Obbie. do you have a Christmas wish?‘ simpers the woman from the Mirror. ‘Your adverts are doing very well . . .‘ offers the Herald man. ‘Are you looking forward to being a father‘?‘ the simperer wonders. ‘Aligning you with your bulk. your . . .your. . . impressive presence in the room. one doesn‘t usually meld that kind of persona with an appeal with women . . .‘ fishes the guy from the Mail. And so it goes. the celebrity press conference. All eyes on Robbie Coltrane. comedian-cum-actor- cum-Hello.’-candidate. We‘re here to talk prime-time seasonal broadcasting coups. high-profile BBC Scotland programming. but mostly we get fluff. ‘Robbie. are you a romantic?’

Most recently Coltrane has been working in the States. filming Disney‘s The Adventures ()fHuekleberry Finn with Jason

Robards. and shooting a roving travelogue ;_..-... _

BThc List 18 ocam‘s’cr‘mz'- 141.555.; i995


between Taggart and The Maltese Falcon.

Of all the gin joints in all the world Craig McLean had to walk into this one to witness ROBBIE COLTRANE, aka The Bogie Man. fending off tabloid trivia questions. But does BBC Scotland‘s Christmas drama add up to anything more than a hill 0‘ beans

in this world?

series for Channel 4 called Coltrane In A Cadillac. Despite increasing requests from American casting agents to move there permanently. he remains committed to living in Scotland. partly because ‘I don‘t want to take the children to school in an armoured car. thank you!‘ And anyway. he‘s busy enough here. what with forthcoming Comic Strip work. a starring role in Granada's mooted Morse replacement. Cracker. and a jaunt round the islands with John Sessions and John Byrne in the BBC's Boswell 's Tour Of The Hebrides.

But for his 35th film role. Coltrane is back even closer to home. Robbie Coltrane is The

Bogie Man. Adapted from the cult comic of the

same name. the hour-long comedy-thriller is the BBC‘s flagship homegrown Christmas offering (last year it was the Rowan Atkinson/Lenny Henry romp Bernard The Genie). and sets its stall as a wry cross

with a dash of It's A Wonderful Life thrown in for festive good measure. Given this cross-cultural. dopey. fairy-tale charm. the European and American TV markets are understandably interested. and even Hollywood has apparently been on the blower.

On the mean streets of Glasgow an enigmatic figure is on the prowl. Francis Forbes Clunie is a hard-boiled gumshoe. obsessive seeker of ‘The Fat Man‘ and a mysterious ‘Big Bird‘. and scourge of Culture City‘s crooks and hard men. He is also totally radio rental. Coltrane's Clunie is freshly escaped from the local loony bin in fancy dress: a Santa Claus with an insanity clause. a schizophrenic eejit whose assumed personality alternates between Bogart. Connery and Schwarzenegger. But mostly he‘s the Bogie ofthe title. with Coltrane‘s talent for mimicry milking the part in suitably over-the-top style.

‘There‘s an enormous problem with anything that is a pastiche.‘ says Coltrane. ‘which is you have to decide just how far you’re going to go with it. We did at one time think that we might do it like Bogie the whole time. but then it becomes something else. people are watching it to see if you slip j up. and it‘s a distraction. And also you get

_ ' _J