Still Game 

Still Game goes National


Well Still Game made it’s national debut on 22nd July @ 10pm on BBC2.

It felt a wee bit different from it’s usual self and I read on a message board somewhere that they seemed to be attempting to set the scene for the rest of the UK as they had missed the first three seasons. I tend to agree with this notion. I had a look at the upcoming clip of Friday’s episode ‘Wireless’ and it looks like it’s business as usual.

This is my first entry into the Blog and I will fill it up with as much Still Game articles as I can. I’ll keep you all posted

** REPEATS ** BBC 1 Scotland on Tuesdays @ 10.35pm

Sky Digital - Channel 941
NTL Digital - Cannel 927

Robbie Coltrane article Feb 25 2005


Nice Still Game article with Robbie Coltrane HERE

Daily Record article Jul 13 2005



The Craiglang gang are going national - and they won't change a single thing for their new viewers south of the border, finds Brian McIver

THE most successful Scots comedy in years is going national next week . . . but the stars of Still Game promise they won't change a thing for English audiences. Scots comic giants Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan are bringing their smash hit old-age sitcom to the BBC network for the first time.

And the stars who portray badly behaved pensioners Jack and Victor have promised that Scotland's favourite grumpy old men will be as funny and down-to-earth as normal, despite their promotion to the major league of British TV.

As well as the two main stars of the show, all the old Craiglang favourites such as Winston, Isa, Navid and Tam are back, and Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane will be making a special guest appearance after the huge fan begged the boys for a part.

But the biggest change for the new series is the coveted prime time network slot - on BBC2 at 10pm on a Friday - and the simultaneous broadcast of the new episodes across the whole of the UK at once.

The lads are delighted to get the chance to introduce millions more viewers to the OAP antics of Craiglang, but insisted they are going to remain true to their core audience in Scotland.

Greg said: 'Whenever you move into a new arena, like going on to the network, there's always a wee bit of trepidation and you have to just think to yourself that nothing's changing - it's just a different set of people who are going to be exposed to it.

'You have to try to do your best to continue what you've been doing up to that point rather than trying to second guess how it'll play in Cornwall.

'You don't want to turn around and slap the audience in the face. They're the kind of people who have made the show the success that it is in Scotland for the first three years.'

Ford added that, although they both have ambitions to reach as wide an audience as possible, they would never do so at the expense of their home fanbase.

'It will be a new lease of life because we're now into our fourth series. The feedback we've had for this year is that this is among the best we've ever done, but we've certainly not made any concessions for the English market. 'If you're looking at it as a career arc, you want to make it onto the network because there are five million people in Scotland, but 10 times that over by.'

He added: 'The more people see you, the more likely the phone is to ring for other projects.

'But it'd be a shame to go along and write something specifically to get on with your career.

'The Scottish audience have been along with us every step of the way and have brought us to this point and that's why we're not going to make changes because there's a loyalty to them.'

The new series will see Jack, Victor and Isa turn all Murder She Wrote to investigate the black widow of Craiglang. They will also take over a hospital radio station, get 'outed' and help their old pal Winston to deal with his interesting looking prosthetic foot. But the most talked about episode is that with a guest appearance by Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane. The actor and comedian has a turn as a grumpy bus driver who befriends Jack and Victor while they are out on a mischief mission. Greg revealed the Glasgow-born Coltrane got involved after they approached him about helping out with a book of scripts, and he said he was a huge fan of the sitcom. Greg recalled: 'We'd produced a book of scripts and wanted someone to do the foreword, so we just took a stab in the dark and wondered if he would like to do it.

'He called back within an hour and said: 'I'd love to do it. Can you write me a part?' 'We were only too happy to do that. He's one of the biggest stars in Scotland and can play on any stage in the world. He's been everywhere, so it was a real honour to have him.

Ford added: 'It turned out to be an absolute riot. He walked on to the set just like another member of the cast and he knew large pieces of dialogue from previous series, and had watched them all with his boy.

'He knew the individual character traits, and is a very relaxed character and was a pleasure to work with.

'You think if you're working with someone who's got a big movie career like that, they might be a bit starry, but not in the slightest - he was brilliant. 'It's quite scary when he's a big fan, because you forget about the kind of people who might be watching it.' Greg and Ford have now been playing Victor and Jack for almost a decade after creating them as characters in sketch show Chewin' The Fat. They said they have been most delighted with the feedback they have received from older viewers. Because, while they enjoy huge ratings across Scotland, and hopefully across the whole of the UK from next week, they are very pleased with their elderly fanbase who approve of the gentle ribbing their age group takes.

