Sunday 27 January 2019


SCOTS heartthrobs Gerard Butler, and Sam Heughan put on their kilts for a real celebration of the Bard In LA. 
Even Take That’s Gary Barlow turned up to the tartan fuelled evening hosted by Sir Tom Hunter and his wife Marion at the swish bash in Fairmont Miramar co hosted by Bafta LA and The Kilt Walk charity. 
Outlander star Sam Heughan got laughs as he addressed the Haggis while Gerard Butler showed off his fine physique in true Scots style. Gary opted for a suit instead of a 21st Century kilt. 
Guests enjoyed Cock A Leekie Soup, Venison Stew, MacSweens Haggis and Steelhead Trout Saltimbocca, Mashed Neeps and Tatties and Cranachan with Fruit and Cheese and Shortbread.  
Balvenie Whisky and Lanson champagne was poured while red rose petals were stuck on crystal candelabras and tartan and thistles added some extra decor to the occasion. 
A piper welcomed guests and Ross King said: “The boys are back together. Thankyou Sam Heughan for the best haggis address ever.”

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday 24 January 2019


BOYZONE’S Keith Duffy is hopping to catch up with his Scots rugby pals Thom and Max Evans when the lads play here at the weekend.
Boyzone will be playing their fairwell gig tomorrow night at the SSE Hydro and Keith told me last time we spoke that he and the Evans lads are the best of pals.
He said: “The Evans brothers come to all our gigs. They either stand side of stage of go out front - whatever they want.”
Keith and the lads says they won’t be going crazy after they Hydro gig.
He laughed: “Those days are gone now and we’ve all had our moment of glory. We don’t like hangovers anymore so play golf now and enjoy glass of wine parties.”
HARRY Potter, Sense and Sensibility and Gosford Park composer Patrick Doyle got everyone sobbing as he made it a real family affair at his Glasgow concert. Not only did he bring his two daughters Nuala and Abigail  to accompany him on Sigh No More. He also managed to play a treasured sixty year old recording of his own father Patrick singing at a family gathering. He told the audience it had been his dads ambition to sing with  a live orchestra but he sadly passed away last year. His wish finally came true at Celtic Connections and it was a true homecoming. I definitely lost a few fake lashes on the night.
Glasgow Film Festival goers are up for a real rough and ready night at this year’s event.
The 12 day long fest from February 20 to March 3 will see seven world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres. Guests including Sir Michael Palin, Carol Morley, Matt Bomer, Carlos Acosta, Josh O’Connor, Alice Lowe, Simon Amstell and music video director Lance Bangs.
One of the highlights will be a showing of Fight Club in a mystery destination in North Glasgow featuring real fighting.
I’m told the battles will be coordinated by Scots fight expert Janet Lawson who was a member of the stunt team for Season 6 of the TV series Vikings and plays Mrs Hinzmann in the Scottish Christmas Zombie Musical Anna and the Apocalypse.
She knows her stuff and some locals might think it’s the real thing.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday 21 January 2019


HOT Scot Richard Madden admitted he and his family were fans of Paisley’s Vienna’s nightclub on a night out in the States.
Bodyguard star Richard has been seen at the Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes in the last week where he picked up an award for Best Actor.
The Elderslie born talent met up with Scots club owner Tony Cochrane ahead of the event and even introduced Tony to his mum and dad to reminisce about Paisley.
Tony told me: “I met Richard along with his mum and dad who were both wearing a wee bit of tartan at Critics Choice Awards. We got chatting and I told him I had clubs in Paisley and around Scotland. When he found out I owned Vienna’s he called his mum and dad over and they talked about how well they knew it. Richard was so excited to talk about Scotland and his roots. ”
You can take the boy out of Elderslie but... you know the rest.
David Tennant is so tickled pink by his brand new gadget at home, he thinks it’s better than a sonic screwdriver.
The Broadchurch and  Doctor Who star who is soon to star in Good Omens on the Beeb told fans at a US convention that he has just acquired a special hot water tap.
The tap allows David to make a cup of tea without boiling the kettle.
He said: “It is the best thing that has ever happened to us. That is a thing of great joy. You don’t have to boil a kettle ever again. The boiling water just comes out of the tap”
Simple things.

