May

29

A Sobering Train of Thought

It was a journey of two halves and the contrast couldn’t have been more startling. I was on the London-Glasgow train on a Sunday afternoon. Having stood on my headphones, I couldn’t listen to music or watch a movie – so the other passengers passed for entertainment. On the first half of the journey, a […]

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May

13

No sex please, we’re Scottish!

Last week, the Scottish Government published a consultation paper on the licensing of ‘sexual entertainment’. In my whole life, I don’t think I’d ever heard the phrase ‘sexual entertainment’ before. Certainly, growing up in a typical Scottish house in the 60s and 70s, there wasn’t any. At the first hint of hanky-panky on television, my […]

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May

05

A Sticky End

In case you hadn’t noticed, the makers of McCowans Highland Toffee went into administration last week. However, there may still be hope for the 90-year-old brand and its 200 employees. The administrators Grant Thornton have revealed that there are two potential bidders to keep the business going, one of which is a consortium of Scottish […]

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Apr

15

Technology and Turtlenecks

‘Oh wow.’ Those words have not been uttered by any critic who’s seen the new Steve Jobs biopic, imaginatively entitled “Jobs”. According to his sister Mona Simpson, those were the last words of the late Apple supremo. After his passing in 2011, her eulogy painted the tech billionaire as a humble family man and loving […]

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Mar

23

Geez a Job, Creative Scotland

The trouble with getting older is that life starts to hold fewer and fewer surprises for you. Even if you’ve got all your own teeth, hair and marbles, you can’t keep the same joy of new discovery – the zest of fresh revelation – you enjoyed when you were young. Unless you’re forgetful as a […]

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Oct

14

“Facts are chiels that wanna ding”

‘Facts are chiels that winna ding.’ That’s a lovely, well-worn phrase, isn’t it? Unlikely bedfellows, Alex Salmond and Michael Gove have both wielded those famous words – ‘dinging’ their political foes with the seeming solidity of Burns’ 18th century Scots aphorism as well as its actual impenetrability. I would be tempted to use this ancient […]

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Jan
08

Marlowe meets Tarantino

Just been re-reading ‘The Reckoning’ – Charles Nicholls’ brilliant account of the murder of Christopher Marlowe. (So titled since the playwright’s final reckoning came about when he was stabbed above the eye in an alleged bar brawl over ‘the recknyng’ – ie who was paying the bill). What strikes you about the real story isn’t […]

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Jan
06

Tanya Richam Odoi

Tanya Richam Odoi in experimental dance film Last year, I met a Scottish musician called James Grant – who fronted a reasonably famous band called Love & Money in the early 90s. He did the soundtrack for my short film Sadie’s Story, and we discussed possibly producing a short concept film built round one of […]

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Jun
23

Just a Northern Soul

Northern Soul dance steps. This page contains links to step-by-step dance moves for Northern Soul dancing on video – notably demonstrated by a cool young Japanese cult in Tokyo! If that’s what you want – scroll down the page. Originally, this post was about a Northern Soul video I was shooting. Legendary Scottish pop combo, […]

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Oct
31

X-Factor? Zzzzz-factor more like.

The X-Factor sucks. A lot of people watch it. Simon Cowell has made a lot of cash out of it. But it still sucks. And not just because I think the talent doesn’t have any. The sheer cynicism of the show has corroded the soul of the old ‘Opportunity Knocks’ format and left us with […]

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