Tuesday, 8 January 2019

HOW LAUREL AND HARDY HELPED ALEX FERGUSON AND HIS SCOTTISH TEAM




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.”

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