Irvine Welsh’s Filth inspired by Edinburgh Council

Irvine Welsh had a cameo in Filth. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Irvine Welsh had a cameo in Filth. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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IRVINE Welsh has revealed that a former colleague at Edinburgh City Council was the inspiration behind Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, the misanthropic protagonist of his book Filth.

During a question and answer session on Reddit - dubbed an ‘AMA’ (Ask Me Anything) - Welsh was asked about this inspiration behind the 1998 book, which was adapted for the big screen by director Jon S Baird and starred James McAvoy as bent copper Robertson.

The Edinburgh-born author replied: “I worked in Edinburgh Council and there was a crazy guy who hated the world.

“He hated his bosses, and his subordinates. I thought: ‘make him a cop, then he can do some real damage’.

“There is always a lot of stuff in the papers about dodgy coppers, because it’s far damaging than dodgy council workers.”

Welsh was also quizzed on Hibernian’s long-standing failure to win the Scottish Cup, a trophy the club hasn’t won since 1902.

And he admitted that it would destroy the ‘romance of the cup’ for him if his team won the tournament.

He said: “I never got the Scottish Cup as a big cup, it’s been toytown for years since we all became league crazy.

“I think it would kill part of the last remaining romance of the tournament if Hibs won it, because that jinx is the only really interesting Scottish Cup story.”

A number of questions centred on Trainspotting and its characters, with rumours of sequel Porno also being given the silver screen treatment with the original cast including Ewan McGregor and director Danny Boyle slated for involvement.

Welsh revealed: “Sick Boy is probably an amalgamation of about 2-3 people. I think all characters are also a little bit a part of the author, or a younger version.”

The author also said that film adaptations of his novels are a ‘win-win’ situation, adding: “ Crap movie - they f**ked up my lovely book. Great movie - they had the material to work with.”

And on the subject of Scottish independence, Welsh - who had been strongly pro-independence - described it as a ‘moving picture’.

He added: “I felt very positive about the whole process. I never really put that much stock in the vote, it was a kind of snapshot, whereas the march to independence is more of a moving picture. I think it’s been a ‘when’ rather than an ‘if’ for a while.”

Welsh will be in Scotland in April to promote his new book ‘A Decent Ride’ over four dates in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The novel, which will feature the character of Juice Terry, is published on April 16.

You can read the AMA in full here >>>


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