Ian Paterson

Singer and actor

Born: 28 July, 1926, in Calcutta.

Died: 21 June, 2008, in Portugal, aged 81.

IAN Paterson enjoyed several years as a top-of-the-bill singer in many of the leading Scottish theatres from the post-war years till the Sixties. He had a charming light musicality to his voice that blended in well with other leading singers and his warm and jovial personality made him popular with audiences all round Scotland. Paterson, for example, joined such stars as Jimmy Logan, Rikki Fulton and Stanley Baxter in the famous Howard and Wyndham pantomimes that were a hit every Christmas. His strong tenor voice was memorably heard in the popular Jamie series of pantomimes that played from 1966-68 at the King's Theatres in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They were titled A World for Jamie, A Love For Jamie and A Wish For Jamie and brought a real touch of glamour to the Scottish stage: they were renowned for their extravagant costumes and large casts. Paterson was later to appear in several episodes of Crossroads and do guest appearances on Grampian TV's Cairngorm Ski Night.

Ian Paterson (he sometimes spelt his surname with two Ts) returned with his parents from India and was brought up on Tayside. He was educated at Morrison's Academy in Crieff and read electronic engineering at Aberdeen University where he was a contemporary of fellow singer Kenneth Mackellar. Rather than pursue a career in engineering, Paterson accepted the offer of a scholarship to study singing in Vienna.

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He returned to Scotland and fulfilled several engagements in clubs and theatres until 1946 when he was appointed director of opera studies at Birmingham School of Music. It was a post he much enjoyed but he was soon drawn back to live performing and in the mid Fifties returned to the stage. Paterson's voice made him ideal for concert evenings, summer shows and pantomimes, but he was also often engaged in the straight theatre. Apart from the seasons with Howard and Wyndham, Paterson appeared in two Shakespeare plays at the Edinburgh Festivals in the Sixties (one in a Traverse Theatre production of Macbeth). Other work included parts with the Joan Littlewood company in Stratford East and with the Players' Theatre both in London.

In 1966, he was cast as Andy Fraser in the ITV soap Crossroads. The role of the irascible but kindly Scot was never a regular, but Paterson was to appear in the soap until 1975. In 1968, he was also cast by the directors of Crossroads in another of their series (Champion House) that told of dysfunctional textile family in the Midlands. Paterson continued to sing and did solo spots in numerous television shows – notably Grampian's popular Cairngorm Ski Night.

Although he spent many years at his house on the Algarve, Paterson often returned to Scotland to fulfil engagements filming with Jimmy Logan in Rob Roy and joining Stanley Baxter for a summer season at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen. One of his greatest joys when in Scotland, apart from seeing his family, was to play golf, especially at St Andrews. Paterson often worked as a generous and hospitable manager on cruise liners. He is survived by Matthew Russell, his partner of over 50 years.


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