Billy… who?

THE Diary was sad to hear of the recent death of Michael Parkinson, the TV chat show host who interviewed many showbiz and sporting greats, including Muhammad Ali, Orson Welles and David Niven.

Parky didn’t always bag the major stars. He once misguidedly interviewed a Glasgow comedian who was starting to make a name for himself in his native Scotland.

Alas, this chap, a former welder from the shipyards, didn’t prove especially memorable, and quickly fell into obscurity.

We seem to recall that the fellow’s name was Billy something-or-other. (Connolly, perhaps?)

Who knows where he ended up. Perhaps he returned to welding.

It’s a pity that Parkinson never got the opportunity to truly celebrate Scottish humour.

For as the following classic tales from our archives prove, there’s few things funnier than a jocular Jock…


Tricky situation

AT the Edinburgh Fringe one August the play Devil in the Deck was criticised by local magicians for revealing how a complex card trick is done.

Paul Nathan, from the show, responded: “We have run into a bit of controversy from the local magic community. They are grumpy that we reveal how one of our tricks is done. However, they are also grumpy because they don’t have girlfriends, social skills or sunshine.”


Rubbish story

A CHAP at a Glasgow golf club told his pals: “The council wrote to me saying that the wheelie bins should be placed at the kerb with the handles towards the street, and the lid closed.

“So I wrote back asking that once they are emptied could they be placed slap bang in the middle of the driveway, or two doors down from where I live. And to give them their due, they’ve followed my instructions to the letter.”


Cold hard facts

READERS realised how educational the BBC can be when their news website reported accidents on an icy Lanarkshire motorway, before adding: “It is believed that ice formed when temperatures fell below freezing.”

An impressed Diary correspondent swooned: “Who said investigative journalism is dead?”


Kicked into touch

WE recall the cheeky English reader who phoned us once to say: “You Scots are taking this independence thing a bit too far. Now you won’t even come to the World Cup finals with us.”


Feeling beastly

A READER was outraged when he called at his doctor’s surgery and was informed that he’d have to see a vet. When he went into the room indicated a new doctor at the practice introduced herself as Yvette. Leaving our reader to wonder whether he should add hearing difficulties to the reasons for his visit.


Fruity finish

A WHIMSICAL note from a reader who phoned to ask: “Why do so many pigs die eating an apple?”