As Greg said: 'We get a lot of pensioners who say it's really nice for them to be portrayed as real people. 'While we do have jokes with Jack and Victor, they're very rarely the butt of the jokes, with people laughing at them, because we will always try to get the audience to sympathise with their plight.

'The response from old folk has been really heartening, I was always worried that people will think we're just going the easy route and making jokes about them peeing themselves and having them half deaf, but we try to avoid the easy targets in Still Game.'

With the new series starting next week the boys are already looking ahead. Ford said they have got four good story ideas for the next series already and they have just finished their first ever Christmas special, which will be shown at the end of this year.

Ford said the secret of their success was based on a mixture of the strong supporting cast and hard work at the writing.

While Ford and Greg's old pals Jack and Victor are the main stars, the support of Winston (Paul Riley), Isa (Jane McCarry), Navid, (Sanjeev Kohli) and Tam (Mark Cox) have become more and more central as the years have gone on.

Ford revealed: 'The thing with the cast is that what you see on screen isn't a facade - we're all pals in real life and have known each other for about a decade of being in this game.

'We work religiously when it comes to the writing, but when we get to the filming we're all comfortable with each other's company and it's very easy. We always look forward to getting in there for a real laugh.

'The only downside is being in the make-up chair at six in the morning and spending so long with them, but the girls that do it are great, as are the costume staff who help make it all work.

'We had the option to do more Chewin' The Fat, but wanted to do something different.

'And when we started to write this, it came really easy and we've been amazed by the broad demographic that watch it - the ratings for the last series were by far and away bigger than Chewin' The Fat.'

Greg also revealed they've a contract for more series of the hit show, and said they both hoped to continue with the beloved old codgers as long as they felt wanted by the public.

He said: 'If myself or Ford ever thought the stories weren't as strong, we'd have no problem pulling the plug and I think the BBC would respect that decision.'

He added: 'The main thing is to keep that standard up, but we've got a lot of stories to tell yet and we love the characters


#THE boys meet Billy Boyd. The lads have to spend all day waiting for Victor's forgetful son to turn up for a visit at Central Station, and end up talking to a young man (Boyd) about families

# THE anniversary dinner . Celebrating their friendship, Jack and Victor go to a posh restaurant for a cup of tea. When a sympathetic waiter offers them a free lunch, they indulge, until the waiter gets fired and they get the bill

# The Canadian affair . After Victor surprises Jack by joining him on his trip to visit family in Canada, the boys see the new world and marvel at huge portions of scrambled eggs

# EVER resourceful shopkeeper Navid, pictured left, suspects something is afoot at the back of his shop and uses his night vision goggles to try to find the suspect

# VICTOR becomes the most popular man in Craiglang when he buys a car by outbidding Tam, and enjoys the freedom of the road until a neighbour throws a fridge through the roof

Some old info


Along with comedy partner Greg Hemphill, Ford Kiernan is best known for his two BBC Scotland TV series Chewin' the Fat and Still Game, which was based on a one-off Edinburgh Fringe play. The inspiration for the characters Jack and Victor came originally from Kiernan's Uncle Barney and Hemphill's Grandpa Sammy.

Ford has been a barman at Glasgow University, trained as a tailor, travelled the world as a marketing executive and even dabbled in telephone chat lines (where he met Hemphill). An exceptional mimic, he is regularly used for voice-overs on radio, including Radio 4's Week Ending and Radio Scotland's Off The Ball.

He has co-written a thriller, Bad Medicine, for Absolutely Films. His play, Don't Start Me won a Scotsman Fringe First award for excellence and innovation at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Ford also enjoyed an extensive acting career, appearing in Gangs of New York, The Last Great Wilderness, St. Antony's Day Off, Ruffian Hearts, Complicity, Stand & Deliver, The Slab Boys and on Channel 4's Space Cadets.

He can also boast of one Ronald Villiers moment: after the rest of his scene with Robert Carlyle was cut, only the back of his head appears in Carla's Song.

In 2001, he released an album of big-band numbers, Swing When You're Minging.

Ford Kiernan is married to Lesley and the couple have two children, Kaye and Sonny. Lesley maintains a Chewin' The Fat site, with profiles of all the regulars and photos of them as children.

