Smooth talker

THE Diary was sad to hear of the death of Nicholas Parsons, surely the most unlikely performer ever to have trained in a Glasgow shipyard. (The only thing stranger would be discovering Noel Coward’s alma mater was a Lanarkshire coal mine.)

Parsons’ urbane charm wasn’t manufactured or false, as Dorothy-Grace Elder discovered when she sat down to tape an interview with him for BBC Scotland.

During the interview a colleague appeared, appealing to Dorothy-Grace to help with an emergency on another programme. Dorothy-Grace looked despairingly at Nicholas, who in his unruffled and sympathetic way said: “Give me your question list. I’ll do the answers and you can put your own voice on the tape later.”

Nicholas interviewed himself splendidly, and was even rather tough on himself at one point. “A total professional,” says Dorothy-Grace, approvingly.

Hokey heroics

AT the Glasgow Film Festival press launch the Diary stumbles across the organisers harrumphing about the narrowing of choice in multiplex cinemas, where you often find 10 screens showing the same blockbuster schlock. That’s not the way of the Glasgow Film Festival, of course.

But what’s this? Is that a superhero the Diary spots on the front of their festival brochure? Talk about mixed messages.

Lightbulb moment

WE live in a world of wokeness. Or so we’re told. Though sometimes the reality on the ground doesn’t fit the narrative we’re being fed. For instance, broadcaster Paul Coia reveals that his daughters are very woke indeed. “They recycle, are environmentally keen and climate aware,” he says.

All to the good. Though Paul spoils it by adding: “So why do they never switch the lights off in the house?”

We’re guessing it’s because they’re such "enlightened" individuals.

Say cheese

IN a recent article about sweary words, Herald columnist Brian Beacom wrote that in South America the phrase "Tu madre" is a savage imprecation. Reader Allan Macintyre once worked in an approved school in Glasgow where he noticed something similar. In this environment the nefarious expletive most in use was: “Yer maw’s a ******”!”

This roguish slur on the family honour was in time abbreviated to the guttural yelp of: “Mozza!”

“The uninitiated to our little world were perplexed as to why the shortened word for an Italian cheese should cause such outrage,” says Allan.

More loopy lingo

FUMBLED phrases continued. The recently departed mother of reader Jim Gordon had a tendency to come out with the occasional blooper of the bonkers kind. For aches and pains she kept a tube of Transvasin heat rub, and on more than one occasion was heard to say: “I’ve got a sore neck. I need some of that transvestite cream.”

Read more: Lachie Stewart’s triumph in the rain, 1970