BRITAIN’S most famous weatherman has landing a starring role in a video for a leading Scottish indie-pop band.
Glasgow group Randolph’s Leap persuaded Michael Fish to play himself in the film for their song “Weatherman”, which shows him having to be ushered out of a TV studio after having an on-air breakdown.
The 70-year-old, who retired from the BBC’s national weather broadcasts a decade ago, spent a day filming inside an industrial unit near the Clyde after agreeing to take on the role for an £800 fee.
Fish, who has been immortalised in a number of pop songs previously, was asked to play himself in the video, which features the various members of the band posing as the crew in the TV studio.
Fish, who joined the Met office in 1962 and launched his broadcasting career with the BBC in 1971, was awarded the MBE in 2004, the year he made his last regular TV appearance.
Fish had a song dedicated to him in 1985 when the punk duo Rachel and Fish released a song called “I wish, I wish, he was like Michael Fish” and he also featured on A Tribe of Toffs’ one-hit wonder “John Kettley is a Weatherman” three years later. More recently, one of his broadcasts was sampled for the Prodigy track Weather Experience.
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Randolph’s Leap were one of the bands signed up to Lost Map Records, the label set up by founder Johnny Lunch from his caravan on the Isle of Eigg, with the “Weatherman” song drawn from their debut full-length album. The band have already appeared at the Celtic Connections, T in the Park, Wickerman and Belladrum festivals.
Frontman and song-writer Adam Ross said: “The song is a semi-fictional account of jealousy about an ex’s new partner. It is intended to be a bit self-delusional and bitter.
“The line about the weatherman came from something that struck me a while ago listening to somebody talk. He basically talked just like a weatherman.
“The line in the song is ‘he talks like a weatherman.’ With the guy in the story, that’s the worst criticism he can think of for this person’s new boyfriend. That’s the best he’s got in his armoury.
“We’ve probably been playing the song as a band for the last couple of years and it has had it own identity. We decided to do it as a single and set up a meeting with Wake Up Advice, a video production company we’d worked with before.
“There was a throwaway comment that it would be amazing to get Michael Fish to be in it, it was literally a joke. But when the production company tracked him down the idea didn’t seem so fanciful. If you’re trying to get a weatherman in a video for a song called ‘Weatherman’ he’s pretty much the most famous one.
“They sent him the song, he said he was potentially up for it, they drafted up a storyboard and a rough narrative, which they sent to him, settled on a fee, and that was it.
“When we heard he had agreed to do we thought they were joking.
“We filmed it in an industrial unit owned by a props company in the Kinning Park area. It was great filming with him, he was really accommodating and agreed to do everything we asked of him, but it was freezing cold in the warehouse, we were all huddled around radiators. His acting was exactly what we were looking for.”
Fish, who records a weekly online weather forecast from his home, travels around the country lecturing on climate change. He also makes occasional appearances on BBC South East filling in for its regular forecasters when they are on holiday.
He told The Scotsman: “The whole thing with the video really came out of the blue.
“I was told they had a song with a chorus about a weatherman and they thought it might be nice to have a real-life weatherman in the video.
“I don’t really know the band that well, I only met them on the day, and I’ve not had the chance to watch the finished article yet, so I’m a bit in the dark about what it looks like.
“I basically just had to pretend to be a weatherman and sing along to the song. I was very much being myself of a few years ago, although in real life the weather broadcasts were always filmed live, whereas this was recorded.
“It was nice to be asked to do it and have a day out to Glasgow, where I hadn’t been for years. It was great fun, nice to do something different and another things for the CV. It’s nice to keep active - it stops the old mind addling.”
Although Fish has not ruled out making a live appearance with Randolph’s Leap in future, the veteran broadcaster admitted he was unlikely to overshadow them.
He added: “I simply can’t sing at all. When I was at school I was banned from singing in the choir. I just had to sit at the organ and turn the pages for the organist.”
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