Evening Times article July 2005


TV'S hit comedy Still Game could soon be winning fans in America.

Writer/performer Ford Kiernan said today he was 'hugely excited' at the idea of adapting the format.

Ford said: "It's an idea we really want to get going. I really think the Americans could go for Still Game."

Ford said he had been inspired by the success of the American version of The Office, the Ricky Gervais comedy.

He said: "It seems the Americans are open to British ideas."

"The idea is that the two characters from Still Game would appear as two old New York Jewish guys."

Sidekick Greg Hemphill said: "It's just finding the time because we still have to write the Christmas special of Still Game."

Robbie Coltrane makes a guest appearance in the new BBC2 series which starts on Friday

Jaggy Thistle article Sept 2002


With production company The Comedy Unit desperate for a sitcom hit after the uber-minger that was Snoddie (see SOTB 3 If you can bear to be reminded of it) the prospect of a lucrative spin-off from Chewin’ the Fat must be welcome. And on the basis of the first episode at least, they’ve cracked it.
Written by Kiernan and Hemphill, Still Game takes auld yins behavin’ badly Jack and Victor and opens out the sketch into a sitcom format. This was very well put together scripting, with a leavened mix of back story and a gag driven plot-line. There’s a realistic feel to the dialogue and a convincing approach to context. Jack and Victor might be foul mouthed adolescents grown older, but you’re left in no doubt that Glasgow can be a scary place for OAPs, with Jack desperate to get a flit away from care in the community psycho neighbours who respect nothing and nobody.

There’s nothing cosy in this slice of sitcom life, it might be funny but there’s a grain of hard urban truth running through it.

That’s not to say that the show doesn’t have its fair share of clunkers. Especially grating was the virtual recycling of a faux blow job gag that didn’t work the first time it was run out in Snoddie and it didn’t improve on a second airing. One can only assume that someone at The Comedy Unit has a fellatio fetish - perhaps you can get cream for it.

Anyway, hats off to auld yins behaving badly but a word of warning: while Scotland still pursues Euro qualification the show will have stiff competition in the laughable farce category

Chortle article july 7 2004


Scottish sitcom Still Game is to be broadcast nationwide next series, despite fears viewers south of the border wouldn’t be able to understand the strong Glaswegian accents.

The show, about two cantankerous pensioners, is the most successful comedy in Scotland, attracting up to 44 per cent of the audience, but BBC bosses have been reluctant to network it.

Stars Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill branded the corporation ‘anti-Scottish’ for its stance and lobbied hard for a nationwide release.

Yesterday they won their battle, with the announcement that the fourth series will be aired nationally on BBC2 next year, as well as in its BBC1 Scotland slot.

Hemphill said he was "chuffed to bits" with the news, telling The Scotsman: “An awful lot is made of whether they will understand it, but I’m sure they’ll lap it up."

And Kiernan told the Daily Record: 'It's about bloody time. It's been a long wait but we're really delighted that it's happened at last.

“Changing the accents wasn't even up for discussion. They didn't ask for it and we would never have put up with it if they had.”

The duo will start writing the next series of the sitcom this summer, and it is expected to air in May 2005.

BBC Scotland executive Ewan Angus said: "It is a credit to the strength and calibre of writing from Ford and Greg, and the performances from them and the rest of the cast, that the next series of Still Game will now go UK-wide.”

Kiernan and Hemphill originally performed Still Game at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe. Their characters of Jack and Victor then became part ofsketch show Chewin The Fat, before spinning off into their own series.

Sunday Times article July 17 2005


Old ones are still the best for comedy duo

The comedians behind Chewin’ the Fat and Still Game can’t quite believe viewers keep coming back, finds Nick Thorpe

The first thing I notice about Greg Hemphill is his eye-catching T-shirt. Emblazoned with the word “Glasgow” and an improbable palm tree, it bears the colloquial small print: “That’ll be a tropical paradise by the way, so f*** the lot of yees.”
On an ordinary day here in Raintown it might pass as earthy underdog irony. Today, however, sipping latte at a sunny west end pavement cafe in temperatures nudging 30C, it sounds like gloating. Context is everything, agrees Hemphill, who recently offended a holidaymaker with it. He’s hoping his latest series won’t similarly misfire when it makes its network debut south of the border this week.

