Talk of the Town: I’ll have a pint of Botney’s please

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his favourite character, Rebus, loved it and now broadcaster Alan Yentob – Botney to Private Eye readers – has been introduced to the delights of the Oxford Bar by Ian Rankin.

The author informed followers on Twitter that the visit had not exactly gone according to plan.He wrote: “I took esteemed broadcaster Alan Yentob to the Oxford Bar this pm. He asked for a certain drink (not a pint) and was lampooned.” Before helpfully adding: “And by ‘lampooned’ I mean slagged off, laughed at, derided (just to be clear)...”

The author was even reminded of a time another unsuspecting traveller wandered in and asked for food, only to be led back outside by the owner, who pointed to the sign and asked him if it said bar or restaurant?

But Yentob managed to escape unharmed and even took the abuse with good grace, which Rankin admitted meant “he will be welcomed back”.

It’s past time for the independence decision

THE SNP’s promised independence referendum has been hailed as the most important decision Scotland has faced for 300 years – a truly historic event.

But a slip by SNP MP Pete Wishart in the Commons the other day made it historic in another sense. He told fellow MPs: “There will be an independence referendum in autumn 1914.”

Gormleys in the wind

ANTHONY Gormley’s statues in the Water of Leith feature on every visitor’s hitlist of landmarks.

Some people have become a bit more ambitious, with challenges to take a picture of one of the bronze statues with other common sights in the Water of Leith - such as shopping trolleys or rubbish bags.

So one keen snapper was over the moon when, after the recent storms, they were able to snap a Gormley statue with rubbish bags washed up against his legs, and an abandoned trolley and bicycle washed up behind him. See it here: – if you can do better, get in touch with Talk of the Town.

Avoid a festive fate

IF you’ve still got your Christmas decorations you could be in for a year of bad luck – but there could be a way to repair the damage.

John Lewis have led by example, shifting trees, snowflakes and thousands of snowballs used in their “Christmas revisited” displays on to local groups, including Lorne Primary School in Leith, who will use the decorations next year.