Thursday 29 March 2018


Gavin Mitchell’s brilliant Still Game character Boaby The Barman might have had a heart attack with 18 stents, but the actor is very much alive and kicking.
He was on top form as we gabbed away following his appearance on The Wright Stuff this week.
It’s great to see another one of our own on the Channel 5 UK wide show.
Gavin revealed that his appearances on the panel are all down to a weird twist of fate.
He explained: “Matthew is a huge fan of Still Game and told Jonny Freeman who I was with in MI High. When Still Game Live 2 was on at the Hydro Matthew even came up to watch it with his wife.”
It gets weirder, as Gavin revealed: “I was in London to see David Bowie’s art collection and walked into a pub on Primrose Hill. I overheard someone telling their friends that Still Game was fantastic and that they needed to watch it. I tapped the person on the arm to surprise them and it was Matthew. He was freaked out and so was I. It was insane, a complete and utter coincidence and he invited me on the show there and then.”
Gavin has now appeared on the show twice but he says he finds it hard to muster up an opinion on some topics. He laughed: “You’ve got to fight against yourself for the sake of it.”

SAY You Love Me singer Jessie Ware was er, worse for wear after losing her voice following her gig at Glasgow’s Fruitmarket.
The Fifty Shades of Grey hitmaker emerged from the Merchant City venue tired but in great spirits.
She had warned fans it wasn’t worth waiting around for her as she had to rest her voice under doctors orders.
However, Jessie still managed a smile as she came out the  venue and walked to her tour bus while inhaling steam from a clay pot to help her vocal chords.
She will return to Glasgow for TRNSMT festival this summer.
YOU can’t beat a loveable doggy and I met a little hero this week at STV.
The incredible Mitch is a retired rescue dog with the Trossachs Search and Rescue team and has served his time looking for people stuck up mountains and under rubble.
The border collie who is now a wee bit deaf helped out at the Glasgow Clutha after the awful helicopter crash.
He once trained as a drugs dog but didn’t make the cut, although he still has a penchant for looking into handbags. 
He’s becoming a bit famous now - having met David Hasselhoff during his panto run at the SEC and also recently starring in a Bollywood Film - Tum Bin 2. His owner Stuart Ballantyne admitted the on set catering was incredible - with a homemade curry each day.

I’ve had a few late nights this week and my voice dropped a few octaves. Thankfully it came in handy when I was asked to do the voiceovers for The Scottish Style Awards which take place this weekend in Glasgow’s incredible Kelvingrove art gallery and museum. I had to try out different voices from smiley to serious, formal to casual and it’ll be interesting to see what works on the night. It’ll be even more interesting to see what I end up wearing. No pressure!

IT was a low key affair as Paolo Nutinicelebrated his mum Linda’s sixtieth birthday this week.
The New Shoes and Iron Sky singer joined Linda and dad Alfredo to party with some of their closest friends and family.
Rather than a Paisley location near their home, they opted to come to Glasgow and took over The Savings Bank in Bridge Street.
As well as bringing him up, the lovely Linda has played an important part in Paolo’s career -  being responsible for signing his first recording contract - as Paolo was too young to be legally recognised.

I don’t really do football, politics or religion but I did have the pleasure of hanging out with two Scots playing legends this week.
Former Rangers man Gordon Smith and former Celtic man Jim Melrose had a quick lunch meeting and bite to eat in Glasgow’s Dhabba restaurant.
Both former rivals are now working together on lots of projects including a new disinfectant business.
They took great delight at spraying their antibacterial foot spray inside one of my shoes, leaving my sock slightly damp.
I didn’t feel right about asking them to spray the other one.
Speaking of their friendship Gordon said: “We used to be against one another but we became team mates at Manchester City and moved to England at the same time.”
Jim said: “We were against one another at one point when I was at Partick Thistle and Gordon was at Kilmarnock. Now we’ve got a bromance - although I prefer to be in less of the spotlight than Gordon.”

My wee pal Gail Porter made a flying visit to her homeland of Scotland to complete some work with John Hartson that had been delayed during the snowy weather.
She also revealed it was her 47th birthday week and had been given two books by her daughter Honey - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Girl Before.

