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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