“The slot’s not ideal,” says the 35-year-old Glaswegian, still best known as the thinner one from cult comedy Chewin’ the Fat. “The show really works better in the winter. If I was sitting watching Still Game for the first time in summer, I’d be saying: ‘What the hell are these guys moaning about? Can’t they just go to the beach?’” He takes off his shades to reveal a mischievous glint in his steely blue eyes. “We ’ll have to digitally remaster the shots and put us in Bermuda shorts.”

Still Game, in case you haven’t tuned in, casts a heavily made-up Hemphill and his comedy partner, Ford Kiernan, as Victor and Jack, two blunt pensioners making the best of it in a tower block in the fictional Craiglang scheme. A kind of Last of the Summer Whisky, it’s commonly perceived as a spin-off from a sketch from Chewin’ the Fat, though the sitcom’s likeable buffers in fact date back to a live Edinburgh fringe show in 1997, when the friends were still unknown.

“They were based on my grandfather Sammy, and Ford’s Uncle Barney,” says Hemphill. “We just started talking about old people in our lives, things they said, and it went from there. I remembered my grandmother telling me, deadpan: ‘Your grandfather will sit and watch those nature programmes for hours. Apart from monkeys. He doesn’t like monkeys, can’t be bothered with them, chattery wee bastards.’ So we’ve known these characters an awful long time. We dedicated the stage show to them because we stole all their stories.”

Like most Scottish legends, the beginnings of the Kiernan-Hemphill partnership are shrouded in mystery. According to which past answers you believe, the two men first met in an internet chat room, a branch of Argos, a public lavatrory, or at a dinner party. “Ford says we met in a bar in 1989,” says Hemphill today. “We used to do a lot of stand-up comedy together.”

Wherever it was, they made an unlikely duo. Hemphill, the son of a chartered accountant, spent his formative years in Canada before returning to his native Scotland to study for an honours degree in theatre, film and television at Glasgow University, where he recently served as rector. Kiernan, meanwhile, seven years older and brought up in Dennistoun by his barmaid mother, got his only taste of university pulling pints. It was one of a succession of jobs he picked up after leaving school, ranging from tailor to travelling telephone salesman, which is how he met his wife and gained the confidence to hone his comic talent in stand-up.

“Ford teases me occasionally that I was born in some mansion, swinging on my father’s electrically operated gates,” laughs Hemphill.

“So I tell him he was like David Copperfield, pulling a dead cat out of the skip to take home for supper. But actually we’re not all that different. Unless you’re born in a bubble and never come out of it and see life, who’s to say you can’t make a contribution wherever you’re born?” Nevertheless, the middle-class/working-class labelling persists. And if Kiernan has a television reputation as the bruiser of the pair, it was only reinforced when he punched a taxi driver in a row over a parking space outside an Anniesland supermarket last year. The 42-year-old was last week “too busy” for face-to-face interviews, according to his publicist. On the phone, however, he bridles at my allusion to his “unfortunate incident”.

“I suppose the other guy would think it was an unfortunate incident,” growls Kiernan, who was fined £3,500. “But from my point of view, he was begging for it.” The row, ostensibly over Kiernan’s use of a designated taxi space when he pulled up outside Safeway, escalated after the taxi driver shouted: “Do you think you’re the Big Man?” — a reference to Kiernan’s gangland boss character in Chewin’ the Fat.

Whatever their differences in background and temperament, Hemphill and Kiernan have forged an industrious partnership and remain loyal friends, known in the industry as unpretentious and easy to work with. Both live in Glasgow’s west end with young families: Kiernan’s wife, Lesley, is a theatrical agent, while Hemphill’s wife, Julie Wilson Nimmo, is best known as Miss Hoolie from children’s hit Balamory. They even holiday together — the men typically working on scripts indoors for two weeks while their wives occupy the sun loungers.

“We’ve always brought out the best in each other,” says Hemphill. “Ford’s got a great turn of phrase — he can pull a line out of the air and it’s perfect. Whereas I like getting in among the story. We bring different things to the table. Ford wants everything yesterday — he’s extremely hard-working and impatient — whereas I like to stare at my belly button and say: ‘Is there a better line there?’” Chewin’ the Fat catchphrases still echo after them — “Gonnae no dae that!” is the enduring favourite — despite the fact that they drew a line under the cult hit years ago.

