Tuesday 31 July 2018


UNIVERSAL Studios in Orlando could be looking at Scots legends to inspire its latest attractions.

The park is in the process of unveiling its Halloween Horror Night attractions, which include 10 mazes based on tv shows and films like Trick R Treat, Stranger Things, Chucky, and Killer Klowns.

And the showbizlion.com was invited down by Barrhead Travel and Universal Studios  to a very exclusive evening at Glasgow’s Blythswood Hotel to hear about all the plans. 

The mazes, or experiences look amazing and feature fully designed sets that are only unveiled after dark. 

This year you’ll get to see them from September 14 to November 3 and Barrhead Travel has teamed up with Universal to offer special packages from Scotland and the rest of the U.K. 

The attractions open after the daytime park shuts down and there’s plenty of things that go bump in the night. The attention to detail is incredible. 

Michael Aiello, Senior Director Entertainment Creative Development, said: “We’re developing an entire horror maze attraction centred around the first season of Stranger Things. You’re going to be surrounded by the Upside Down and be attacked by the Demigorgon. We’re working with Netflix on that. We also have a maze based around Trick R Treat, an awesome movie about Halloween, and you’ll be stalked by Sam. He is the caretaker of Halloween and if you don’t follow the rules he will make your life a living hell.”

Sam was wandering around the Blythswood and a manger to give us a good fright or two with his creepy demeanour. 

Michael added: “We’ve also got a black light maze called Zombie Exposure where you will be in total darkness.  We also have a Chucky and Killer Klowns maze based on those movies.”

Michael said he was definitely open to spooky ideas from Scotland now that the nights are in their 28th year.

Amongst those we discussed were the legend of Sawney Bean, Burke and Hare, The Wickerman and Bible John.

He said: “When I travel I try to get a sense of the stories that exist in different cultures. what are the things that go bunk in the  night in Scottish lore and if they can become real full blown horror experiences in the States.”

Barrhead Travel, one of the UK’s leading travel agencies, is the only UK travel agency to operate a strategic partnership with Universal Orlando Resort. 

The Glasgow-based business is working closely with Universal Orlando Resort to deliver highly engaging and inspirational marketing campaigns to their customer network. Orlando remains a top-selling destination for Barrhead Travel, who have this year reported increases of 111% in bookings to Universal Resort Orlando.

Dedicated Florida specialists can be found throughout Barrhead Travel’s 74-strong retail network across the UK and will tailor-make getaways specifically to each of their customers’ requirements. 

All park passes, accommodation and tickets (including tickets for Halloween Horror Nights) can be booked with Barrhead Travel online, in-store or via telephone. Tickets for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights are on sale and start from £101pp. Find out more about booking your Universal Orlando Resort holiday with Barrhead Travel:


Explore the hotels:


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Book your Halloween Horror Nights experience:


Call Barrhead’s Florida specialists: 0141 242 1300

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Sunday 22 July 2018


Beverley Lyons
Richard Jobson caused uproar at Scots music festival Rewind when he called Leo Sayer a little midget s**t.
The Kircaldy born Skids frontman didn’t hold back when he told the crowd at Scone Palace about his disappointment after the band’s most recent album Burning Cities reached number two in the indie charts, kept off the number one spot by Leo Sayer.
Fifty seven year old Richard said: “We released an album and it went to number two in the charts. Did we get cut off by the Clash or Bruce Springsteen in the charts? No, we got kicked off the number one spot by Leo Sayer. Ah the pain. Little midget sh**.”
Leo wasn’t on the bill at the fest which saw vintage acts OMD, Tiffany, Roachford, Howard Jones, Odyssey and the Gypsy Kings perform for tens of thousands of people. The festival which is celebrating its tenth year anniversary in the U.K. returns today with Boomtown Rats, Imagination, Wendy JamesUB40Midge Ure and Heaven 17 and Bonnie Tyler.
As the sun shone Richard also told the crowd: “What a beautiful day. Let’s dance and shout and sing together shall we for twenty five minutes of pure joy. You all look absolutely incredible. You look amazing. We were going to wear some Lycra but it wouldn’t fit over our stomachs.