I don’t now what I’ve let myself in for but I popped along to Fitness Frontier at Glasgow’s Clydeside for my first ever session with a personal trainer.
Chris Johnston has trained everyone from The Weakest Links Anne Robinson to River City’s Tom Urie and the Miss Scotland girls. Now he’s training me. He told me to take along a banana and bottle of water to the first session and I ended up needing them both. I thought I was semi fit but after one minute of skipping (which turned out to be twenty seconds of getting puffed out) I’ve realised I’m not exactly Rocky. Watch this space.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday 17 January 2019


DINERS at the newly opened Bertie’s fish and chippy in Edinburgh had to look twice when they saw George Michaelimpersonator Rob Lamberti singing his greatest hits on stage.
Rob, who comes to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall in May along with members of George’s actual band and The Royal Philharmonic orchestra, performed everything from Faith to Last Christmas in a set that wowed not only the VIP diners but loads on social media.
Young Fathers Ally Massaquoi was boogieing away with me and Caitlyn Vanbeck as we joined Hearts and Hibs players to eat deep fried mars bars at the bash.
Rob, who was employed by Sony to be George’s double on a number of occasions, and also counted the real singer as a big fan, told me he actually always wanted to be a Marti Pellow soundalike, but was told by others he was more suited to George. He didn’t realise Wet Wet Wet were recently looking for a new singer until it was too late. Obviously he was wishing he was lucky...
JUDY Murray ended up getting a hard time on line after her bag melted in the Australian heat.
The temperatures over in Oz are so hot at the moment that one man managed to cook a steak in his car in an online video that has now gone viral.
Judy too, suffered from the boiling conditions, as she showed off a picture of her bag disintegrating in the sun.
One fan commented: “Cheap gear Judy, buy nice or buy twice,” while another added: “You didn’t buy it at the Barras in Glasgow did you??
Judy laughed: “This would never happen in Dunblane.”
Comedian and presenter Des Clarke believes in synchronicity after he helped to feed homeless people through a random act of kindness.
The Capital Scotland and BBC Breaking the News presenter had visited a pal at Morton’s rolls this week and had been given a crate of them to give out to his work colleagues back at the office.
Des said: “The guy kindly offered me some crispy rolls to take away. I expected half a dozen. He gave me 100 and told me to give them out at work, but 100 was too many to shift. So I called Glasgow City Mission. Before I could explain, I heard some chat in the background.
What’s that?
“It’s the chef. He’s doing the big lunch for the homeless. He’s supposed to be making bacon rolls. But he’s run out of rolls.”
Really? How many does he need?
“About 100.”
As Des says himself, Life really is amazing.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday 13 January 2019


Glasgow will be welcoming some new food trends this year including seaweeds, oat milk and seed butters.
While donuts and avocados were all the trend in 2018 we are planning to go back to basics for the next twelve months according to food experts around the globe.

Seaweed is bigger than ever - Rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, edible seaweed also lends a nutritious taste to mealtime. Kelp and dulse flakes, seaweed pestos and crisps are the in snack to have at any respectable dinner party.

Paleo and Vegan food or Pegan as it is known will also be popular. It’s continuation of clean eating with plenty of veg and fruits, high quality fats and food including fish, and meat that hasn’t been treated with pesticides antibiotics or hormones.

Vegan dishes are already rearing their head  with eateries like Glasgow’s Dhabba North Indian restaurant launching a bespoke Vegan menus for customers who care.
Diners can enjoy delights including Gol Gappa - crispy puffed bread with sported potato, chickpeas and cumin and Bhendi Do Payazi with okra, red onion, ginger and chillies and Daal Makhani, a rich concoction of black lentils, kidney beans and split chickpeas.
Breads and salads are also on the separate menu.
Latest figures show that 3.5 million people now identify as vegan, 20% of under-35s have tried veganism, and 25% of our evening meals are now meat-free.
Vegan wines are also going to be big sellers.

French patisseries
Doughnuts are being replace by eye catching desserts and cakes as we go for more French fancies: mille feuille, flans patissier, madeleines, religieuses. Desserts are becoming as stylish as the people eating them which could be interesting in Glasgow.

