Wednesday 27 May 2020


THEIR famous dads might have taken centre stage as Begbie and Renton in Trainspotting, but Ava Carlyle and Esther Mcgregor are hoping to steal some of the spotlight with their own creative endeavours. 
While the world has been in lockdown, Robert Carlyle’s daughter Ava who turns 18 in July and Ewan McGregor’s daughter Esther, 18, have been making music in their respective homes. 
Ava has been heavily protected from the public eye by her parents but was seen attending TRNSMT music festival in Glasgow with her Once Upon A Time actor father last year. 
This month she showcased her vocals for the very first time on YouTube as she sang her own emotionally fuelled acoustic rendition of Labrinth’s song Jealous. 
Blonde Ava, who sat in her garden surrounded by trees and flowers to record the accompanying video looked comfortable as she strummed her guitar to the tune.
She told her subscribers: “Hope you like it.”
Her dad Robert who was also in a band when he was sixteen and most recently sang the blues in film California Solo, was clearly delighted by the positive response that Ava received. 
He later wrote on his Twitter account: “Many thanks for all your lovely messages about Ava C.. she wants to thank you all and is absolutely "chuffed" to bits!”
Ava followed up her debut with another video of her singing Already Gone by Sleeping At Last, which also received rave reviews. 
Esther, on the other hand, has previously written a song about her actor dad Ewan’s relationship with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. 
This time round however, she opted for a more subtle approach with her music by going under the pseudonym of French Thyme with her musician friend Leo Major and their French house song Fraise, Framboise.  
Esther said of her new project: “We had so much fun making it and are psyched to finally release it. And keep your eyes and ears out, cause we may release an album this summer. 
Ewan, who was the singing candelabra Lumiere in Beauty and The Beast and also sang in Moulin Rouge, has previously referred to Esther’s music as ‘brilliant’.   

Esther who is offering to make bespoke clothes for fashionistas during lockdown  also featured in a brand new short film Assumptions this month which sees her smoking heavily, applying make up in the mirror and crying as she is thrown into emotional turmoil. 

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Daily Record

Tuesday 19 May 2020


JUDY Murray claims she was once detained by Israeli security after they thought she was carrying a bomb into the country. 
Tennis coach Judy who is mum to tennis champions Andy and Jamie revealed the chaos she caused during an early trip to Israel when she and other tennis players were passing through Tel Aviv airport. 
Judy, who travelled to Eilat for the Fed cup with the British team in 2012, revealed: “On the first away trip to Israel we were passing through Tel Aviv airport and were detained by security in Israel at the airport and I thought what could it be? And it was our Pass The Bomb the board game.”
Judy who has always encouraged her teams to play board games as a way of building camaraderie was horrified when she realised the gravity of the situation.  
She added: “The timer is like a little hand grenade  bomb and of course it was picked up on the screens and it just cost us so much time. It was a funny memory from the first trip.”
Leon Smith who is now the Davis Cup captain added: “It was me who suggested we brought the game.”

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Daily Record

Tuesday 12 May 2020


Beverley Lyons 

A Scots couple were so disappointed when their wedding was cancelled as a result of Covid 19 restrictions, that they held their own ceremony complete with celebrant, fascinators, confetti and sixty guests with champagne on Zoom.
Diane Ward, 56, a driving instructor and her engineering buyer fiancé Graham Ferrier, 55, from Carnoustie were due to get married at 29 Private Members Club on Glasgow on Sunday May 10 until coronavirus rules stopped them in their tracks. 
The couple had chosen the special date specifically because it marked seven years since they first met so they were keen not to lose the sense of occasion - and made an alternative wedding celebration with their wedding planner, humanist minister and guests  on Zoom. 
Wendy, who even had to cancel her hen night in Tenerife on March 20, was determined not to let the virus spoil their big day. 
She said: “We’d sorted out our wedding banns in February and crossed all the ts and dotted the is. We couldn’t wait to celebrate with all our friends and family at 29 because we’d been on dates there and some great nights out. We realised around the start of April that the physical wedding was going to be cancelled so we set about making an alternative plan to celebrate our big day with our nearest and dearest. 
“We invited people to join us on a Zoom link at 2:45pm for 3pm on Sunday and were able to have twenty one different households on with an average of three people per household. 
Funnily enough, I had ordered two dresses for my wedding initially - one was slightly bigger than the other - and I ended up wearing that one due to my lockdown eating habits!”
“We asked everyone to get dressed up and couldn’t believe it when some, including Graham’s mum ended up wearing a fascinator. It was quite funny because some of them had dresses on with slippers or trainers underneath.”

