Jimmy Nairn

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Jimmy
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Nairn
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Jimmy Nairn

[Start of Recording]

 

[00:00]

I: So, this is Jimmy Nairn and we are recording in STV and I'm Tim Amyes and what's the date today?

I2: 20th?

I: 20th May.

R: 19, no, no, no! 2017!

I: So, we are just chatting. When did you first get an interest in becoming, in fact in the entertainment industry?

I2: Can I, sorry about this, may I stop you for a moment because I just need to. Right, we're going.

I: OK?

R: Well, if you want me to go right back to the beginning, I really wanted to be a drummer in a dance band but I wasn't a very good drummer although I was, I did play a lot and then I got involved in amateur drama by my father. My father said to me Norrie Sinclair will do it, will you do it? And I didn't want to do it but I did it and I found that I quite liked it and then I got pretty fed up with amateur actors and I decided if I'm going to do this, I'm going to go and learn to do it properly so I went to the Drama College and I spent three years there and it was most exciting! Absolutely wonderful!

I: Which college is this?

R: The Drama College in Glasgow, which is now the Conservatoire but it wasn't the Conservatoire then! It was the Drama College and there were people like Ian Richardson and oh gosh, I can't remember all the names of the people that were there at the same time as me but John Grieve, I can't remember the names of all the other people that were there at that time.

I: And did they have...

R: Mary Mackworth, Mary Cockey as she was then. Do you remember Mary Mackworth?

I: Yes. And was there any attempt at giving you experience in television and radio?

R: No. Radio, yes, I did, yes, I did quite a lot of broadcasting. You were taken up to the, or, you were offered, wanted students to go and make noises and just to get used to being a radio student, in a radio studio. But television was just not discussed. Not thought of. I mean this is 1953 to 1956 so, you know, television was something that happened in London and there was nothing up here.

I: So how did you hear about STV?

R: I heard about STV, I had finished, I went to the, when I graduated from the College, I won what was called the Radio Competition, it was a competition where we had to put together a piece with various voices and I had done that and I won it and I was surprised to win it because Gwyneth Guthrie was there and she was a very good radio broadcaster but, anyway, I was lucky enough to win that. And I also won a contract at the Citizens' Theatre so I went to the Citizens' Theatre for a year and loved it and worked with Fulton Mackay and Johnnie Grieve and...

I: Ian Dalgleish?

R: Who?

I: Ian Dalgleish?

R: No, no, I then, but I knew Ian Dalgleish. He wasn't in the Citizens' but I met him in the street one day and he said to me, "They're looking for an Announcer in STV." I said, "Well, I don't want to be an Announcer! I've decided to go to Perth!" And he said, "Yeah, but you're idle at the moment!" Which was true because when your contract, when the season finished at the Citizens', the next season didn't - which was the end of June, I think - the next season didn't start until September so you had no work and you were signing on and I said, "OK, well I'll come and do it." So I went and did it and there were dozens of people there and it just went on and then they sent us all home and told me to come back the next day so I came back and to compress the whole story into some brevity, Arthur Montford was hired on that day as the Sports Broadcaster, Jack Webster was hired as the Newscaster and I was hired as the Station Announcer and I was told to go and see Mr Thomson. Now, Mr Thomson was the man that owned it all and I had heard of Ray Purdie, who was Director of Programmes, but I'd never heard of Mr Thomson. Well, I'd heard of him but just vaguely. I hadn't realised how powerful he was and he said, "Jim, I like what you do but could you be more Scottish?" I said, "I've spent my life trying to get rid of my Scottish accent and now I have it back! Thank you very much, it won't be difficult!" And he said, "We don't pay a lot but the pay will be sixteen pounds a week." Now, remember, at the Citizens' I was on 6/10 a week and now I was on sixteen pounds so this was a huge rise! So, I said, "Thank you very much! I'll start tomorrow." And then I started and the next day a man called Alex McCrindle who was the Equity Deputy, no, the senior Equity man, he was the Equity Chief at the time, came and said, "How much has he offered you, Jim?" and I said, "Sixteen pounds." And he said, "It'll not do!" And I said, "Wait a minute! I've just told Perth that I'm not coming and you're saying that I can't!" However, to cut a long story short, he finally got me my twenty pounds a week and that's what I started at! Wow!

