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Laurent Garnier who’ll be performing at Edinburgh’s HMV Picturehouse

AROUND TOWN Edinburgh Castle has emerged as the most popular paid-for attraction in Scotland, according to new figures. Stirling Castle came second, while Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum retained its title as the most popular free visitor attraction. CLUBS Party people at the ready: the mighty Laurent Garnier has announced a full live show, plus support, at Edinburgh’s HMV Picture House on Fri 2 April.

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Channel Hopper

Dispatches from the sofa, with Brian Donaldson

Ten years ago, something like The Gemma Factor (BBC Three, Tue 9 Mar, 10.30pm) would never have been made. Quite probably in five years’ time, all programmes will be a little like this. Gemma Collinge (toothy newcomer Anna Gilthorpe) is obsessed with fame. With Chantelle as her role model and Cheryl Cole her ultimate hero, Gemma (shouldn’t she be called Bex to make the titular pun work?) has just one ambition: to be famous by the time she reaches the ripe old age of 21. Famous for what, she’s not quite sure, but with the enthusiastic aid of her majorly camp pal Jeff, Gemma is able to numb herself from her realist café colleague Nell who warns darkly of ‘dosing on the stardust panacea of celebrity’. Even when it’s revealed that the sleazeball who has become her first agent is fresh out of jail, Gemma’s unbridled hope seeks to conquer all.



LGBT BT and ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) have announced to help revolutionise the way lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex travellers approach travel, with a new, interactive map of the world. Launching during LGBT History Month, resource ( provides important information on policies, laws and resources. the online

DANCE We always knew the folk at Scottish Ballet HQ were romantic souls. They are looking for your love stories as part of a competition to coincide with their upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. Interested parties are invited to send in a video message of their tale, which will then be uploaded to SB’s website. The message website users vote best will receive VIP tickets to the show. Send your link to before Mon 15 March.

FILM The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced a new partnership with CityJet. The sponsorship is the latest move by CityJet to showcase its route from London City to Edinburgh. This year’s festival runs from 16–27 Jun. Elsewhere, comic fans are preparing for an exclusive preview screening of this summer’s blockbuster Kick-Ass in Glasgow. Glasgow International Comedy Festival has landed the Scottish premiere screening of Mark Millar’s much anticipated work, with a screening to be held at Cineworld on Wed 24 Mar. See feature next issue. 8 THE LIST 4–18 Mar 2010

MUSIC Many happy faces around List Towers this week following news that Chemikal Underground are to release True Love Cast Out All Evil, the new album from Roky Erickson. The album will be his first album in over 14 years. See www.chemikal In other news, The Big Tent festival (23–25 Jul) in Fife has announced the first names on its include King line-up, which Creosote, FOUND, Aberfeldy, the Joe Acheson Quartet, Nuala Kennedy and Mr McFall’s Chamber.

THEATRE Glasgow’s Theatre Royal is to be given a £8.5m facelift as part of plans which include an extension and refurbishment. A stomping ground for such companies such as Scottish Opera, Glasgow- based Page/Park are to design the theatre’s new foyer extension and interior. VISUAL ART And finally, it’s in with the new this month as new gallery Axolotl opens its door on Dundas Street. Specialising in figurative and narrative art by new and up and coming artists; their first exhibition, Life, Death & Sex features the work of young Scottish artists Christine Clark, Sarah Green, Kirsty Whiten and Sarah Wilson, and is on now.

Seeking fame and fortune but at what price? The only person who might be able to keep Gemma’s feet close to the surface is her potty- mouthed nan, played by Gwyneth Powell. Across 11 years, Powell was ‘firm but fair’ Mrs McClusky, the head of Grange Hill who tried her utmost to keep the likes of Gripper Stebson and Danny Kendall in line. Here, she’s looks like she would struggle to keep her own bladder under control. Quite what fate is set to unfold for Gemma in this promising comedy- drama is unclear, but I’ll wager on setback after setback resulting in some sort of victory for the common woman.