Brought to book

WE’RE recalling the antics of comedy writer and performer, Barry Cryer, who recently passed away. He regularly wrote for Edinburgh funny man Ronnie Corbett, though Gordon Fisher from Stewarton recalls an encounter Barry had with that other legendary Ronnie… Barker, who was signing copies of one of his books at an event.

Cryer turned up with his wife and, deciding to play a practical joke on his pal, donned sunglasses, borrowed his wife's coat and scarf, and joined the queue for an autographed book.

Pulling up his collar and putting on his best American accent, he asked the great RB to sign the book to John Smith.

Triumphantly swaggering away, Cryer said to his wife: "I certainly put one over on old Barker there. He obviously didn't recognise me."

He offered up the evidence to Mrs Cryer, who opened the book and read the inscription aloud to her smug hubby: "P**s off, Cryer. Can't you see I'm busy?"

* DAVID Miller from Milngavie recalls one of Barry’s favourite gags…

A woman buys a parrot for £5, sold on the cheap as it previously lived in a brothel and picked up some colourful language.

Arriving in its new home, it squawks: "New place, nice surroundings."

The woman's daughters arrive: "New girls, nice-looking."

The woman's husband walks in: "Morning, Keith."

Road to ruins

PERUSING a recent Herald newspaper, Campbell Fullarton from Kilmarnock was reassured to note that Dr David Mitchell, the Director of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, has a real grasp of the pertinent issues, as illustrated by his description of Lochmaben Castle, which underwent consolidation work on its walls, which are crumbling.

“It’s a cracking little site,” said Dr Mitchell.


A RECENT Diary tale about Scotland’s favourite celebrity, Nessie, reminds Russell Smith from Largs of a rather ungallant friend of his who was certain that his mother-in-law was paid by VisitScotland to swim in Loch Ness early in the tourist season.

Light relief

A RELIEVED reader recently told us he was lucky that his dentist lived up to his name, which was Mr Kindness.

“I too was fortunate in that my two early dentists did NOT live up to their names,” says Tom Graham from Troon. “The first was Mr Wales, who was followed by Mr Payne.”

Celtic confusion

FOOTY fan Joe Knox told a chum who also enjoys the game that Celtic would be fielding one of their recent signings, who happens to have an Irish-sounding name.

“Oh really?” said the chum.

“No,” said Joe. “O’Riley.”

Religious affairs

THE name game, continued. In the mid-seventies Barrie Crawford taught in East Kilbride’s Hunter High (the alma mater of Ally McCoist and Blythe Duff).

“I think we had the most ecumenical staff in the country,” says Barrie. “Among the teachers were Miss Pope, Mr Bishop, Mr Elder and Mr Kirk.

Creepy Cliff

SLIPPERY song lyrics, continued. When Brendan Keenan first met the lady who would become his wife, she told him that she was bewildered as to why Cliff Richard wanted to "please her chest" in Living Doll.

Rather prosaically it transpired that what Cliff actually wanted to do was: "please her, just ‘cos..."


THE Diary is once again improving that fusty old tome, the English Dictionary, by adding definitions that don’t currently appear in it.

Reader Jim Hamilton suggests "Flabbergasted (adjective) – appalled at how much weight you’ve gained".

What a card

“THE cold weather meant I had to scrape ice off my windscreen using my supermarket loyalty card,” says reader Ian Jenkins. “Only got 10% off.”

Foody fella

PROUD reader Jeff Roach has become a big hit on a vegan dating app. “The ladies love my great sense of hummus,” explains Jeff.

Cat calling

THE urge to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight is never more than a whim away,” points out reader Linda Murray.

Too much tome

SOME wise words from reader Melanie Jennings, who says: “Never read a pop-up book about giraffes.”

Foody fella

PROUD reader Jeff Roach has become a big hit on a vegan dating app. “The ladies love my great sense of hummus,” explains Jeff.

* Read Lorne Jackson's Diary every day in The Herald

Subscribe now to get the Diary, all your favourite writers, including Susan Swarbrick, Teddy Jamieson, Alison Rowat, Mark Smith, Vicky Allan, Russell Leadbetter and Barry Didcock, and the latest opinion articles and letters from just £1 for one month by clicking here