Still Game’s The Clansman to become gastropub for new series

Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill with be back on our screens on Thursday.
Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill with be back on our screens on Thursday.
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It has changed the face of hundreds of pubs across Scotland in recent years.

Now the age of the hipster is set to arrive in Craiglang – to the consternation of the clientele in The Clansman.

The focal point for the much-loved characters in the hit sitcom Still Game is transformed beyond recognition in the opening instalment of the new series.

Boabby the Barman’s modern makeover includes a gastropub-style menu, the introduction of a range of trendy bottles beers and the banishing of traditional pies and pints.

It has been inspired by the creeping gentrification of Glasgow – and an over-priced burger its creators encountered in the city.

Still Game will return for a new six-part series on Thursday – the second since Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill reunited five years ago to create new stories for the Craiglang characters.

Kiernan, who writes the series with co-star Hemphill, said: “The changes at The Clansman came about after Greg and I went for a burger and chips a year ago and got charged £8. There had been a wee spate of older men’s pubs in Glasgow turning into gastropubs and we just wondered where it was all going. It struck us a decent storyline for Boabby to want a bit of that action.

“I was brought up in Dennistoun in Glasgow where every single pub did its own different thing. But they were all men’s pubs, with a snug where the women would have to sit. They weren’t without their charm. They were full of smoke and all the smells that you associate with back in the day. You don’t get that now.”

Kiernan admitted he had noticed huge change across Glasgow, including Finnieston, the area next to the Hydro, where the Still Game live shows were staged.

He added: “I like the way Glasgow is changing – it’s for the best as long as it doesn’t lose its roots. It’s going in the right direction. There are now places where you can take your kids and your dog.

“But there’s definitely still a place for pensioners to get a traditional pint and not bother with all these bottled craft beers. There are a lot of pensioners who only really want to go out, have a gas with their pals and have a regular night out the way they used to do.

“The balance is still there. I don’t think it’s gone completely the wrong way. There’s still a market for those types of pubs. That’s what The Clansman means to Craiglang – being able to do it the way they’ve always done it. It’s a home comfort. You can still get a pint for two and a half quid in Glasgow if you have a good hunt about.”

Still Game is on BBC1, Thursday, 9.30pm