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'At first we scowled at each other' best friends Julyan Sinclair & Gary Coia It was dislike at first sight for TV pair. But once they talked everything changed

Julyan, 27, began his career on US local radio and is now one of the familiar faces of Scottish television. He hails from Orkney and lives in Glasgow. It was quite funny, the first times we met, because I don't remember them.

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We both worked in the STV building and I have this thing where I don't talk to people unless I know them, but Gary knew who I was, because he'd seen me presenting programmes, and he took my not saying hello as arrogance. Which it wasn't. More like shyness, really. He says we used to scowl at each other. We met properly a few months later, when the TV programme The Point started. He was the chief researcher and I was the presenter, and we had our first proper conversation coming back from The Stand comedy club in Edinburgh one evening in the car. And we got on like a house on fire, talking about music; we have a taste for ironic music in common. He's a bit of an old rocker type and we got talking about the glam era, bands such as Kiss, especially the poodley element, like Def Leppard and AC/DC. We also have the same take on life, both being quite cheeky, not taking life too seriously, very sarcastic and cynical. He used to refer to me as a little upstart, he didn't take TV presenting that seriously as a career. But he now openly compliments me on what I do. Likewise, I've watched him move up through the ranks, directing his first half-hour feature, about football mascots, to great acclaim. Last year at the festival was the first time I saw him working under a lot of pressure and he was shit hot. He was really good at getting people to do things, and do them now. I saw him really come into his own then. As for me, I'm not one of those presenters who holds themselves apart from the rest of the team. If there's a tripod to be carried, I'll carry it, and I'm usually first to get my round in. We're both like that, we muck in. We have a lot of professional respect for each other. Our careers complement each other. It's good for me, because if he's working on something which would suit me as a presenter, I'm automatically in the loop. And it works the other way too. We started as colleagues who became friendly but we're now definitely friends first and foremost. When we began socialising together, we discovered that we'd always gravitated to the same kinds of places without realising. We both also started in radio, him in Scotland and me in the States and Australia, and moved into TV, but via very different routes. The more we talk, the more areas of commonality we find we have. We're both the youngest in our families, though our families are quite different. He's got this very passionate, Italian family background. We discovered, quite casually, just talking in the pub, that both of us grew up in the shadow of older siblings. When I was young, I didn't have a name - I was just Cameron's little brother. He has an older sister. And subconsciously it affects you, makes you a wee bit more defensive maybe, and certainly determined to move out from under their shadow. Gary's a very direct person, who'll tell it like it is but also give you his last dollar. I can talk to him about work problems, things I couldn't tell anyone else. I can also talk to him about personal things, which is something guys find very hard to do, about relationships and playing away from home - not that either of us ever have. But I can say to him: ''I have to talk to you for a minute'' and he'll pick up on the fact that it's something serious or important, and we'll go for a coffee or a cigarette, and he'll listen. e's a shoulder to lean on, if that's the right phrase. And I'd trust him with anything. Gary, 34, began his career on Scottish radio and now works as a freelance TV director. Brought up in Ayr, he lives in Glasgow. Three and half years ago, we'd both pass each other in the STV corridors. Julyan was working as a presenter on S2 at the time, and I thought he was a bit of an arse, purely because of the clothes he wore. I'm a sad old rocker, in leather jackets and jeans, whereas he was quite a fashionable guy, in cord flares and those trainers that cost a fiver in the seventies and are now very expensive. I judged a book by its cover, I admit that. But a few months later we were lumped together, working on The Point, and I thought, ''Oh God, it's that arse from Orkney'' and we hardly exchanged two words. That was until one night when the cameraman and the sound guy had their own transport arrangements, and we ended up having to drive back to Glasgow together and found that we had a lot in common. We'd both spent a year in Australia, had similar tastes in music, liked going for a drink and I had to acknowledge to myself that I'd pre-judged him far too quickly. I think he's a great guy. He's so grounded; he's a bloke, a geezer and he'll take a good slagging. He's not affected - some presenters can be; he almost kicks against that. I mean, this guy won a Bafta. If I'd won one, I'd have nailed it to my front door, but he was really unaffected by it. He texted me that night, he'd promised he would, and me and my girlfriend opened a bottle of champagne and celebrated at home. I was really rooting for him to win it, and I thought it was tremendous, he really deserved it. We're not rivals at all. I've never had any desire to be in front of the camera and, because you see Julyan presenting all the time, you forget that he can also write, direct and cut his own stuff. He's very versatile. We work well together and I hope we get the chance to do so again. When we were doing the festival coverage, I didn't have time to write expansive briefs, I'd just shout, ''Oi! Orkney boy!'' and tell him the main points. And he'd always make a great job of it, no problem. He interviewed Tony Benn, a real political heavyweight, at two hours' notice. We communicate well. We're both very derogatory of each other, but in a good way. Julyan is someone I can confide in, and I do, hugely. And he tells me stuff that he knows will go no further. That kind of trust is quite unusual in this industry. We also have a similar sense of humour, though I'm maybe a bit darker and filthier than he is. And I can be quite fiery. If I slam the phone down and turn the air blue, he just laughs. Which takes the edge off it. He's a very sincere, loyal person, and he'll say what's on his mind; he's no shrinking violet. One of the best things is that I know, even if Julyan's career goes massive, he won't be affected by it. Even if he's working out in the States, or I am, we'll send each other e-mails and be in touch. I know this because, even after he won his Bafta, he went home to Orkney for Christmas. I have the utmost admiration for him.

Interview: Roz Paterson

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