Saturday 14 July 2018


THE Vamps have admitted they are in awe of Paolo Nutini and would love to collaborate on a song.
The Can We Dance hitmakers were in Glasgow and Edinburgh’s HMV today to sign copies of their album Night and Day (Day Edition) which sees them go up against Drake and Rick Astley in the album charts.
They were surrounded by screaming fans on their flying visit but promised to come back soon in their next tour.
Singer Bradley Simpson spoke fondly of his Scottish fans and admitted his favourite Scot was Paolo Nutini while bandmate Tristan Evans opted for Andy Murray.
Bradley said: “I’ve walked past Paolo and he’s like an idol l. I love him. I saw him when we played the Radio 1 Big Weekend here in Glasgow and he headlined and closed the show and it was amazing to watch him. There’s no need to even think about doing a collaboration with him. We’re doing it if he’s  up for it. Who knows what we’d sing. Just to be in a room with him would be cool.”

Monday 9 July 2018


A young Scots businesswoman is cleaning up after her bathroom products were given the seal of approval by stars backstage at Scotfest.
Twenty one year old Alana Taylor from Cumbernauld only began her online business washmestyleme.com six months ago, but she’s already providing her own brand toiletries as far afield as Dubai and Australia.
As well as selling known brand names at competitive prices, product developer Alana also lists her own products like Taylor and Taylor handwash and shower gel and Casa Dolce Casa handwash on her site.
In an enterprising move, she asked Scotfest organisers if she could gift some of her products to the celebrities who were backstage at the nostalgia music festival.
Artists including S Club, The Jacksons and Boyzone were playing the fest over the weekend.
Alana couldn’t believe it when East 17 and Liberty X both thanked her for her products and made a point of taking them away with them.
She said: “I’m hoping to make washmestyleme a brand that is on everyone’s lips and it’s great to receive the support from festival organisers like Scotfest. I couldn’t believe it when East 17and Liberty X thanked me for the hand wash I’d developed with my family. It’s a long process to get products recognised in the toiletries market but this has definitely encouraged me to keep going with my company.”

Sunday 8 July 2018


US superstar Marlon Jackson broke down in tears on stage during the band’s first gig since his father’s death.
The Jacksons were headlining at Scotfest in Ingliston’s Royal Highland Centre for their first performance since burying their father Joseph on Monday.
Putting on a brave face earlier in the day, Marlon and his three brothers Tito, Jackie and Jermaine had said that they were keen for the show to go on, just as their father and mentor would have wanted.
Marlon who proudly wore his daddy’s striped jacket backstage said: “Doing a show like this uplifts us especially at this time, especially during these times. It’s all about having a good time so we’re going to have a Jackson party tonight. We are taking our memories on stage with us. Edinburgh means love peace and harmony with our fans.”
Tito added: “We’re dedicating this performance to our late father.  This is our first performance since his passing so tonight’s show is his.”
The ABC, I’ll Be There, and Blame It On The Boogie hitmakers thanked their fans on stage for their support and prayers.
Throughout the set emotions were high as a video of Joe talking about the early days was played, but it was the performance of Gone Too Soon that proved too much for Marlon.
The ballad, sung by Jermaine  is normally a tribute to their late brother Michael, but the brothers had already admitted to friends that they knew it would be hard to sing it with their father’s funeral fresh in their mind.
As Jermaine ended his heartfelt rendition, Marlon couldn’t help breaking down into tears and put his hands to his face or wipe away the tears. He ended up having to turn his back on the audience to wipe his face with a towel before turning back to them.
Later Jackie said: “A lot of people thought we weren’t coming to Scotfest because of my father’s passing but this is something my father would want us to come and do and perform in front of the fans so that’s what we do. We continue.”
Jermaine: “There are moments where it is hard to sing certain songs and when there is a lot of music we won’t be doing which we could do and we will do at another time.”
The nostalgia fest also saw Bay City Roller Les McKeown pay tribute to late band mate Alan Longmuir as he told fans that Alan will be ‘singing with the angels’ .
S Club 3 and Five Star also played while
Boyzone and B*witched performed at the fest yesterday. 