[07:07]

And so, I went on and then the first job I did was the Opening Night and I had to introduce James Robertson Justice who was going to be the principal person on that programme. The programme was kind of built around him, he was the principal presenter, as it were. And so I introduced him and the programme went on and at the end I was supposed to do a voice-over captions which was a kind of thing of the time but it was late and so, the captions ran, so I got as far as "James Robertson Justice and Deborah Kerr as..." and that was it and away it went. It just ripped up and so, that was the end of that and that was my first day and, having finished that, I was sent down to the booth and I went into the booth which was where we did the continuity announcing and I seemed to spend the next few years there but it wasn't as long as that!

I: How much training did everyone get before they started?

R: Well, when I started, which was, I think, early August, I can't remember the exact date but the people there were learning as they went along. The cameramen, for example, had been stills cameramen in newspapers I think and various different things and one of them, whose name I remember clearly (I remember a lot of their names) but one of them was David Bell. Now, David Bell was a cameraman I'm pretty certain and then he became a Floor Manager and then he became a Director and then he went to another television place, company, and then went to London and did the Stanley Baxter shows so he was learning to push these huge cameras about! Not little cameras like you have nowadays but they were big, heavy pieces of machinery to be pushed about and the Directors were all, there was only one Director that I could remember who was a man called Lorne Freed who came from Canada and had been brought over by Ray Purdie, I think, and he was a very nice chap but he didn't stay very long but he was the only person who had any experience as far as I remember, of television. He was the only Director who knew, the rest were all learning as they went along!

I: Did it show?

R: Well, I suppose it did show! I don't know how, yes, I don't know how rough it was around the edges but pretty rough to begin with I don't think there was any doubt about that!

I: And you were on camera as well so you learnt the scripts?

R: Well, the problem was the scripts were written by Eddie Boyd. I have to remember names and Eddie Boyd was a brilliant scriptwriter but he was writing The One O'Clock Gang as a kind of Americanised version, as he did with Daniel Pike and Roddy McMillan did that brilliantly. He was a brilliant writer, Eddie, but the stuff that he was writing was quite difficult for us to remember every day! We had to learn a new one every day and it was live so, I mean, there wasn't much room for mistakes!

I: This was The One O'Clock Gang?

R: The One O'Clock Gang, yes, I'm sorry. And when we really got going Larry Marshall suddenly forgot the script completely and started adlibbing and, from then onwards, The One O'Clock Gang was very largely adlibbed although we had a kind of formula, you know. There was the school, for example, and there were some terrible jokes in that, you know! I was the teacher and I would say, "Take out your pencils, children!" And Marshall would say, "I have nane pencil." And I would say, "That's not correct! I have no pencil. We have no pencils. You have no pencils. They have no pencils!" "Whose got all the pencils?!" That was the standard of the jokes that we had! But we learned these kind of things and you just slipped them in from time to time.

I: And how long did, The One O'Clock Gang was the first programme that you were involved in after the Opening?

R: After the Opening, yes. It was The One O'Clock Gang which was on the Monday. I think it was a Saturday night. I'm almost certain it was a Saturday night that was the Opening Show and The One O'Clock Gang was on the Monday at one o' clock.

[13:00]

Oh, but in between, are you interested to hear, in between I went to London to do the station Idents. This is my claim to be the first voice on radio and I had to go down to London and it was the first time I'd been on an aeroplane and I flew down to London and went in to a huge, big studio with Geraldo and His Orchestra and they did what we called the Station Idents and it was ta-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah dah-dah-dah! And then I said, "This is Scotland!" and I did it with all sorts of little tunes and these were used for a long time afterwards and then I was taken round to the offices of ITV to see how News was done because I would be reading the News as well. Well, not often but from time to time you had to do it and they just kind of jeered at me and sort of said, "You only know Robert McDougall! You haven't seen proper News yet!" But anyway, so, that left me feeling very inferior but not quite!

