Chat falls flat

KNOWN less-than-affectionately as chuggers (charity muggers) they’re the tin-rattling terrors who accost shoppers in the street asking for donations. The Diary has some sympathy for them, however, as they tend to get rejected and brushed aside more often than Boris Johnson at an EU summit.

The craftier chuggers are usually able to stop shoppers in their tracks with a memorable line of chat. Reader, Tom Wilson, saw one such attempt recently when a Buchanan Street chugger yelled cheerily at a passer-by dressed in a Tesco uniform: “There’s my favourite Tesco worker ever!” The favourite Tesco worker ever flashed daggers at the chugger and briskly walked on. Chugger/shopper relationships are notorious fickle in nature, alas, and we doubt this particular pair will be swapping Christmas cards two months from now.

Scots revision

EWAN McGregor is scarily successful at present, starring in Doctor Sleep, the sequel to 70s chiller, The Shining. The Scottish star plays the adult version of the wee lad from the original movie, and we hope Ewan got a chance to drive that funky little pedal-car made famous in the first flick. Furthermore we’d like to petition for sequels to be made of every major movie, with a Scottish angle in each production. For example, Downton Abbey, which is doing so well in cinemas right now, could have a follow-up where the posh aristocrats lose their dosh, give up the big house and move into a tenement in Glasgow city centre. Doon Toon Abbey, it’s bound to be a hit.

Hard to swallow

OUR run of silly sugar-coated stories continues with another tale from Deedee Cuddihy’s new book, Scottish Sweetie Addicts and Chocoholics. A contributor to the volume recalls her mother-in-law once attending a concert at St Andrew’s Halls in Glasgow when a woman behind her started having a coughing fit. She turned around and discreetly passed the cacophonous cougher what she thought was a mint imperial she’d found in her pocket. She heard the woman spluttering a bit, and during the interval was told: “That was a mothball you gave me, not a mint!”

Stand-up stands down

YET again the Diary’s first with the major exclusives as we bring you the news that comedian Limmy has a shock announcement: “I have decided to not stand at the forthcoming General Election,” he reveals. Now if only a certain number of parliamentarians (650 in total) would make similar statements, we might get an election result the entire country could rally round.

Blow for Uni

SIR Alex Ferguson has donated his memorabilia to Glasgow Caledonian University’s library. Does this mean the uni is now in possession of Sir Alex’s fabled hairdryer?

Read more: Ten tips on how to survive a Christmas General Election