P&J Column 4.2.16


A steak bake, an Irn Bru and a slice of history.

Ron Cluny, official Council spokesman.

I see that Gregg’s the Baker has opened a shop at the location where Robert the Bruce began his bid to become Scottish King, and has put up a plaque to commemorate his achievements. Well, really. Some other local authorities seem hell-bent on cheapening their civic inheritance with inappropriate commercial tie-ins, don’t they? What next? Perhaps Ann Summers will be permitted to open an Ayrshire branch in the house of Scotland’s Casanova, Robert Burns. Maybe Campbell’s soup and McDonalds could have a cafe in Glencoe. Or perhaps The Carron chipper, inventors of the deep-fried mars bar, will be allowed to set up shop in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital – the scene of Scotland’s first heart transplant.

When I attended a recent conference on the preservation of the built environment I heard that there is even one local authority that, at a time when half the shops on its main thoroughfare are lying empty, is building a massive new shopping centre which will face one of its most iconic buildings, and completely surround another! Madness. Still, never mind. It couldn’t happen here.

Shelley Shingles, Showbiz Correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1983

I was so sorry to hear that Terry Wogan had passed away. Growing up listening to him on the radio, he felt like a favourite uncle, only a bit more likely to quote Aristotle in a lilting Irish brogue, and a bit less likely to get drunk at a wedding. It’s hard to imagine that we’ll never see him on Children on Need again, tugging at our heart strings, coping admirably with everything live telly could throw at him, and taking the mick out of Fearne Cotton.

Nobody who knew him seems to have a bad word to say and there is no doubt he could charm the birds out of the trees. After all, there aren’t many folk who could say that butteries taste like a mouthful of seaweed and still be welcome in Aberdeen!

Me and Tel went way back. I met him when he was up at Thainstone Mart to open the bidding on their Livestock Spectacular. I was there doing a favour for a local farmer who wanted to generate a bit of excitement by having me parade his prize bullocks round the ring.

I bumped into Terry afterwards and asked him if he’d recovered from the terrible thump that Grace Jones had given him on his chat show. I’ll never forget what he said to me, with that famous twinkle in his eye:

“That was Russell Harty.”

Wise words, from a true gent.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who knows the score

When Man City announced that Manuel San Pellegrino would be getting his jotters at the end of the season so that Pep Gorgonzola could take over the Maine Road hot tub, a little part of Old Kenny died inside. Football used to be all about loyalty. You played for your local club and you honoured your contract long enough to earn a matrimonial. We’ll not see that days again. Pellegrino must be gutted. He’s won the League and the League Cup with City, but as soon as Gorgonzola says he was wanting a gig in England, he could hear which way the writing on the wall was blowing.

I says all this to the lovely Melody, but she was unsymptomatic. She says to me, she says “Big deal Kenny. Folk get replaced all the time – he’ll just have to carry out his duties professionally”. So, to help her see it from a different prospectus, I asked her to imagine how she’d feel if I announced that, even though Melody had been doing a perfectly good job up til now, I was replacing her with Hazel Irvine in the summer. I think Melody finally understood, because she told me that if I done that, she’d go absolutely mental. And she’s stopped me following Hazel Irvine on Twitter.

I see my old club, the Dandies, has signed the lad Church on loan from MK Dons on transfer deadline day. It will be handy for the lad to go from one team called ‘the Dons’ to another. It’ll save him heaps of time not having to learn shouts like “Come on Dons” or “Mark up Dons” or “Get intae them head first Dons”. Best of luck to the lad, though. I just hope he stays away from the demon drink, because as we all know, all the Churches in Aberdeen eventually get turned into boozers.