Comedy stars used to inspire new Scottish ‘set-jetting’ tourism campaign

Scottish actor Gregor Fisher as his character Rab C Nesbitt in June 1991.
Scottish actor Gregor Fisher as his character Rab C Nesbitt in June 1991.
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Hit Scottish comedies Still Game, Rab C Nesbitt, Gary: Tank Commander and Bob Servant are helping to inspire a new tourism campaign.

They are all featured in VisitScotland’s first dedicated guide to TV locations that have been deployed around the country.

Experts hope their fans will be persuaded to join the “set-jetting” craze that has seen huge spin-offs from the likes of Outlander, Harry Potter, Braveheart and Highlander.

Among the locations which may receive an unlikely boost are Argyle Street, scene of many of Rab C Nesbitt’s most colourful tirades in Glasgow city centre, Maryhill, where much of Still Game is filmed, and East Kilbride’s Territorial Army Centre where Gary: Tank Commander has been made by Greg McHugh.

Other comedies highlighted include Bob Servant Independent, which Brian Cox has made in Broughty Ferry and Dundee, and John Byrne’s Bafta-winning series Tutti Frutti, part of which was made in Buckie in Moray.

Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons, who is said to be from Kirkwall in Orkney, Disney character Scrooge McDuck, whose ancestral home has been revealed to be Rannoch Moor in the Highlands, and iconic Star Trek character Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, who famously hails from the West Lothian town of Linlithgow, are also featured.

Although the guide highlights the locations featured in hit new historical dramas like Outlander and The Crown, it could also inspire crime fans to follow in the footsteps of TV detectives like Jim Taggart, Jimmy Perez and John Rebus, whose efforts to crack cases were filmed extensively in Glasgow, Shetland and Edinburgh respectively.

Also highlighted is the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll, which was the scene of an infamous killing in Eastenders when Janine Butcher pushed Barry Evans over a cliff.

Thousands of copies of a free 33-page location guide are being distributed to tourist information centres around the country.

Peter May, the co-creator of the Gaelic drama Machair, who later wrote a series of best-selling crime novels set on the Isle of Lewis, has penned the guide’s introduction. He said: “Only Scotland can do the kind of breathtaking scenery that makes it the envy of the world. Filmmakers and TV companies from far and wide make the annual pilgrimage to Scotland to fill their viewers’ screens with stunning images of snow-peaked mountains, silver beaches and turquoise seas.

“Scotland presents a unique landscape and culture for those film and TV companies as settings, not only for documentaries, but for top-rated timeless dramas.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: “The list of TV shows and locations featured is not exhaustive, but this fun and informative guide, which contains firm fan favourites alongside little-known gems, serves as a starting point for visitors wishing to explore the many on-screen locations and nearby attractions.

“The impact of filmmaking in Scotland goes far beyond production spend. Scotland’s appearances on TV have the potential to reach huge global audiences and, with research finding that one in five visitors are inspired to visit after seeing it on-screen, the opportunities for the tourism industry are immense.”