Excuse me for waxing lyrical but...I felt like one of the Kardashians as I popped into Fraser’s department store after hours for an evening with Timeless Candles.
The fab fragrance company had taken over the wooden panelled boardroom to show off their two latest products.
They decked it out with blossoming trees and candles galore and it smelled divine. Scottish born owner Liana Mullen, who started the company in 2014 to create scents for her beauty salon clients, told me she’s had a few odd requests to create candles for different people and companies.
Amongst those she can mention were a scent for Loch Lomond golf club using ingredients from their walled garden and a sensual candle in Black Plum Pomegranate for someone who wanted to spice things up in the bedroom.
Liana got each of us to recall our favourite smells from childhood and I kept thinking fondly about my dad’s cigars when we had visitors.
Her two new scents are at polar opposites. One is to energise and invigorate while the other is to calm and relax. I opted for the Lemongrass and Lavender candle (£35) even though I’m already hyper. Palmarosa and Rose Geranium is perfect as a pillow or room spray to calm you at the end of the night. (£17)

Thursday 22 March 2018


Our chief Lionness Bev Lyons has started a new Showbiz and lifestyle column in conjunction with the Glasgow Evening Times. Here’s her first column!

Hello and welcome to the first of my jaunts into the jungle we call life.
I’m currently in the midst of a housemove and as I don my old clothes and fill up the black bags it all seems so far away from the weekend when I got all dolled up to attend some swanky events in Glasgow.
Mind you, I temporarily swapped heels for big black boots as I traipsed across a snow topped town to head to the brilliant Action For Children Women of Influence Lunch at the Grand Central Hotel on Sunday.
Andy Murray’s famous mum Judy gave me a warm welcome and was on great form as she watched Elaine C Smith tell jokes and sing at the high powered bash which raised over £60,000 on the day.
Judy who won the award last year,  told me exclusively that Andy was ‘gagging’ to be back on court and had started hitting balls as he recovered from his injury. She said all a mother can want for her sons is for them to be fit and healthy.
She also talked about her recent ski holiday which gave her a bit of downtime in between all the chaos but admitted she’d unfortunately been ill for most of it with the dreaded lurgy.
Judy is always game for a laugh and she was chuffed to bits when comedian Elaine gave her a signed copy of the Glasgow Gruffalo in Weegie dialect for Andy’s eldest daughter Sophia.
It’s a pure belter of a book co written with Julia Donaldson.
The former Strictly star, whose own tome Knowing The Score, is about to be released on paperback, revealed that Elaine is an avid tennis player who plays regularly in Mount Vernon Club.
Judy donated generously to the event and also said she fancied bidding for TRNSMT and Scotfest music tickets in the auction but admitted they were on at the same time as the tennis season so couldn’t go.

Jo Malone - the actual person not the product came to Glasgow’s Princes Square on Friday to meet with customers of her new fragrance line.
The perfume and candle legend has launched a new range called Jo Loves with Space NK and talked about how hard it was to take time out of the business when her company was bought over.
She also revealed she invented her new red dot logo herself after designers failed to come up with an appropriate graphic.
She’s back with a  new line of fragrance that comes with its own paintbrush attached - so you can literally paint yourself with a smell. I loved her White Rose and Lemon Leaves Gel with brush attached. She put it on me. It’s not everyday the woman behind the scent is your personal make up artist.

US comedy and Deuce Bigalow star Rob Schneider played Oran Mor last week and was staying at the Hilton Grosvenor. Rather than walk right across the road to the venue he ended up being chauffeur driven from one door to another - less than fifty metres away!

TWO Doors Down’s and Rab C’s Elaine C Smith revealed she might be responsible for Nicola Sturgeon’s recent outfit changes.
Appearing at the Action For Children Women of Influence lunch she let slip that she mocked Nicola’s penchant for trouser suits in front of the First Minister herself.
She said: “I was saying how a wee wifie said she liked her but wasn’t sure about her trouser suits.  Nicola hasn’t worn her trouser suit since I did that gag when she was there.”

I popped along to the Sirens netball team game at the Emirates arena this week and enjoyed popcorn in the box.
It was my first time watching netball and I managed to make an appearance on Sky Sports after singer Sharon Martin who performs women in sport anthem Girl handed me a saltire to wave at the camera.
The popcorn was a sensible choice compared to the slightly odd dish brought by sporty MP For Livingston Hannah Bardell who hotfooted it to the game from the House of Commons bringing with her guacamole and cold sliced potato in a plastic tub. Apparently it’s a great energiser. Yummy?