“The BBC wanted another series,” says Hemphill. “But we weren’t sure we had another series in us, so now we only do a half-hour Hogmanay special each year. It’s about treating your audience with respect. I’d hate for people to say the first three series were great, but it tailed off. This way you’re keeping your creativity alive.”

Both ultimately dream of following Bill Forsyth into the film industry and making a Scottish comedy. They recently fell at the final hurdle of a Scottish Screen selection process with a script about three Clydeside men who hatch a plan to build a rocket to the moon. In the meantime, however, they’re passionate about Still Game, with most of the year ahead devoted to writing, shooting and editing the fifth of six commissioned series.

On paper it’s an improbable hit: ageing yourself is all very well in a sketch show, when half the joke is recognising the familiar clown beneath the make-up, but surely riskier in a sitcom, where believable characters matter more. “I think everybody behaves like a 70-year-old at six in the morning,” jokes Kiernan. “I just have to carry it on from there.”

It seems to have worked in Scotland, where the first episode of the third series attracted 1.5m viewers, making it the most-watched BBC comedy episode here ever. Network controllers in London have proved harder to please, worried that viewers in the home counties would struggle to understand the thickly accented patter — until a network pilot run brought in an audience of more than 3m.
“There are two types of success: the type that gets you on prime time, and the cult type,” says Kiernan. “But 3m to 4m by today’s standards is a big audience share. We’re beginning to feel like establishment. It’s a constant surprise to us that they keep coming back for more.”

Nobody who watched Chewin’ the Fat — which at one point had sewage workers using excrement as face paint — will be surprised that Still Game has what you might call an earthy sense of humour. What’s more unexpected, and arguably the key to its success, is the characters’ disconcerting ability to touch you in the middle of a belly laugh.

“Billy Connolly said there was no such thing as Scottish comedy,” says Hemphill. “But I guess there’s Scottish humour — it’s like Irish humour, Jewish humour — extremely dark, irreverent, pessimistic.

“People sometimes say we’re in bad taste, but I don’t agree. There’s an absolute mountain of gags in there at old people’s expense, but they’re meant lovingly, maybe even in a tender way. The whole philosophy of Still Game is ‘do not go gentle into that good night’. Don’t write off people who still have a lot of life, a lot to give. I think people accept that. Finding humour in a very dark situation can be very uplifting. That’s what life is about, isn’t it?”

Black & White Publishing Book info


With Series Three over and Series Four yet to come, here is an ideal way for fans of Still Game, BBC Scotlands hugely successful TV comedy, to keep in touch with their favourite characters. In Still Game, Ford and Greg present the original scripts from six of their favourite episodes, illustrated in full colour with stills from the shows and with a specially written introduction to each episode in their own inimitable style. The characters of Jack, Victor, Winston, Isa and their pals have become firm favourites with TV viewers and now they can read the scripts and relive some classic episodes that led to them being established as Scotlands best-known and funniest pensioners.

As well as co-writing the scripts of Still Game with Greg Hemphill and taking the role of Jack in the series, Ford Kiernan has had an impressive acting career, appearing in Gangs of New York, The Slab Boys and Channel 4s Space Cadets. Ford says his inspiration for the character of Jack was his Uncle Barney.

Glasgow-born Greg Hemphill has an honours degree in theatre, film and television studies from the University of Glasgow where he held the post of rector from 200304. Like Ford, Greg has given award-winning performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and his numerous TV appearances include Rab C Nesbitt and Only an Excuse. The original host of the cult radio show Off the Ball, Greg says his Still Game character, Victor, bears more than a passing resemblance to his Grandpa Sammy.

Scotsman article 23 May 2004


Why Jack and Victor will burn their kilts

AS IRASCIBLE old rascals Jack and Victor might colourfully put it from their vantage point at Osprey Heights: "What a shower of bastards."

Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, the comedy duo behind the hugely successful TV sitcom Still Game, have launched an outspoken attack on London-based BBC executives, accusing them of being anti-Scottish "arseholes".

The pair, who drew in an astonishing 1.5 million viewers for the first episode of the third series, say the Corporation will only network the show across the UK if they tone down their Scottish accents.

Kiernan and Hemphill say BBC chiefs hinted they should be aiming for "Monarch of the Glen with humour" if they wanted the goings-on in fictional Craiglang aired south of the Border.

But in a two-fingered salute to English BBC broadcasters, the pair, who shot to fame with the hit series Chewin’ the Fat, said they were calling the first episode of their next series ‘Burning the F****** Kilt’.

