PLAYWRIGHT Peter McDougall was recovering at home yesterday after an assault which left him needing 20 stitches.

Greenock-born Mr McDougall, 48, author of a series of hard-hitting TV dramas often featuring Glasgow hardmen, described how he was set upon in Great Western Road, Glasgow, just before midnight on Saturday by thugs with knives.

The writer said he was chased into Belmont Street and left unconscious and bleeding from head wounds. He was taken to the Western Infirmary, where his wounds required more than 20 stitches.

Last night, Strathclyde Police confirmed they were investigating the attack.

Yesterday, with one eye closed and blood still seeping from lacerations, he was visibly shaken as he recalled how he feared for his life.

``There was no provocation, I was walking home with my son, Willie, 23, who was on a visit from London. I noticed a couple of guys eating chips at the corner of Belmont Street.''

He said that, as he walked past, one of the men shouted: ``You want some of this?''

He continued: ``I turned and he had a long blade in his hand. I yelled at Willie to run. He took off into the main road. I ran into a crescent off Belmont Street.

``The guy had the knife above his head. He was close behind me. I fell in front of him and tripped him up. Then the other guy started kicking me.

``The next thing I remember, is waking up in the Western in a wheelchair. The random way this happened was really chilling.''

McDougall began writing plays in his early 20s. His best-known dramas include Down Among the Big Boys, which starred Billy Connolly; Just Another Saturday, about an Orange Walk which won the Prix Italia film award in 1975; Jimmy Boyle's A Sense of Freedom; and Down Where the Buffalo Go.