Rab C Nesbitt star Iain McColl dies aged 59

Ian McColl as Big Tam in the BBC comedy City Lights. Picture: contributed
Ian McColl as Big Tam in the BBC comedy City Lights. Picture: contributed
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Actor Iain McColl has died at the age of 59, his sister announced today.

Mr McColl had been undergoing chemotherapy at the Beatson Clinic in Glasgow and had been entertaining patients and staff until the end, said the family statement. He passed away in his sleep and family asked for donations to be made to the Beatson.

Born in Dumbarton, Mr McColl was best known for rolls such as Doddie in the BBC sitcom Rab C Nesbitt and as Big Tam alongside Gerard Kelly in the 1980s programme City Lights.

He also starred in films such as Gangs of New York and Comfort and Joy.

Sister Martha said: “He lived life at 100 miles per hour. He was like that since he was a baby.

“Just last week he put on a show for the patients and staff at the hospital and he was hilarious.

“He was doing impersonations of Chic Murray and Tommy Cooper and he had people in stitches. He couldn’t not make people laugh.”

She added: “He wasn’t in any pain. He never complained during the whole time he was ill.

“He went to sleep on Wednesday night and slept right through. He passed away last night at around 9pm.”

Fellow entertainers paid their respects online. Only an Excuse star Jonathan Watson tweeted: “So sorry to hear sad news about Iain McColl...a gentle giant. RIP Big Tam.”

McColl is survived by his children Rhianan, Ciaran and Maurice, and his brother Donny.