We had guests join us from Paisley, Prestwick, Dundee and Carnoustie and after we all said hello fifteen minutes before the ceremony, we took them out with us to the garden.”
The couple had been sent some hanging basket floral arrangements from 29 and Graham’s sister and brother in law, and they also had a bottle of fizz ready for after their vows. 
Graham, who wore his kilt for the actual  ceremony, said: “It took a while to get my mum and dad who are in their eighties onto Zoom but we did a trial run with them ahead of Sunday. There was a bit of snow on the ground when we went into the garden but it soon became sunny. We set the laptop on the table beside the shed and our humanist celebrant Susan Douglas-Scott got us to read our vows. We weren’t able to meet her seven days before the wedding to pick up the official banns due to social distancing so we had a holding ceremony of promise in the meantime until we can do it in the flesh. We promised we’d marry next year and plan to have a proper legal ceremony in 29 on June 20 2021
“My brother played Bruno Mars Marry You online and Diane’s four year old granddaughter Scarlett was our flower girl. She was able to wear her dress for the ceremony and loved dancing around her own garden with her pretty dress and shoes on. We popped open our  bottle of champagne after the vows were taken and everyone toasted us from their respective homes. Our neighbour from next door even popped a confetti tube over us from a safe social distance.”
The celebrations took an hour in total and Diane joked: “Because of the Zoom limit of forty minutes we were on a bit of a timer but we managed to have a honeymoon later that night away in the back bedroom.”
Louize Hollywood, wedding manager for Lynnet Leisure who helped the couple ahead of their physical wedding: “It was lovely to be able to witness the online ceremony on these strange times. The couple booked to have their wedding with us in 2019 and contacted me when things had to change. I work closely with humanist celebrant Susan Douglas-Scott who offered to do an online promise ceremony with them and we transferred the physical date until next year. It was lovely to see the guests all have their full outfits on. We muted ourselves online while Susan read our the vows for the ceremony and then whooped as soon as they kissed.”

Diane and Graham Wedding List

Virtual invites by email 

Bride and Groom outfits - Kirk and wedding dress

Guests - wedding attire including fascinators

Flower girl danced around her garden

Humanist celebrant conducted forty minute promise ceremony 

Exchange vows

Flowers from brother in law and twenty nine

Confetti popped by neighbour

Photography on Zoom

Food - Guest Nibbles on their own homes 

Drink - Champagne glass virtual toast

Wedding song - Bruno Mars Marry Me 

Honeymoon - night away in back bedroom 

From Scotland with Love

Tuesday 5 May 2020


EX Rangers striker John Macdonald has been working twelve hour shifts as an NHS driver and porter to help those on the frontline. 
John who played between 1978 and 1986 before moving to Barnsley, made 230 appearances for Rangers, scoring 77 goals, and won the 1981 Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1982 and 1984. 
He spoke exclusively to about his work ensuring that doctors get to see patients in need and revealed that it was more frightening working on the frontline than it ever was playing at a big Rangers game. 
John who has been working from 12 midday until 12 midnight on Tuesdays from the Queen Elizabeth hospital to cover closed doctor surgeries as well as portering during other days said: “I’ve been driving  essential doctors to people’s houses.  I’m just an out of hours driver for Greater Glasgow and Clyde for NHS 24. They tell us who to go and see and I drive the doctors around to people’s houses after they have called NHS 24.”
“It is scary and more frightening than playing in any Rangers game, You don’t know what could happen. With Rangers you always knew that if you got beaten, you’d come out the next week and win again. If this hits you badly you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. That’s the bad thing about it.”
John has been acting as a porter and driver for NHS 24 for the last twenty years but he says his hours have increased as a result of the virus.  
He said: “We have a fleet of cars for the NHS and buses taking patients who are at risk as well. We are covering twenty four seven and they have sites during the day for people to be checked too.  It’s the first job I could get. I was working for a medical company and then doctors took it on and now it’s run by NHS 24.”
He’s also been given some protective gear. 
He said: “It’s changed dramatically. The gear I’ve got on is stricter now. You’ve got to get kitted out for your safety and patients as well. They don’t know if they have it so we can’t take chances. We have a bit of everything - a mask, gown, gloves like the doctors who have glasses too if it’s a serious case. People might not mention the virus in their call and doctors then have to decide themselves.  It’s frightening. The doctors go into houses and are coming into the car to sit beside you as well. He’s hoping I’ve not got it and I’m hoping he’s not. I’ve been saying a wee prayer. I usually go to church on a Sunday but we had a wee service on the  internet instead.”
John who has three grown up children hasn’t been able to see his grandkids during the outbreak. 
He said: “We’ve has to stay away in case. My youngest  daughter  sits on the desk at the Queen Elizabeth booking patients who come in so we are very involved with this. I’ve just been going day by day. My niece had symptoms of it so they are all isolation. I’ve not had symptoms but I might have it and my body might be immune or it might not be as bad. If you have it bad you will soon know about it.”
John who still plays in some legends games said working as a porter and driver sometimes reminds him of his old dressing room days. He explained: “Its all about the banter. I make the banter. Everywhere I go to I think I’m still in a dressing room and give people a bit of stick. I play in some of old crocs games now and we were meant to be playing in June at Shotts but I don’t think that is happening now. Its great to play games with people who were my heroes when even I finished playing. I can’t wait to play again.”

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Daily Record