Smoke ban stubs out Rab C star's creativity
SCOTS actor and playwright Tony Roper has claimed the smoking ban has stopped him from writing.
Roper, 67, best known as Rab C Nesbitt's pal Jamesie Cotter, famously wrote classic comedy-drama The Steamie in 1988.
He said he wrote the play, novels and much of his other best work while smoking cigars in his favourite hotel, the Garfield House Hotel at Stepps, Glasgow. But since smoking was banned in public places in 2006, he says he no longer writes as much.
He said: "I used to go up to the Garfield and sit and meditate what I was going to write.
"The manager was great and used to come out and give me coffee and biscuits. I'd sit there with my coffee and biscuits and a cigar, and it was very relaxing.
"I wrote three novels and two plays up there. Now you can't smoke in the place I don't do it any longer – and I don't write as much as I used to."
Roper, speaking on BBC Alba's Cuide ri Cathy, to be broadcast later this month, said he had created "hundreds" of characters while smoking cigars in the hotel.
He also wrote Paddies, a conceptual sequel to The Steamie set in Glasgow's "Paddies Market".
Roper's other well-known works include the book Rikki Fulton's The Reverent I.M. Jolly – or How I Found God and Why he was Hiding From Me.
But he said the smoking ban had stifled him from writing more works in his favourite environment.
He said: "I don't know how Winston Churchill would have got through two world wars without his cigars.
"I just think it's government too far. I know it's bad for me, but if I know it's bad for me it's my fault and nobody else's fault.
"It's just another freedom that's gone down the tube."
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