish 'Chinese Moon Festival' menu that includes, Ginger Broth Congee, Crispy Wontons with Soy Butter Dip, Five Spice Beef Flank Stew with Pak Choi and Steamed Rice, Hong Kong Peanut Butter French Toast with Banana Fritter and finally, Chinese Tea served with traditional Mooncake.  
It is available at £30 until October 25 and gives it a massive thumbs up.


US superstar Jason Derulo threw a huge birthday bash at a Glasgow club while he was performing in Scotland.
The Watcha Say and In My Head hitmaker appeared at the Hydro on Saturday night just hours after he’d celebrated his 29th birthday until the wee small hours at city centre club Distrikt.
Jason and his posse began his big celebration backstage at a dress rehearsal in the Hydro before returning to Glasgow’s Malmaison to get dressed up for the night.
As they drank champagne from plastic cups in their dressing room, Jason told his posse: “Hey I want to thank you all for your passion so hang tight. We’re heading somewhere legendary. There’s no better way to spend my birthday than with my second family.”
After a few hours of chill time at the hotel, he emerged around eleven thirty pm wearing a gold and black jacket, black jeans and a huge gold cross ready for his big bash.
As he made his way down from his upstairs room, he was grinning from ear to ear as he was serenaded on the phone by a relative in Miami who sang happy birthday to him.
Then, as he carried a Taylor & Taylor toiletry bag, given to him as a present, he and his forty strong entourage headed out for dinner in a convoy of Black taxis to an Italian restaurant nearby.
At around one pm he and his party then arrived at Distrikt nightclub where they took over three of the private booths.
Shocked clubbers scrambled for a better view as the Talk Dirty star and his posse were led in by some huge security guards and Jason, his band members and touring crew made it clear they were in for a big night.
As they sat down in the plush roped off booths, a sea of flaming bottles of booze were carried over to them by the club’s hostesses.
One onlooker said: “It was non stop. Every few minutes there would be another spark of light as more bottles were set on fire and taken to Derulos booth. It was like fireworks night inside the club.”
Jason had forty people with him to enjoy the celebrations but then his group began inviting other punters at the club into the booths to have even more drinks.
The clubber continued: “Most of the attractive girls ended up in the booths at some point while the bouncers made sure Jason was happy and safe. At this be point Jason moved over to an empty booth to feel less crowded as more and more people joined in with the party.”
Although Jason had specifically asked that no mention he made of his birthday, it was obvious that the party were in a celebratory mood as they kept ordering bottle after bottle of champagne, spirits and sparking wine.
A source at the club said: “Jason and his party were out to have a good night and they pulled out all the stops. I can’t say too much because it’s confidential but they spent a lot of money on the night. It was great because we’d normally have to spend tens of thousands of pounds to get Jason Derulo to make an appearance but instead he paid us for having his party.”
The source revealed that Jason ordered bottles of Grey Goose vodka at £150 a throw.
The insider added: “They also ordered bottles of Ceroc vodka.  They  had loads of bottles of Jack Daniels Whiskey Tennessee at £150 each, and they drank around a dozen bottles of Moet Chandon Rose Imperial at £80 a bottle as well as other bottles of Moet Chandon Brut Imperial.
The party who also enjoyed bottles of Martelle Cognac, drank three cases of Luc BelAire Sparkling rose wine which they specially requested be brought  to the club. The bottles which are sold in nightclubs for around £50 a throw feature a funky neon label which glows in the dark.
The source said: ”We had to get the drink in specially for Jason. It is not usually sold in the club but it is a favourite of rappers like Rick Ross.”
During the night some of Jason’s friends took off their tops while others danced away to the beats of DJ Naeem.
Jason later said of his birthday bash: “I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday party than here.”