I: And did you have to learn all your scripts?

R: I had to learn the scripts to begin with but then, later on, when I did other programmes such as Jig Time they allowed me Autocue, which, in these days, and modern people will not know what I'm talking about, Autocue was a square box with a paper, I don't know what you would call it, a long paper, one-inch letters and it turned up and it constantly stuck, of course, which was very frustrating! But the autocue ones were absolutely marvellous but they had to go and get our scripts. This is not The One O'Clock Gang because they never had scripts. They had, if I was doing, I did a programme called Star Feature which was a film programme and that was all autocued and it was written (and I'm going to be struggling here), it was written by a chap called, oh my goodness! He was a good friend too! A brilliant writer!

I: Did you have an input into the writing or were you just given it and said, "Read this!"

R: No, no, not quite! I was allowed to do it but I was lazy. I was quite lazy! I mean, he wrote great, Len, Len, Lennie! Not Gus Lennie, Gus Lennie was an actor. It doesn't matter. And it wasn't Barclay Lennie who was a dealer in paintings but it was his cousin. Angus Lennie? No? It doesn't matter! But he wrote the scripts and they were very good. That was the first time, at this time there were lots of new tricks coming on and Directors all loved tricks! Directors just loved tricks and so they were doing all sorts of things. Instead of just giving us rehearsal time they were putting in all the new things that they had to play with and Gerry Le Grove, who was Director of Programmes at the time, and who had thought up the Star Feature idea and who had given it to me, just stuck a camera, as you're doing, and I had Autocue and I just read it off. I had already discussed it, of course, with Angus Lennie. Not Angus Lennie, with Barclay Lennie, no! Ahh! But I had discussed it with the writer and so we did it from there and it was very good. Good notices I was glad to say!

[17:30]

I: So, you were doing both continuity and you were doing announcing?

R: Oh yes!

I: Announcing as well?!

R: Oh yeah! Yes. But once I went on, off the staff, I don't think I had to do the continuity booth but while I was on the staff I had to do continuity as required, which was very awkward because Arthur Montford had, was just newly married and he was always making an excuse, "Would you, if you do my continuity today, I'll do yours tomorrow!" sort of thing but he, you know, anyway! And so we did that. I was engaged to my wife and, to the lady who is now my wife and has been for sixty years and Jack Webster had a car and he bribed me with the car! "I'll let you have the car to go and see Irene if you'll do my continuity!" So, I did quite a lot of continuity slots for everybody! Which was just sitting there and waiting for something to break down and then you had to say, "Well, why don't you watch this tomorrow!" and so and so forth! Whatever else you did.

I: And what was the longest time you ever filled in?

R: I would have thought a minute, maybe, not much more. I didn't have any particularly difficult ones. I know that Tony Currie had some long but that was later on in life.

I: And Roy Thomson, who started STV, was there all the time? Roy Thomson was there all the time?

R: Yes. He went to London, of course, because he had bought The Times while we were there. He bought The Times, I think, off the back of The One O'Clock Gang, now that might be wrong! But previous stations, Independent television stations which had opened, had failed, had had a requirement, I think, to produce a programme in the middle of the day. They'd all tried it and none of them had been a success. The One O'Clock Gang was a success! And, as far as I know, salesmen were beating a door, a path to The One O'Clock Gang door because it would be cheaper to advertise and there was a big audience and the audience was largely women and children. I mean, it was, and it was a very kind of local audience, you know, and everybody, it was either loved or hated and then, or maybe round about, the Provost of Glasgow hated it and said so publically several times! Kelly. But other people loved it and so, fortunately, it went on for six years I think.

