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 -