Celery Juice
Celery Juice is also being praised for its ability to help remove toxins from your body and stabilize blood pressure levels. It’s not the only drink that will be hitting the healthmark this year with Oatmilk also being the latest non-dairy alternative to hit the aisles. Dairy-free options, will continue to attract sales but caution should be Fakebake to ensure that additives and artificial flavours aren’t boosting the flavour too much.

Seed Butters.                                             Exotic butters will remain a staple but this time round people are opting for seed butters as an alternative to peanut, almond and cashew. Look out for lots of sunflower seed butter and tahini, a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries in restaurants as well as pumpkin, and watermelon seed butters, which share the same good fat profile of nut butters. They are a good alternative for those with nut allergies.

Vegetable ice creams.                                      In a world which is becoming more aesthetically pleasing we will also contradict ourselves with the veg we buy. Imperfect vegetables are on this years hotlist and misshapen fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste, will inspire us to create more crisps and sauces made from rescued food. There will even be ice creams made of vegetables coming to a freezer shelf near you.

And while Gin was the most have drink of 2019, we will see a definite shift to Rum as Millenials choose barrel-aged, small-batch craft rums, fine rums from traditional Caribbean makers and now, British rums. Dark, golden, string or sweet, there is plenty of choice.

Tuesday 8 January 2019


Scotland boss Alex McLeish reckons Laurel and Hardy have a lot to do with the success of the old Aberdeen team managed by Sir Alex Ferguson. 
Radio Clyde’s Ewen Cameron who was at the premiere with me earlier this week at the Showcase cinema in Baillieston revealed that Alex got a part in the film as an extra after he bumped into director Jon S Baird at an airport.
Now Eck, as he’s affectionately known, has revealed he has a supporting role in the film (in the background reading a paper as seen here) and added: “Ronald Villiers eat your heart out. I was in the Laurel and Hardy fab club for many years when I was younger. In fact going back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s days we’d meet for pre match meals before the team talk and watch a twenty minute Laurel and Hardy film before it. The whole squad was glued to it. Going back maybe it was the secret of our success.”
Alex joined the club with Andy Gray of City Lights and panto game and got a Sons of The Desert monthly magazine every month.”

The film is a real corker and I’d recommend it highly to anyone young or old,  whether you’re an avid fan of the duo or not. 

Stan and Ollies story is a Brokeback Mountain style narrative where the relationship between the two men is told through their adventure. 

Scots will be delighted to see the Hollywood legends on their tour of the U.K. including the old Empire Theatre in Glasgow. The film is in full colour and it’s incredible to see how much of the clever comedy has lasted through the years. 

Special mention must go to Scottish born Ross Owen who advised on the film and helped to make Steve Coogan and John C Reillys characters come to life. It’s really one of those films you need to watch more than once. 

Meantime ... Stan Laurel’s mother’s grave is about to become the centre of attention in 2019 - and his great granddaughter is planning a visit to Scotland to ensure his memory is kept alive.
Ross Owen who advised on the film told me at the Showcase in Baillieston that he’s  been in regular touch with Cassidy Cook - Stan’s great granddaughter.
He told me: “Stans first ever stage performance was in Glasgow at the Panoptican and he used to live here when he was fifteen or sixteen. His mother Madge died when he was in Scotland and she’s buried in Cathcart cemetery and been there for years but they don’t have a headstone and it’s a bit unkempt. I was telling Cassidy this two weeks ago and she’s going to come over and we are going to put a headstone up and she’s going to do this properly. She’s coming to visit the Panopticon this year.”

And...STILL Game’s Jane McCarrie, Sanjeev Kohli and Gavin Mitchell turned out to the Scottish premiere of Stan and Ollie - and ended up crying.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the end of the brilliant movie about the comedy legends.
It’s really a must watch and the physical comedy is timeless.
All three of the actors were huge fans of the talents. Jane who used to be a drama teacher said she has always loved the duo and even used to teach her students about them in secondary. She said: “In first year the first thing I would make the kids do would be to watch Laurel and Hardy. Most of them had never heard of them and would go ‘Oh no black and white films’. By the end of term they were all converted to big Laurel and Hardy Films.”