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The King's panto star and presenter of Radio Scotland’s Afternoon Show will play troubled Stevie O’Hara’s long lost father, musician Sam Spiller, when he makes his debut in River City later this month. The broadcaster has also released the first images of the popular Edinburgh-born actor in the role.
Stott will stride into The Tall Ship pub in an episode to be broadcast on Monday October 18, bringing to a head Stevie's ongoing search for the father he never knew. His character has been described by producers as ‘a brand new character who will stir up the past for some of Shieldinch’s residents’.
The 'Programme Information' for that week's instalment of the ongoing drama series reveals more: 'Stevie’s day of reckoning arrives as he finally meets his father, Sam Spiller.’
It continues, ‘Sonny, played by Jimmy Chisholm, confesses he has duped Stevie’s absent father, Sam Spiller, to Shieldinch. Under the pretence he’s being interviewed for a music magazine, Sam assumes Stevie’s a journalist little realising there’s a secret family connection. As Stevie, played by Iain Robertson, gets to know Sam, he toys with telling him the truth but falls short.'Later, Scarlett, Stevie’s mum, played by Sally Howitt, is stunned when Sam walks into her shop and is secretly delighted when he recognises her, reminiscing fondly about their teenage love affair.'Touched by Sam’s obvious affection for Scarlett, Stevie plucks up the courage and finally tells Sam he’s his secret son. After his initial shock, Sam is delighted he’s a dad but his enthusiasm quickly proves overwhelming for Stevie’.
The Morningside-raised 53-year-old has said that the role takes on a special meaning for him after his best mate and King’s panto co-star Andy Gray, who played lovable rogue Pete Galloway in the series, passed away in January.
He recalled, “Andy and I often joked about me joining the River City cast and imagined the scenarios we’d get into on screen. But life got in the way and it never quite happened.”
Speaking when Stott’s casting was announced, Martin McCardie, BBC Studios Series Producer for River City, said, “We are delighted to have the fantastic Grant Stott joining the cast, he will have a huge impact on some of our regular characters and will hopefully enjoy being on the show. The late, great, Andy Gray was always recommending Grant as an actor and as a team player to the show, we are happy to say that we listened to him.”
Stott was one of a number of new cast members revealed in May, including Brian James Leys who plays as Ash, the absent father of Ruby and an ex of Caitlin, Sammy Hayman who plays Darren Foulkes, the charming older brother of local criminal Tyler, and Claire Dargo who plays Karen McAllister, the estranged ex-wife of Alex and mother to Jessie.
Stott's debut episode will be broadcast on BBC Scotland HD at 10pm, on Monday, October 18, and on BBC One Scotland HD the following day at 7pm.
Coming soon: Don’t miss Liam Rudden’s exclusive River City interview with Grant Stott