Chip slip

DONALD Trump: he sure loves a ding-dong, don’t he? His latest ally to wave bye-bye is John Bolton, the Donald’s erstwhile national security adviser. Nobody’s sure if Bolton bolted or was dumped by Trump. Hopefully it was the former, as being sacked is never fun, as Walter McCourt, from Polbeth, can testify. “I got a job as a chef in a swanky French restaurant,” he recalls. “On walking into the kitchen, the first thing I said was: ‘Where d’you keep the microwave chips?’ My boss didn’t show me chips, but did threaten to show me the door until I explained I was kidding.”

Scotland the fake

WE asked for examples of superstars with tenuous links to Scotland, and reader Naomi Parker suggests Gene Kelly. “Okay, Brigadoon was filmed on a Hollywood sound stage,” concedes Naomi. “But at least Gene got to visit a papier mache version of Alba.” Actually, the diary can reveal Kelly did, indeed, visit Scotland before making Brigadoon, to decide if it was logistically possible to film on location. When he arrived, it rained. It rained some more. At which point Kelly dispensed with his umbrella and made good use of his plane ticket back to Los Angeles. From then on, it was papier mache all the way.

Boxing clever

FANCY a trip to the theatre to watch a play that satisfies even the most esoteric tastes? The Pantheon Club in Glasgow is showing Smalltown, which is promoted as including a boxing kangaroo, partial nudity and a zombie in a freezer. To paraphrase classic movie, Jerry Maguire: You had me at boxing kangaroo.

Wrong song?

THE Diary’s current mission improbable is to influence the song selection on John Barrowman’s forthcoming Christmas album. (We’re after the most unsuitable, folks.) Alan Lloyd from Hillhead suggests Fairytale of New York by the Pogues. “The music video includes marital disharmony, police brutality, alcoholic debauchery and cack-handed dentistry,” says Alan. “How about that for a cosy Christmas cracker?” We’ll forward the suggestion to Mr Barrowman, though he probably has too many shiny-white gnashers to portray an authentic Shane MacGowan.

Dream diet

TO lose weight, Radio DJ Chris Evans revealed he sometimes dispenses with food for 12-hour stretches. Winston Arnold boasts he often manages an equally impressive eight-hour fasting regime. “But then I spoil it by waking up and eating breakfast,” he admits.


GROWING old continued. Tom Purcell from Stirling was participating in the pub quiz with his grandson when the question arose: What’s an antimacassar? “Is it uncle Macassar’s wife?” chuckled grandson. He may have been kidding, says Tom: “On the other hand, he really didn’t have a clue what it was.”

Read more: 1953: The Queen’s State visit to Edinburgh