I: And, at the same time, you were working on other programmes?

R: Yes. You did The One O'Clock Gang. I went in for rehearsals in the morning and then we did the show and then we had a rehearsal in the afternoon to see what we were going to do the next day and then if I was doing Jig Time I stayed on and I worked (it was usually on a Friday, I think) and I worked on until 10 o' clock at night or whenever it was finished and then I was back in the next morning and at the time I was doing I'll Buy That which, all I did there was just sit in a booth and just said, "This is a black object."

I: What's the format of I'll Buy That?

R: Well, I can't remember!

I: Don't worry!

R: It was instantly forgettable but it didn't work very well but Cliff Hanley was in it but he was very funny.

I: A quiz programme?

R: A quiz programme, yes, and it was something like, "What is this object that I'm holding up?" and I would read out the name of the object - "It's a cup of coffee" or something like that - and they would have to guess what it was but I can't really remember. I'll Buy That was the thing but I can't really remember much about it. All I know is that I sat up and read out what I was told to read out when I was told to read it out!

I: And this was live?

R: Oh yes, everything was live! [22:24] I have never done television before now that wasn't live. No! I think the, oh no, I think the 25th Anniversary programme was recorded but, before then, when I was working on television it was all live.

I: And that created a family within STV of people?

R: Yes.

I: There was a strong bond between them all?

R: Yes there was. Yes, there was a very strong bond. We were all part of, we were all learning the thing as we went on. I mean, it really was in its infancy! I mean, television was in its infancy but programme making was in its infancy and I mean, people with whom I had been at College with, like Liam Hood, became Director of Programmes. Not Director of Programmes, I think it was Head of Light Entertainment or something like that and Brian Marney - there's a name I've come out with! I don't know where that came! Brian Marney! He was a very talented bloke and there were all sorts of people involved. And we were all, we all knew that we were creating something that was quite unusual. I mean, when I went in to the studio in the morning there would be a queue outside Hope Street to get in to The One O'Clock Gang because the public were allowed in at one o' clock and Larry Marshall spoke to somebody and people were quite, they were queuing up to get in and that went on, I think, pretty well all the time and we had big fan mail and so on. When my first son was born I got presents from people! You know, the public were great! The public is great I should say!

I: And did you meet any of the other, the sales staff that were involved in selling advertising?

R: Yes. Yes, well, I mean we knew the salesmen, people like Bill Brown and Ian, Ian Haig, no, Ian Hay? No, no. Sorry!

I: Not to worry. But Bill Brown sticks in your memory?

R: I remember Bill Brown being a salesman and, I think, he subsequently became Managing Director so these were all people who, as you might say in Glasgow parlance, came in off the street. You know, people, nobody had sold television time before, they were advertising people! They knew how to sell adverts but selling time was quite unusual. Oh, I did, I did, what do you call a programme that sells an advert? What do you call...?

I: Nothing but adverts! Half an hour of adverts! Oh, what were they called?!

R: Yes! Oh, anyway, I did one of them for The People on Sunday and I used to interview footballers and say, "Tell me all the stories! All that's happening inside Rangers!" And inside Celtic and so on. And they said, "You'll read it all in The People on Sunday!" and so that was great and they took me down to London with my wife and we stayed in a hotel and they were, I had never experienced anything as exciting as this and I got as much for doing an advert, a one-minute advert, as I did for doing a week's programme on The One O'Clock Gang! And Star Feature, probably, thrown in but there you are! But that was, but I mean I was very grateful for it and it was very exciting.

I: So we've got Jig Time, One O'Clock Gang...

I2: Are we just taking a break?

R: Well I'm very happy to have a break!

[27:37]

I: How are we doing?

I2: We're recording.

I: We're recording?! I mean can you remember, which Directors can you remember then?

R: Hmm?

I: Which Directors can you remember who you worked with when you were at STV?

R: All of them! All of them. Where were my Directors? Now.

I: Brian Marney?

