Choose Irvine Welsh: New documentary will shine light on Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s childhood in Edinburgh and his rise to literary stardom

Signature Entertainment has acquired the UK and Irish rights to a no-holds-barred documentary exploring the life of Edinburgh author Irvine Welsh.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Choose Irvine Welsh will take a look at the Trainspotting writer's childhood in Leith, his teenage years in the 1970s, and his rise to literary stardom.

Produced and narrated by Welsh himself, the documentary features interviews with Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, the film's stars Robert Carlyle and Ewan McGregor, and Oasis legend Noel Gallagher, among others.

It will see them detailing various encounters with Welsh over the years.

Signature Entertainment has acquired the UK and Irish rights to a no-holds-barred documentary exploring the life of Edinburgh author Irvine Welsh. Photo: Getty Images

Born in Leith in 1957, Welsh moved Muirhouse at the age of four where the wave of crime and drug abuse that consumed the area shaped much of his later work.

He left Ainslie Park High School at 16 and departed for London’s flourishing punk scene in 1978.

Welsh returned to the Capital in the early 80s, taking a job as a training officer in the housing department.

He shot to stardom when debut novel Trainspotting was published in 1993 – less than three years before the film adaptation was released.

As yet, no release date has been given for Choose Irvine Welsh.

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As reported in the Evening News this week, fellow Edinburgh novelist and poet Jenni Fagan is turning Welsh’s Begbie novel into a new TV drama.

Fagan, whose novels include Luckenbooth and The Panopticon, is working with Fife-born Hollywood star Dougray Scott’s new Scottish production company on the six-part drama, which will revive Carlyle’s terrifying Trainspotting character Begbie has promised it will “push boundaries” and “shake things up”.

Fagan said it would be "underpinned by the dual energies of creation and destruction”.

She added that Begbie would have served “an extraordinary amount of time in prison” in the series, which sees him come back to Edinburgh for the funeral of his murdered son.

“Writing the adaptation of The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh is an honour and a joy,” she said. “The TV series will continue to push boundaries and create the kind of work that shakes everything up."

An official announcement about The Blade Artist TV series last year by Buccaneer said: “Now known as Jim Francis, Begbie is a reformed character who believes he has found the perfect life.

"But a return to Scotland for the funeral of a murdered son he hardly knows confronts him with a past he can barely recall and he soon discovers you can take the boy out of Edinburgh, but you can’t take Edinburgh out of the boy.”

Welsh said at the time: “Begbie is Begbie and Robert is the long-term friend and collaborator who inspirationally brought the character to life with his incendiary portrayal.

“To say I’m excited at us reuniting creatively on this project is obviously something of an understatement.”

Carlyle, who played moustachioed psychopath FBegbie in Danny Boyle’s 1996 cult classic and its 2017 sequel T2: Trainspotting, discussed the project last year in an interview with NME.

The Glasgow-born actor said: “As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually.”


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