I met a whole load of little heroes this week alongside boxing champ Tyson Fury,  Dreammaker charity man Les Hoey MBE and generous FSG promotions boss Francis Gilluley.
Amongst the group of inspirational wee ones were Ben Beikie, 8,  from Lenzie who was diagnosed with leukaemia before he turned four and finished treatment a year ago and five year old Sonny Law, from Greenock who was diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2016 and is still undergoing treatment.
They loved meeting Tyson and couldn’t wait to get him to sign some gloves too.
It was great to see the gypsy king boxer getting in shape at the Radisson hotel  - as last time he was here he was looking rough - after partying all night long.
This time Tyson, who was interviewed by snooker champ Willie Thorne, only had a pint of Guinness for St Paddy’s day. He insisted he’s gearing up for fighting again at the end of May, and is on a new health kick.

STRICTLY Winner Joe McFadden was up in Glasgow to take part in Sports Relief with Des Clarke. Joe told me he had fun as the two raced around in cars together despite Des being petrified.  I caught him at the brilliant Beatson charity ladies lunch where he showed off some er, unusual dance moves with Kaye Adams and John Amabile. Joe revealed he’s keen to stay in shape although admitted he actually dropped dance partner Katya in rehearsals for the live shows. Fearful of a repeat performance, he made a vow there and then not to party too hard during the run.

WHO better to run an auction at Woman Of Influence than Antique Road Trip’s Natasha Raskin? The animated paintings expert, who also has a show on BBC Radio Scotland every Thursday from 11pm until 1am, was rushing off to London to record a secret job for BBC’s The One Show. She told me can’t help herself buying tat and recently had a ball when she visited an old amusement arcade to price it up for sale. They were even selling vintage tissues!

Sunday 11 March 2018


Beverley Lyons
STRICTLY and Holby City star Joe McFadden said it was ‘emotional’ as he  paid tribute to his late mum Frances and celebrated Mother’s Day with 400 women at a charity lunch.
Govanhill lad Joe was guest of honour alongside Kaye Adams, Nadia Sawalha and John Amabile at the Beatson Cancer Charity ladies lunch in Glasgow’s Doubletree Hilton when he spoke about his late mother.
He said: “Hearing everyone’s stories really brought home what an amazing hospital The Beatson is. I’ve had family members here before so I know how brilliant they are.”
Joe revealed that his late mother Frances spent time at the Beatson before she passed away in November 2008.
He said: “My mum was here and sadly we lost her ten years ago now. When you are in a situation like that it’s really nice to know that the doctors really know what they are doing. At that place there is such an air of professionalism  and confidence and they didn’t just look after her really well, they also took care of us, the family. It’s a brilliant place and a little bit of an emotional time because it’s Mother’s Day and everyone is out with their mums. It’s a day of celebration and everyone is celebrating mums and it’s such a brilliant hospital.
He added: “I like to think my mums here today anyway.”
The former Holby City actor who won this years Strictly said he’s been trying to retain his physical fitness since ending the live shows. He added: “I’ve just sort of being enjoying not aching, having legs that don’t hurt and enjoying doing things like this.
I’ve got a little bit of physical fitness I don’t want to disappear. It was quite hard to come by. Katya did her best to make sure I was fit so I’m keen to keep that going.”
Speaking of future work he added: “I’ve got some very exciting things in the pipeline.”
The luncheon was hoping to beat last year’s total of £14,000.

Friday 9 March 2018


Beverley Lyons
THEY were known as the Scottish Beatles,  mobbed at airports and train stations and having their clothes ripped by thousands of frenzied female fans, closing down Glasgow’s George Square, selling out fourteen nights at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom, and even having three songs penned for them by David Bowie.
Now, almost fifty years on since their sudden split in 1969, mod band The Beatstalkers have lifted the lid on their incredible encounters with the Fab Four, Bowie, Freddie Mercury, The Kinks and even the notorious gangster Arthur Thomson.
In a brand new book with writer Martin Kielty, then ‘boyband’ members singer Dave Lennox, bass player Alan Mair, rhythm guitarist Ronnie Smith, keyboard player Eddie Campbell and drummer Jeff Allen talk of a five year long period of Beatstalkermania which saw them perform on TV’s Ready Steady Go! and sell out a six week residency in London’s Marquee club before splitting suddenly after their van was stolen in London with all their musical gear inside.
Alan Mair, 70, who started the group at Shawlands Academy with school mate Eddie Campbell in 1962 ages sixteen admits: “We were the only band back then that could match the mass hysteria of the Beatles, actually being banned from venues because of the mayhem.”
Introduced as ‘the Scottish Beatles’ to John Lennon and Ringo Starr at London’s Scotch of St James Club, Alan added: ”Ringo told us to come over and we sat down with them for five minutes. John indicated he had heard of us and was very civil and wished us good luck.”
Filling miners clubs, nightspots like the Lindella club, run by Betty Allan, Lulu’s aunty, Baillieston Cafe Club and Shawlands Scout Hall where they had their first ever gig, the group’s reputation for blasting away the competition like The Yard birds (Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck) who they supported at Paisley Ice Rink, was solidified - but the real recognition from the press came after they managed to close down George Square,  Central Station and even Glasgow airport with Beatstalkermania.
Alan recalled: “We’d blast other bands off the stage - like Herman’s Hermits at the Barrowland. The Pretty Things were hard to blast off the stage, but we stood our ground. The English bands were starting to say, ‘Watch out for the Beatstalkers – make sure they’re not supporting you because you'll have a tough time.’
The band’s life changing jam packed  George Square concert in ‘65 followed quieter gigs there by Chris McClure, and Dean Ford and the Gaylords .