R: Brian Marney. I think Brian Marney was a Floor Manager to begin with. I think so. I was offered training as a Director when it was coming towards the end but I thought television wasn't for me. My wee business that I'd started was beginning to go and could afford me very little but nevertheless.

I: So, if we go back to The One O'Clock Gang, if we may, who were the stars of The One O'Clock Gang who you actually met and introduced?

R: Well, I didn't introduce them, Marshall saw to that. We were nae allowed near them! That's not strictly true, I mean we knew them! Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine, I mean they were, Johnny Dankworth was my big hero! He was a fantastic musician and Cleo Laine! I mean, I went, the Beatles! I introduced, Lulu, I'll tell you, I don't know whether it's a story! I was, I had to introduce Lulu. Now I was standing in the wings waiting for (I don't know whether this is a story worth hearing) and she said, "You know, Jimmy, I have done...", what was the, in London, six o' clock, what was the programme at six o' clock? Oh, everybody was on it!

I: Nationwide?

R: No, no, there was a programme at six o' clock at night which all sorts of people were on. She said, "I've done lots of London television and getting on The One O'Clock Gang is the most important to my Grannie!" Now that's true! And I remember that and she was just a nice, wee lassie!

I: Why was The One O'Clock Gang stopped?

R: Because the radio doctor whose name was, what was his name? The radio doctor, Dr....was on the Board of the renewing of the license and he said "This is parochial rubbish!" or something of the sort! "This is far too parochial!"

I: Were you there when he came in?

R: No. Oh yes, I was there, I was on the show but I didn't know he was there and he said, "Get it off!" And the Managing Director at that time was a man called Stevenson, who was also Director, Noel Stevenson! There you are! Christ! They are coming out of the trapdoors here! Noel Stevenson. And he gave us all an extra programme for three months. He said, "You've been with us for a long time, you deserve some kindness from STV!" And he gave us all a three months programme to allow us to organise our lives after The One O'Clock Gang and I did one with a woman.

I: Doesn't matter!

R: It does nae matter! Elaine Wells! Christ!

I: So, what was this about?

R: And I did that for three months. I think it was called This is Scotland or something like that. Visit Scotland? Vision on Scotland! There you are! Vision on Scotland it was. And there was one very interesting part about that. I had to interview a painter called Mary Armour and before we started she said, "I don't like you!" "Oh!", I said, "What have I done?! I've never met you before!" She said, "No! But you married my best painting student for years and she hasn't painted since!" I said, "Well, that's no' my fault!" And I've been trying to persuade her to paint ever since because I could live in comfort if she was painting! But she won't paint now, she just does gardening!

I: So, what was...

R: Are we on again?

I: Yes, we're on again! [33:10] What was the progression of programmes, then, before you left? The One O'Clock Gang, Jig Time...

R: Well, yes, The One O'Clock Gang and then there was this other programme called Vision on Scotland, I think it was called and then that was it. I mean, we finished. Oddly enough, on the last day that I was in STV doing a programme and I was finished after that, I had been called up to see, what's the name of the man who took over from Gerry Le Grove, he was a wee chap? He was Director of Programmes. He had done...

I2: David Johnstone?

I: David Johnstone?

R: No, no, I knew David Johnstone. No, he came up from London. He had done the Mills St. Martin programme. Anyway, and he called me in and said, "I can't see any future for you here!" so, I thought, 'well, that's alright then! We know where we stand!' But when I went in - I'm 6ft 1 and he was about 5ft 4 or something like that and I thought, 'I haven't much chance here!' and he sat all the time. However, and that was it. When I left STV the only person who said goodbye to me was the doorman who was a former policeman and a very nice man, Mr, oh, I've forgotten his name, too! But he was a very nice man.

I: Do you look back with happy memories?

