Shug had been the bookies’ early favourite but, in the end, it was Eric who departed Still Game.
At 87, Jimmy Martin was the oldest of the actors on the hit BBC programme and, indeed, one of Scotland’s oldest working actors. But, after admitting he was feeling the strain of the rigours of filming, he had asked to be written out of the show.
He was in his mid 30s when he got his first screen ‘role’ in 1967. The makers of a period drama were unable to find a stunt worker to be a woman who leapt from a bridge into the Clyde – until Martin volunteered.
“So I put on the crinoline and jumped off the bridge. I had to jump off the bridge in a Victorian outfit,” he told The Scotsman in 2011. Prior to that he had been a firefighter and in the Royal Navy.
His experiences perhaps illustrate how life can take unexpectedly interesting turns even at a relatively advanced age. Few of us will get to become part of a much-loved sit-com, but the future may still hold other adventures. Life is never over until the end. Who knows what Martin might do next?