Alan said: “There was hysteria. People were going mental, screaming, and the two policemen there were on their radios calling for backup. That was before we’d even played! Suddenly there was a helicopter above us and the press were there. People were getting crushed. The chief of police said, ‘You need to stop playing. The stage is going to collapse.’ “
The police got the band into the City Chambers, where they had to escape through underground corridors from the 7000 strong crowd of hormonal fans.
The incident made the front page of most papers and Alan said: ”The Scottish press were like, ‘Finally we have our own rock stars, we don't have to keep writing about English music.’
Similar situations occurred at Central Station where the band’s manager was called up by a concerned chief of police who asked them not to depart from Central Station again. An alternative of Glasgow Airport saw thousands invading  the tarmac.
The band even had to employ major security in the form of the notorious Arthur Thomson.
Alan explained: “After George Square the gang thing got really bad. A lot of the gangs were getting aggressive because their girlfriends were watching us and screaming, so they didn’t like us.
Backstage, some gang members would turn up and quite flamboyantly show you the latest razor they’d bought. We hired Arthur Thomson, who was known in Glasgow as ‘The Godfather,’ and one of his associates. For our protection we put hammers, big files and things inside the amps – things that couldn’t go down as weapons.”
“Those riots started going on everywhere we played. In Coatbridge a show was stopped and we were banned. We were paid in advance for six concerts and they paid us not to come back after the first one.”
Recording Ready Steady Go! saw the creative Scots perform first single Everybody’s Talkin bout My Baby alongside The Who, and meet The Small Faces who loved their homemade clothes. Alan said: “They were all over us – ‘Where did you get the clothes? You can’t get them in Carnaby Street.’ We went, ‘We made them!’ To save time we were all using Gerry and the Pacemakers’ drumkit, but then The Who went on, and what does Keith Moon do at the end? He kicks the drums all over the place. So big Freddie Marsden was kicking Keith’s head in. ‘My drums!’”
Signed down south with Decca and then CBS, the boys were assigned a songwriter by their manager - in the form of David Bowie - then known as Davey Jones - who wrote three tracks for them - and they were not impressed.
Alan said: “Ken Pitt our manager brought in Bowie. We were thinking, ‘What’s he got to offer? He was just a budding writer, writing kind of slightly odd songs at that point. Silver Tree Top School For Boys is not really a Beatstalkers-style song. That was a very strange time. He was trying to teach Davie to sing ‘When I’m Five’ in an English accent.”
Davie added: “It was embarrassing to sing a song like that. I felt like Bernard Bresslaw from the Carry On movies. I had to actually act it. I remember Bowie trying to get me to sing the line ‘Silver Tree Top School For Boys’ in a particular way, and I just couldn’t get it. The feeling stays with me till this day: ‘Bowie, I’m going to lamp you. Your song’s rotten. School for boys? I’m from f****in’ Govan!’”
I mean, the song’s reflective of a story about boys smoking dope in a posh private school. It was quite clever – but no’ mah thing. All Bowie’s songs were nightmares. We should never have recorded them.
The management were totally wrong to even consider Bowie as our songwriter.”
Alan who remained in touch with Bowie during his post Beatstalker career - as clothes designer  - said: “In retrospect I like the idea of David Bowie being around at that time – but only with history. At the time we thought, ‘He's alright for B-sides...’ and that’s how we approached it. But Bowie had unbelievable confidence. He would come in and go, ‘I’ve got this song,’ and he’d sing it like he was on stage, and he’d sell the song by being so confident.”
Marc Bolan also agitated the band and their friends The Kinks  during a TV gig in Germany.
Alan remembered: “Mark Bolan would sit playing guitar on the floor for soundcheck. And he said ‘There’s a spider - someone take the spider away’ and we thought ‘Are you serious?’ It was too affected for us and he left the stage and the Kinks were like ‘Get on with it.’ We had to hold them back.”
Despite Scottish success with seven singles  and regular trips to London where they performed well, the band felt they were delivered an unfair hand by management regarding song choices and a jaded Alan admits the theft of their van and equipment coincided with a feeling that at 21 he was becoming too old to be in a boyband.
He had a real passion for making clothes and his band mates also felt it was time to move on.
He opened up a stall in Kensington Market where he had none other than Freddie Mercury work for him.
He said: “After The Beatstalkers  broke up I made clothes and leather trousers for Bowie and The Marmalade, and Freddie Mercury who I met at Kensington market, became my full time manager.  He talked about  getting a band together called Smile then changed the name to Queen. He’d ask me to go to his early gigs because I’d been in a successful Scots band  and the rest as they say is history.”
The Beatstalkers reformed for reunion gigs in 2005 and 2013 and following his fashion career Alan went onto perform in The Only Ones while his bandmates pursued their individual careers.
Jeff Allen stayed in music bands like East of Eden and John Martin while  Eddie campbell went into events management for the Queen, Pope and Prime Ministers. Ronnie Smith became a tailor and David Lennox was singing and performing in various places too.
Alan said: ”We all ended up self employed which was quite funny. We’d all bought flats in Scotland, at seventeen or eighteen years old, which was remarkable really. So that was something. We’d achieved everything we’d hoped for and more in our homeland, which was the most important thing to us.”

