aving headed for the Arctic over

Christmas to discover it was

actually warmer than Scotland. Billy Connolly is due back in Edinburgh in January to shoot a Screen One film Deacon Brodie written by young Scottish playwright Simon ‘Life of Stuff' Donald. Connolly plays the comtpt Edinburgh town councillor in the late l700s whose story became an early example ofsleaze in public life.

Another single drama shot in Scotland is Flowers (it The Forest. a fictionalised account ofthe hysteria surrounding satanic child abuse. Though concem was expressed by Orkney families that the film would re-open old and painful wounds. writer Michael Eaton has said that the story is not based on actual events. His last series Signs And Wonders was set in the headquarters ofa brainwashing religious cult in California.

Another writer-led project is A Mug’s Game font the pen of Donna Franceschild who won a best drama Bafta for her debut series Takin' Over The Asylum featuring Ken Stott as the hospital radio DJ in a psychiatric institution. The new four-parter was

Ken Stott: tackling new horizons in A Mug's Game

filmed in Argyll and again stars Stott. this time as a man sent to sort out the running of a failing fish farm who ends up falling for one of the employees.

While Scottish Television waits to hear if the promising John Hannah vehicle McGallum. shown over Christmas. is commissioned as a series. its hardy perennials Taggart and Dr Findlay return to our screens for another tour of duty. More interestingly. an innovative youth- oriented series called VJs will be shown in February. it's a kind of Why Don’t You . . . meets MTV with a group of twelve teenagers given a load of video cameras and told to get on with making their own programmes.

Channel 4 is reportedly cooling off on the theming idea. but after the patchy Red Light Zone generated acres of newspaper comment. Stuart Cosgrove has put together a season of programmes called the Blue Light Zone about cops and robbers. included in the season is Bible John in which Guardian writer Andrew O’Hagan re- opens the file on Bible John. the serial killer who murdered three women outside the Barrowland Ballroom in the late 60s. Bible John. so-called because of his fondness for quoting from the Good Book. has never been caught. (Eddie Gibb)


orget Bannockburn, Brave/tear!

and Devolution the only

Scotland v England battle that's going to matter in l996 kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 15 June at Wembley. it'll be the only thing on the minds of the Tartan Army come the European Championships which is just as well. because in a group that also includes Holland (Villa Park. 10 June) and Switzerland (Villa Park. 18 June). the team face their toughest challenge in years. Not much can rival the

atmosphere at the first game against the Auld Enemy since 1989. but footie fans will no doubt find other causes forjubilation/commiseration at the

Scottish Cup Final (18 May) and

Coca-Cola Cup Final (24 Nov). Balls ofa different shape will be

flying as a new-look Scotland rugby

team faces up to Five Nations Championship matches at home against France (3 Feb) and England (2 Mar) and away to lreland (20 Jan) and Wales (17 Feb). St Gavin of Murraylield has hung up his gum shield. but he's sticking to the turf in a PR role for the Scottish Claymores. the Edinburgh—based competitors in the World League Oi American Football. who play their first home game of the season against Barcelona Dragons (Murrayfteld. Edinburgh. 2i Apr).

On a wider world stage. l996 is divisible by four. so it must be time

for the 26th Olympic Games. Expect records to be broken with regularity at this Centennial event. which gets underway in Atlanta. Georgia. on 19 July and closes on 4 August. Other sporting highlights in a packed year will see punters losing their shirts over the Scottish Grand National (20 Apr). commentators bemoaning the state of British tennis at Wimbledon (24 June—7 July). dreams ofa hole-in-one as the Scottish Open begins at Camoustie (9 July). and Colin McRae keeping in top gear at the RAC Rally (24 Nov). (Alan Morrison)

fthe abundance of film. music.

theatre et (1/ upcoming in 1996 still

leave you with a window in your social calendar. perhaps one of following could be of assistance. Start with a trip to Lerwick, Shetland. for Up Helly Aa (30—31 Jan). a traditional Viking fire festival involving much drinking and ritualistic longship burning. lfyou‘ve a penchant for energetic leisure activity then get along to the SECC‘s Outdoor '96 (7-1 1 Feb). where you can try your hand at cycling. golf. climbing or skiing. while perusing the boats. caravans and camping equipment on show. Reputedly the largest street fair in Europe. Kirkcaldy‘s Links Market (17—22 Apr) dates back to 1304. and is the first port of call for many of Scotland's touring performers. A brand-new two-day festival the Aerial Game (25—26 May) takes place in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park. with everything sky-related. from parachutejumps to air displays. The

Royal Highland Show (22—25 Jun) at lngliston. Edinburgh promises livestock aplenty. plus fun and frolics for all the family. A full costumed re- enactment ofJames lV's crowning takes place amid much regalia at the Coronation Pageant (25 Jun) in Scone Palace. Perth, while the bi-centenary of Robert Burns's death gets the full treatment at Edinburgh’s annual pipes and drum extravaganza the Military Tattoo (2—24 Aug). The creme de la créme of the international piping circuit hit Glasgow for the World Pipe Band Championships in August. while a variety of music and theatre entertains the crowds at the Traqualr Fair (3—4 Aug) in lnnerleithen. Scotland's largest international flying display. the Battle of Britain Airshow ( 14 Sept) takes place at RAF Leuehars near St Andrews. and features a seven-hour aerial show. fun fair and stunt driving. Christmas once again sees the SECC's mammoth Indoor Carnival ( 15 Dec—15 Jan 97). which always goes down well with festive over-eating. (Kelly McMenamin)


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The List 12-25 Jan 199611