Stars to help Still Game favourites take final bow

Picture: Alan Peebles
Picture: Alan Peebles
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Singing stars Amy Macdonald, Clare Grogan and Midge Ure are to make guest appearances in Still Game’s swansong from the nation’s TV screen.

BBC Scotland has announced they will be among a host of stars making cameo appearances as the regular Craiglang characters bow out.

The show’s creators, Greg Hemphill, who plays Victor, and Ford Kiernan, who plays, Jack, announced last month that they would calling last orders at The Clansman 21 years after the characters first appeared in a hit stage show.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston and Taggart favourite James MacPherson have also been lined up for the ninth and final series, which is expected to air in the autumn.

Stand-up comic and broadcaster Des Clarke is also lined up to appear in the show’s finale, which will see regular cast members Jane McCarry (Isa), Sanjeev Kohli (Navid), Gavin Mitchell (Boabby), Paul Riley (Winston) and Mark Cox (Tam) all return.

Six weeks of filming began this month on the final six episodes, which are being made at BBC Scotland’s Dumbarton studios and on location.

Ure, who has already filmed his scenes, said: “The fantasy and the reality of acting are two very different things. In your head you’re Robert De Niro but in reality you’re something very, very different. It’s amazing how quickly you clam up. Watching the whole process of filming was amazing, I always find that stuff fascinating. It’s very different from doing pop promos.

“Being in Still Game is like the comedy version of getting a Blue Peter badge, which I wear with pride. If you’re going to be humiliated, it might as well be in a comedy you love.”

Executive producer Steve Crummy added: “We’re delighted such brilliant performers from the worlds of music, comedy and gritty television crime are coming to join us.”

Still Game started life as an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show and was turned into a TV series in 2002 after the characters Jack, Victor, Tam and Winston had made regular appearances in sketch show Chewin’ the Fat. Still Game ran for six hugely successful series, but then went on a lengthy hiatus after a much-publicised rift between Kiernan and Hemphill.

They patched up their differences to create a new live show for the Hydro arena in Glasgow in 2014.

It went on to sell out 21 performances and rake in £6 million at the box office, prompting BBC Scotland to commission two more series.