THESE are heady days for Miles Jupp, the former Edinburgh University divinity student known to millions as Archie the Inventor in Balamory.
Not only is he appearing in People, the new Alan Bennett play at the National Theatre, but his book Fibber in the Heat (Ebury) has just made the shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. The book tells the story of his attempts to blag his way into the cricket press corps for England’s 2006 tour of India by pretending to be BBC Scotland’s cricket correspondent.
Although he ended up disillusioned with sports reporting, he may reconsider if he wins the £24,000 overall prize – which also includes a free £2,000 bet.
This week’s biggest book launch was undoubtedly Ian Rankin’s Standing in Another Man’s Grave, which marks the return of Rebus after a five-year absence. Originally publishers wanted Rankin to change the title because they thought it was too long. “I told my editor it had exactly the same number of characters and spaces as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and he relented,” Rankin tells me.
A MOVEABLE FEAST
If you were walking up near Arthur’s Seat around lunchtime last Saturday, you might have seen a red London bus which appeared to have lost its way. In fact, the 1962 Routemaster was heading to Dunsapie Loch, carrying 60 food-lovers on a chilly picnic to celebrate a new cookbook.
Conceived in a New Town kitchen in 1985, Goodbye Cockroach Pie: 50 Brilliant Student Recipes from Edinburgh and Beyond gathered dust in an attic for a quarter of a century. It has now been published by Inky Paws Press at £9.99, with input from a new generation of students. “They’re much more health-conscious than we were,” says Rosanna Kelly, who edited the book with fellow Edinburgh graduate Casilda Grigg. “In our day breakfast meant a fry-up with beer and cigarettes; today it’s yoghurt, granola and blueberries.”
Fittingly, the bus was driven by an enthusiastic cook, Sam Phipps, who contributed recipes for home-made bread and pizza to the book. His Red Bus company keeps two Routemasters, garaged in Leith, for transporting party and wedding guests, and is planning to expand to Glasgow.