Wednesday 7 March 2018


NINETIES Pop legends S Club have confirmed they’ll be playing Scotfest at Edinburgh’s Ingliston this summer. 
The pop band now known as S Club 3  recently released their first new single Family in 14 years and can’t wait to perform at the family friendly nostalgia fest at the Royal Highland Centre on July 6 and 7.
They’re sure to get the crowd bopping away to hits including Don’t Stop Movin and Never Had A Dream Come True when they performs alongside headliners Boyzone, The Jacksons, 5ive, B*witched, Liberty X, East 17,  Five Star, Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers and more at the family friendly fest.
Although in its first year. Scotfest is shaping up to be Scotland’s second biggest music festival with a capacity of 35,000 a day.
Organisers are making sure they cater for all the family with a Kids Zone, Petrolheads Zone and Carnival as well as offering fresh food from local suppliers and camping options from £10 upwards.
Festival boss Mark Bennett said: “We’re delighted to announce the addition of S Club to the bill and can’t wait to boogie away to their hits. As we know, there’s nothing like an S Club Party.”
The band now consists as a three piece with Jo O’Meara, Tina Barrett and Bradley McIntosh taking to the stage.
Tickets for Scotfest are available from their website
Adult day tickets start at £48 and tickets for children under 5 are free.
Gates to the main arena open at 2pm on the Friday and 10am on the Saturday and the venue is easily reached by car, bus and tram.

Friday line up 6th July 2018 

The Jacksons
Les McKeown's Bay City Rollers
Five Star
David Lee Andrews
Tam Scott 
Dionne Hickey
and hosted by David Mutch

Saturday line up 7th July 2018


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday 4 March 2018


Beverley Lyons
SCOTS presenter Gail Porter ended up being stranded in Glasgow after being unable to get back to London in the snow.
The former Top Of The Pops presenter has spent the last five days in Glasgow after being unable to get a train home to see her daughter Honey.
Gail, who went for a hot curry at the Dhabba in Glasgow’s merchant city, said: “I came up to Glasgow to do a wee job which was cancelled and haven’t been able to get back since Wednesday. I love Scotland and I would move back here in a moment.”
Gail revealed she’s spent every morning at 5am going into Central Station in Glasgow to see if she could get a train home.
She said: “I’ve been up at 5am every morning and waited at the station for five hours each day just to see if there was a train due. The staff at the station know me by name and told me that there was still no service. I have a return ticket and I need to use it.”
Gail’s hot water and heating had broken down in her London flat so she was grateful for hot showers at her Glasgow hotel.
She added: “I had to have cold showers so it was s but ifs shock to the system. I am enjoying that side of things here but it’s time to go home now.”