Brian Ferguson’s diary: Ian Rankin and late-night calls
Ian Rankin told his Book Festival audience he almost found himself on the wrong side of the law while researching his most recent novel.
Off on his travels around the Highlands as part of the research for Standing In Another Man’s Grave, he decided to take a trip to the Police Headquarters in Inverness for another look.
As he attempted to take in all its features, he was quizzed by a uniformed officer about his seemingly suspicious behaviour. Unsatisfied with the explanation that he was a crime writer, the officer instructed him: “Could you get on your way, sir?” That may have been the end of it had the officer not gone back and informed his dumbstruck colleagues: “There’s some guy out there called Ian Rankin who says he’s writing a book.”
Amid the madding throng in the Gilded Balloon’s Loft Bar is probably not the easiest place to take a call in Edinburgh during the Fringe. London comic Luisa Omielan clearly thought she had misheard who was on her mobile when she took a late-night call. But it was indeed her all-time hero Whoopi Goldberg – after the surprise was laid on by fellow Gilded Balloon stand-up and American actress Caroline Rhea.
Could Elaine C Smith be the new Ewan McGregor?
The chair of the Assembly Rooms independence debate on Monday provided more than a few laughs to puncture the serious tone of the event.
She told how a recent on-stage rant about how she would be voting against independence because Scotland was a shite country went down a storm with a Lanarkshire audience – blissfully unaware that the prominent “Yes” campaigner was joking.