R: Oh yes! I think I owe STV a great deal. A lot of things came out of it. I had earned much more money than I would have as an actor although it was, the wages they paid were much lower than other people were paying but, nevertheless, they were much more than you would get as an actor. Actors are very poorly paid! I don't know whether they are now, I mean, they are now trained at the School of Mumbling but we were trained differently! And we were, actors were poorly paid, I mean, Fulton Mackay, he was Principal Actor, or a principal actor in Citizens' Theatre doing television and films and other things, was on twelve pounds a week! I mean, people were not highly paid as actors and so this enabled me to save some money and I've always been a saver!

I: How many people from the Cit's actually came in to STV?

R: How many people from the Cit's can I remember?

I: Who went into STV. Was it a training ground?

R: I don't think any!

I: Except yourself?!

R: I can't think of any. Certainly none of my year. I mean, some of them, Roddy McMillan and Johnnie Grieve went in to BBC and did the Boat thing - what's it called?

I2: Para Handy?

I: Yes!

R: Para Handy, yes, thank you very much! But they didn't go into STV that I know of. Of the Company that was there when I was there, I can't remember any of them. A lot of them were London actors and they went back to London of course at the end of the season because what happened was, the year I was there the Director was a man called Richard Matthews and he had a 'company', as it were, round about him and that company were mostly English actors, except from Willie Carr who was not an English actor, and they went down to London and then the Scottish actors mostly went down to London too. Full time, I think, went down to London then too. Certainly Roddy did but Roddy came back and Roddy did that programme that I told you, The View from Daniel Pike, which was written by Eddie Boyd and that was a brilliant programme!

I: But you were producing, STV was producing no Drama at that time?

R: No. Not that I know of! There were dramas but mostly they were behind scenes!

I: And what's the best one?!

R: The best one was we were doing The One O'Clock Gang one day and the curtain, there was a safety curtain, it was done, remember, on, the studio was the former stage of the Theatre Royal in Glasgow and the safety curtain was governed by hydraulics which were governed by the Water Board or somebody like that and at the start of the rehearsals the safety curtain started to come down and we were going on and people were lowering the cameras to try and get us and then, finally, we had to do the whole show in front of tabs because the curtain came down and, I mean, we had no control over it! I don't know how they got it back up! I don't know whether hydraulic jacks or something but it just came down! That was the sort of thing you had, and because it was live of course, that helped us because I think we made a play of it and said, "The curtain's coming down and there's nothing we can do about it!"

I: And was the Theatre Royal a good set, a good premises for a studio?

R: I think it was OK. It was an old theatre and gave a theatrical atmosphere and you, I mean people like me felt at home there. Oddly enough, I had worked in a lot of theatres in Glasgow with Duncan Macrae. I was with the Duncan Macrae company for a while. We worked in The Kings and I had previously worked in, or, no, it was later on I worked in The Pavilion and so on.

[40:18]

I: And what happened to your life after you left STV?

R: Well, while I was in STV I was getting a bit anxious about what would happen when it finished because I knew it would finish and I was sufficiently pragmatic to realise that I would be hunting for work! While I was fairly well-known, I didn't have anything that there weren't other people who had, I felt, and an opportunity had arisen to start a business in shipping which is where I had trained before. I mean, I didn't become a student until I was twenty-five and so I had been quite senior in a shipping company before and had enjoyed it. People often said to me, "Oh, I bet you're glad to be out of shipping!" And I said, "No, I've loved it! I've loved every minute of shipping!" But I loved this better. And so, I decided to, this fellow wanted to start on his own and he asked me if I would join him and lend him some money. By this time, I had a house of my own and I was able to borrow some money and we started a business so I then went in to that business which, subsequently, was very successful.

I: And you were working around this area?

R: I knew every inch of this area with ships in it! I mean, my heart bleeds when I see it! I saw a programme on television recently, I think it was BBC, dare I say, who did an archive programme that showed the Clyde in the 1950s, which I knew, and it really was sad! I'll tell you a story about being in shipping. I used to have to phone up Captain Campbell who was the Harbour Master of the Clyde Navigation Trust, to get a berth for a ship and I would say, "I would like No. 22 Prince's Dock, please." And he would say, "Mr Nairn, when your ship is at the tail of the bank, phone me and I'll tell you when you'll get a berth and which berth you'll get!" Now you can have the whole flamin' Clyde! No ships up, are there any ships up here?! I don't think so!