Thursday 5 July 2018


Beverley Lyons
BOYZONE singer Keith Duffy says he’s becoming emotional as the end of the band is in sight - but he’s hoping family and  friends  including the famous sporting Evans brothers lend their support when he plays Scotfest this weekend.
The singer is going to make sure he has a real party in Edinburgh when he plays the Royal Highland Centre In Ingliston on Saturday for the nostalgia fest.
Boyzone will headline the gig while B*witched, Five, East 17 and Liberty X also play Saturday following The Jacksons, Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, Five Star and S Club on Friday.
He said: ”Scotland has always been one of my favourite places to gig and Scottish fans are just nuts, not unlike the Irish. They like a swally, as we say, and  know how to have fun.”
“Scotfest is a festival show and will be a great outdoor party. Hopefully we don’t get the typical Scots weather and it remains sunny.”
The Scotfest show is the second last time that Boyzone will perform here - with their last ever Scots gig at the SSE Hydro in January next year.
Keith admits he’s already preparing himself for an emotional time but is hoping his friends and family will give him a sense of perspective on the end of the band.
He said: “It is the end of Boyzone and a conscious decision has been made. It’s  not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we’ve been humming and hawing over the last while about what way we should do it.
We’ve all gone down different paths and have been busy. Brian McFadden and I have been doing very well as a duo and enjoying playing smaller venues. It’s been more like the early days playing theatres and halls and looking into peoples eyes.”
Keith said of the split: “Thankyou and good night is what was decided and we have respected the memory of Stephen Gately.
It feels like one last hurrah after twenty five years and it will be really nostalgic.
I’m emotional. If you spoke to a member of my family they will tell you I am quite sensitive and quite emotional. There will be melancholy and a tear in my eye. I’m still coming to terms with it because it is so final and does need to be so final and so dramatic and for us to believe it and embrace it. It is dramatic and final but it is going to be a great party. The Evans brothers come to all the Boyzone gigs so they are invited to Edinburgh.  They can stand by the side of the stage or if they want to go out front they can do that too.”
“When you look at it, we are all grown men in our forties with grown up kids. Although there will be tears, there are far worse things in life like the loss of Steven and my daughter Mia who has autism graduating from school, so we will get over this. There are always different channels in the entertainment industry. “

Tuesday 3 July 2018


Scots Italian restaurant ORO has been named as one of the top seventy restaurants with pizzeria in the world by the Italian Government.
The stylish South side restaurant at 85 Kilmarnock Road is owned by Glasgow restaurateur Domenico Crolla. 
The name means Gold in Italian and it’s particularly fitting now that Domenico and his wife have been awarded a gold True Italian Taste award by the authorities in Rome. 
Domenico who has hit the headlines around the globe with his pizza portraits and use of gold leaf in his cooking, always planned to set the gold standard in Scots Italian food and he’s thrilled to make the list alongside some of the world’s top Michelin starred restaurants. 
Domenico who has just returned to Scotland after picking up his award at a prestigious ceremony in Rome’s three Star Michelin restaurant Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria over the weekend said: “We are now officially recognised by the authority and ministers of economic development in Italy and are in the top seventy pizzeria restaurants in the world out of an incredible 32 countries.  I’d like to thank all our customers, staff and chefs. Without them we wouldn’t have made it.”
Restauranteurs from as far afield as New York to Tokyo, from Dubai to Oslo were presented with their prize by Italian TV presenter Fabrizio Nonis while Michelin  Three-Star Chef Heinz Beck prepared the winners meal.
Domenico said: "Gold plays a large part in our interior design and of course we use some gold leaf in pizza toppings and other dishes but the name choice is more because our food is to a gold standard.”
The difference is our ingredients. Our chefs are brilliant but I do the buying of ingredients like the chicken and veal so I can guarantee the quality of our meat and that it's additive free.
ORO is my baby and I eat here, and my children and family eat here. If it's good for my family it's good for your family.  That's the definition of a family restaurant."