'˜Gaelic Billy Connolly' Norman MacLean dies at 80
Famously described as the Gaelic Billy Connolly, Glasgow-born MacLean enjoyed a career that spanned decades.
Norman grew up on Uist and Lochaber and quickly developed a passion for languages. Later years would see the comic work both English and Gaelic into his routines.
At age 30, MacLean’s natural talent as a writer and performer was recognised at the National Mòd where he won two gold medals for poetry and singing.
But it was during a gig in 1975 that he would discover his true calling. Booked to sing at an Oban hotel, MacLean received a lukewarm reception from his mainly English audience and began telling jokes instead. They went down a storm.
From then on, MacLean focused on improving his repertoire as a comedian and he soon became renowned all over the Highlands and Islands.
Norman was also able to forge a career on television, going on to enjoy a starring role in groundbreaking Gaelic comedy show Tormod air Telly.
Many believe Norman would have gone on to taste international success had it not been for a series of a alcohol struggles throughout his adult life.
Norman MacLean spent his latter days living in Uist.