Friday 13 September 2019


Beverley Lyons
STILL Game’s Ford Kiernan has spoken for the first time about the agony and pain he endured before having to go under the surgeons knife following his last run of shows at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.
The comedian and actor who will star as Jack alongside Greg Hemphill’s Victor as well as actors including Jane McCarry, Paul Riley, and Sanjeev Kohli in Still Game Live: The Final Farewell stage show from September 27 until October 13, endured a complex back operation following his run of shows in 2017.
Asked about any luxuries he’d indulged in since having success with his comedy, Ford said: “The starriest thing that I’ve done is that I had two of my vertebrae removed and never waited on the National Health to give me a date for it. I went round the corner to the Nuffield and I got them to whip it out and that’s something I couldn’t have done if I hadn’t been working on the telly. It was my lower back, vertebrae five and six.”
Ford said the operation took place following his last sell out run of Still Game: Bon Voyage shows at the SSE Hydro in February 2017. And he revealed he couldn’t go on stage without receiving medical treatment before each performance.
He added: “And it was just after I finished the Hydro in 2017. I was getting a cortisone injection into my spine in 2017 before every single show.”
Showing off the scar at the base of his back he added: ”Put it this way, before I got into Chewing the Fat they’d say ‘You know who would be ideal for this?’ - Stretch Kiernan. I did the damage lifting barrels off the back of a van when I was twenty one.”
Greg laughed: “The truth of the matter is there was nothing wrong with Ford back then. It was just a Daniel Day Lewis thing. I was slouching and he was committed to be the wee one and took two vertebrae out and that is commitment.”
Ford and Greg will be saying farewell to their beloved TV and stage characters following their final bout of stage shows in Glasgow.
Greg said: ”It’s one of my favourite things going to the Hydro to do the show and it’s great fun and it feels like the end of the road. It took us six or seven months to write it, to make sure it was a fitting show, picking up where the tv show left off. It’s like getting to be a rockstar for fifteen nights and it’s pretty cool. We’re not doing the Eagles. It’s the end.”
Ford said: “People say ‘Is it the same show as before?’ but we’ve written a brand new show because it’s the finale with the big splash at the end. In the last TV episode Jack and Victor walked into the mist and they were gone. It’s all down to interpretation. If you think they are dead you might get a surprise either way. If we were designing a funeral for Jack and Victor it would be a pire.”
Greg said: “Don’t say we killed them. Maybe we differ on this. My feeling is they live their life full. I don’t think anyone would invite 150 thousand people into an arena to make them cry. I think you can’t kill them off. It would be too sad. Jack and Victor have always been about life and living it to the full.”
Following the run, both men say they want to spend more time with their families.
Greg said: ”I’m celebrating my twentieth wedding anniversary in a week and I remember buying my mum and dad a gift for theirs. It’s really freaking me out. Twenty five is silver, fifty is gold and forty is ruby. There’s other things we want to do together down the line, together and separately.”
Ford added: “We’ve got a body of actors here who are dynamite and phenomenal not just for comedy bit for everything which we are extremely lucky to have. I’d be surprised if we don’t bump into them in some professional capacity in the future.” 

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