Boabby De Niro

THE Diary is intrigued to learn that method acting has found its way to Scotland. For those not in the know, the "Method" is a literal form of acting, whereby the thespian in question (usually a pretentious Hollywood star) opts to completely immerse himself in his character. Robert De Niro, for instance, gained 60 pounds to become flabby ex-boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. It seems Gavin Mitchell, who played The Clansman pint-puller Boabby in Still Game, is also of this ilk. “I had pie and beans for my tea last night,” he reveals, before adding: “You can take Boabby oot The Clansman, but ye cannae take The Clansman oot a Boabby.”

Trail blazer

OF late we’ve been running a campaign to install more blue plaques, commemorating Scottish buildings of immeasurable social and cultural significance. Tom Gordon suggests we seek out the school-uniform shop frequented by a certain diminutive comic turn. “When Janette Krankie first wore that schoolboy blazer and cap it was revolutionary,” says Tom. “It proves Scotland’s always at the forefront of innovation. We didn’t just invent the telly. We created gender fluidity.”

Performance anxiety

OUR favourite Glasgow impresario, Robert C Kelly, has been holding auditions to find female cast members for a new theatrical extravaganza. He describes the process thus: “Today I shall be disappointing women I will meet only once in my life. So basically, reliving my twenties…”

Cutting comment

WHAT’S in a name? Alice Clifford spotted a hairdresser in Glasgow city centre called Safehands Barbers. She was less than impressed with this unimaginative moniker. “Having safe hands is the minimum requirement of someone cutting your hair,” Alice argues. “That’s almost like buying a fleet of double-deckers then naming your firm the We Promise Not To Crash, Killing Everyone On Board Bus Company.”

Ageing (dis)gracefully

CATCHING UP can be cataclysmic. Reader Alan Fowler recently attended a school reunion where the first person he bumped into had grey hair, bifocals and used a Zimmer frame. Alan says: “I didn’t recognise who it was, but thought to myself, that poor fellow’s had a hard time. We only left school 30 years ago.” It turned out to be the school’s former headmaster, who was nearing retirement when last seen by his pupils. “He was actually in surprisingly fine fettle,” says Alan. “He certainly drank me under the table that night.”

Browsing not arousing

WITH the Booker Prize awarded this week, Iain Fletcher is also demanding a gong. For reading the fewest Booker winners over the years… none. Iain admits he’s not a passionate bibliophile. “I enjoyed Ladybird Books in primary,” he says. “Nothing’s grabbed me since.”

Bad language

MORE book bashing. Reader Keith McGinn tells us he’ll never use his dictionary again because the definition it gave for "obfuscate" was confusing and misleading.

Read more: Donald Dewar, man of the people: 1978 and 1983