They also threatened to give the characters elocution lessons to teach them to talk in a Home Counties accent. "Then we’d get our BBC network slot on a Sunday night," Kiernan told Scotland on Sunday.

Hemphill and Kiernan have enjoyed spectacular success with Still Game, which features the adventures of pensioners Jack and Victor, who live in a 1960s tower block called Osprey Heights in the fictional Glasgow community of Craiglang.

BBC Scotland says the show is enjoying the highest viewing figures north of the Border for any programme in the past five years.

The first episode in the third series attracted a total of 1,520,100 viewers, a figure which includes the Friday programme, the repeat on Sunday and the viewers who taped the episode to watch later.

This figure makes it the most watched BBC comedy episode in Scotland ever, outperforming Chewin’ the Fat, which at its height averaged 610,100 viewers per broadcast. The chat show McCoist and MacAulay attracted an average of 960,000 viewers.

Kiernan and Hemphill now want the show rolled out across the BBC’s UK network.

Kiernan said that although they were still in negotiations, they had been told in meetings with London executives that they would have to tone down their accents so their jokes could be understood.

Hemphill said: "I think the BBC are making rather an arse of it to be honest. I’m not talking about the people who commission the show. I’m talking about those arseholes down south."

Kiernan added: "They [BBC London bosses] have implied that we would need to tone it down as the accent might be a barrier across the UK.

"They are looking at a sort of Monarch of the Glen with laughs. It would have to be a flattened out Scottish accent.

"So Jack and Vic are going to get elocution lessons and get lovely Home Counties accents.

"The next episode will be called ‘Cucumber Sandwiches’ with Isa [who plays the local gossip] handing them round, and the next, ‘Anyone for Tennis’. It will all be rosy and we’ll get the Sunday night slot down south."

He added: "It’s a Scottish show. The accents are quite broad, but we’ve pointed out that shows like Father Ted and Auf Weidersehen Pet also have accents, but no one would think to accuse them of being too broad.

"It’s just a terrible cliché about battering up the Scots because it’s an easy thing to say: ‘I can’t understand your accent, mate.’ But we’ve been told in no uncertain terms about our accents. We’ve been absolutely blown away that there’s a belief that they won’t understand the accent, which is utter nonsense."

Kiernan said he thought the series was so popular because he and Hemphill had tried to make the characters as real as possible.

"It has a big heart as a programme," he said. "People really like the characters and they make you laugh."

Fellow actors said BBC chiefs in London were making a mistake in not snapping up the show.

Actress Maureen Beattie said: "I think it is a great shame. I always think of the film The Godfather. The first time you watch it, I defy anyone to understand what on earth Marlon Brando says in the first 10 minutes. However, if you persevere you can understand and enjoy it."

Comic actor Sanjeev Kholi, star of Goodness Gracious Me, who also features in Still Game, said it made his "blood boil".

"If you follow their thinking to a logical conclusion, then the programme would only end up being watched in the west, or, even further, just by the people of Craiglang. That, of course is very thin ice, as it’s fictional," he said.

"There are people, for example, in Aberdeen and Lewis who watch, so why is there some kind of comedy passport that stops at Hadrian’s Wall?

"I have anecdotal evidence that people in Newcastle and Manchester have heard about it, have got hold of it a copy and loved it. Half of Scotland is watching it, so it has been tried and tested. What more do the people in London want?"

Pru Rowlandson, a commissioning editor at Edinburgh-based Canongate books, said many authors had had international success when writing in Scots and it should be no different for TV comedy.

"The accent is not hard to understand at all," she said. "I know some of my friends had trouble for example getting through the first page or so of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, but had no trouble after that."

When Scotland on Sunday contacted the BBC’s London offices they refused to respond to the criticism, saying it was a matter for BBC Scotland.

Ewan Angus, commissioning editor (television) at BBC Scotland and the executive producer for Still Game agreed the show should be networked, but was markedly more diplomatic than his stars.

"I think the appeal is the jokes and the situations, which have universal appeal," said Angus. "There are not a lot of specific references that an audience outside of Scotland wouldn’t get.

"Viewers in Scotland get subjected to Cockney accents and indeed look at all the American films that are imported. It’s time we got some more Scottish accents out there. The important thing is that it’s funny and there is a broad appeal."

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