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Sucky Hall, the gore and the glory

As a nipper from the provinces, a day trip to the metropolis of Glasgow was a treat indeed.

Even before emerging from Queen Street station, I knew I'd travelled far because of the funny way folk talked and the strange words that emerged from their mouths. Words such as "Sucky Hall".

I couldn't wait to visit this fabled Sucky Hall Street and my young self was not disappointed. After enjoying the look-but-don't-touch grandeur of beautiful Princes Square and Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street was always a riotous assault on the senses. Exotic pan-pipe bands, bawling street vendors, even the occasional fun fair managed to cram into its tree-lined length.

While it was once a great shopping destination with swish department stores, today a stroll down its rain-slapped flagstones can be a rather depressing experience. Littered with fast food joints and pound shops, Sauchiehall Street's glory days are behind it but there are still plenty of gems.

A new BBC reality TV show called The Street is to feature some of the people who work or play here. Apparently, the Savoy Centre is to be one of the focal points of the three- part documentary that starts on Monday on BBC. I'm quite certain that the centre itself could provide enough material for an entire series as I spent one of the most surreal lunch hours of my life there.

Despite its impressive floorspace, finding this most unassuming of shopping centres is a challenge in itself and, once inside, the labyrinthine layout adds to the sense of disorientation. Despite this, I was able to buy an electric blue wig, have my fortune revealed to me, enjoy the cheapest lunch this side of the Clyde and witness a rather disturbing display of falconry birds in the foyer. It's got TV Gold written all over it.

While during the day the street is generally awash with bargain-seeking shoppers and worker drones in search of sustenance, come nightfall it's a completely different vibe and one which the film-makers are apparently keen to capture. Anyone who has ever walked its length after beer o'clock will know the delicate challenge of navigating the path through.

An unforeseen effect of the smoking ban has been to swell the numbers lingering outside pubs until the al-fresco party on the pavement seemed to have overtaken the party inside. Venture there at club closing time and it's a wild whirl of chips, shoe-less feet and projectile vomit. Perhaps not one to watch in HD, then.

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