I: They can't get through because of the bridge!

R: That's right! So, I mean, that was what the Clyde was like! And so the business that I was in would, well, it would have changed. I, presumably, would have changed with it. I mean, it just no longer exists! It's now called Logistics and it's just a totally different business!

I: You're sitting in the same place you worked really, in a sense, at this very moment!

R: That's right! Yes, absolutely! I mean, I worked here, I worked all around and I walked and I went on the tram! I mean, there were no cars and there was no such thing as mobile phones and if you had to phone the office you had to hunt for a, you had to say, "Have you seen a phone box anywhere?" Sometimes ships could get a telephone on the ship but, anyway, you don't want, I'm not here to talk about shipping!

[44:00]

I: Any more questions? That was excellent!

I2: Have you got the STV core?

I: Yes, I was going to do the STV questions next.

I2: I'll take this fine. Before we do that, just to separate it, can we do the, this thing? I'm going to ask you to do something quite strange! That - count to three - and then do that! It saves me sticking it in your face, you see!

R: Oh, right.

I2: So, there you go! Thanks very much.

I: It shows the colour.

R: Which side first?

I2: Any. That's fine. And then just flip it for me. Lovely! Thank you very much. I'll take it back.

[44:48]

I: So, there's the three questions you remember we...?

R: Are you ready?

I: Yes, and the first one is what's your most memorable moment in your time at STV?

R: I think, if I were honest, it would be the Opening Night because that was very exciting! I was dressed up in my kilt! I wasn't on vision, by the way but I was, no, no, I wasn't seen! I was only voice-over but I was dressed up in my kilt and I was...

I2: Is it possible to say, "My most..."?

I: If you start it by saying, "My most memorable moment at STV..."

R: Was probably...

I: Can you just start again. So, we'll stop and we can then say, so you say "My first memorable moment..."

R: I think my most memorable time at STV was the Opening Night. I was dressed up in my kilt. I was meeting and seeing all sorts of famous people that I had never seen before! Ludo Kennedy was there doing, he was going to do some Newscasting and James Robertson Justice and so on so that was very exciting! And, I mean, although I had enjoyed very much being an actor and I had not really wanted to be in this world of show business, as it was then, I was very excited about it so that was great!

I: Smashing. Again, if you could, sort of, preface it with the question which is what do you think the most important contribution STV made to Scotland and why?

R: I think STV's contribution to Scotland was that it was for the people, by the people somehow or another. It was much less po-faced than the BBC. The Newscasting, for example, was quite simple. I mean, it was not nearly as well funded, of course, as the BBC but it got to the people and, I think, the fact that it did so well was the fact that people loved it! I mean, it spoke to them in the way that they spoke to us and I think it was a very big contribution towards the culture of Scotland.

I: And lastly, what's your fondest and funniest moment at STV? Again, you preface the question.

R: My funniest memory, I can't remember all that many funny memories! I can remember some which I can't repeat! My fondest memory would perhaps be doing Jig Time on a Hogmany show. I was given the Hogmany show, which was a big privilege and Jimmy Sutherland was the Director and, I think, doing that show was kind of the highlight of my career because it was a big audience and it was live, of course, and I had to read a poem, The White Rose of Scotland, and I remember that with great fondness! Excepting that Jimmy Sutherland, like most Directors of the time, was more interested in where his cameras were than giving me time to rehearse! Actors or performers - I shouldn't be calling him an actor this time, it was Presenter - were not given much time for rehearsal. The important thing for rehearsals was the cameraman and the Director but nevertheless I enjoyed doing it and it seemed to have gone quite well.

I: Perfect!

R: OK? Where do I get my money?!

[End of Recording]

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