Exclusive:Brian Cox records video for Alex Salmond's Edinburgh Festival Fringe show after pulling out of event

The award-winning actor will address the audience in character as Succession's Logan Roy

Hollywood star Brian Cox has recorded a special video in character as Succession's Logan Roy for Alex Salmond’s show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It comes after the award-winning actor pulled out of appearing at the event in person due to filming commitments. Cox will read the audience the “riot act”, Mr Salmond said, making clear “there will be no bevying and certainly no swearing”.

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Dundee-born Cox won plaudits for his portrayal of media mogul Logan Roy in the HBO series Succession, which concluded at the end of May.

Brian Cox has recorded a video in character as Logan RoyBrian Cox has recorded a video in character as Logan Roy
Brian Cox has recorded a video in character as Logan Roy

Mr Salmond’s political debate show will see two teams led by the former first minister and Conservative MP David Davis go head-to-head on a range of issues, including Brexit and Scottish independence, in front of a 450-capacity audience in the Assembly Spiegeltent in George Square from August 4 to 13.

Members of the audience can intervene, and a chair will take on the role of Commons speaker or Holyrood presiding officer to keep a “watchful eye over the proceedings”.

Mr Salmond said: “It would have been fantastic to have Brian in person for one night in the chair, but now instead on every night each audience will be read the riot act by Logan Roy. It will certainly get people in the mood for the verbal fisticuffs to come as Roy makes it clear that ‘there will be no bevying and certainly no swearing’"

The former first minister previously told The Scotsman he had known Cox for many years and was an admirer of his work. “Now he's a superstar, of course, but I knew him when he was just a very, very fine actor winning Laurence Olivier Awards,” he said. “Now he wins Emmys. I just think it's fantastic.

"I think his characterisation of Logan Roy is one of the great performances of the recent television era. It's just an extraordinary performance over the series. The last character in television who had the impact of Logan Roy was JR Ewing [from Dallas], I think. It's a brilliant performance, absolutely brilliant."

Former Commons speaker John Bercow will fill the role of chair for the start of the Fringe show’s run. He will later be replaced by figures including former SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford, journalist and former MSP Joan McAlpine, former first minister Henry McLeish and Dame Eleanor Laing, the current principal deputy speaker of the Commons.

Politicians set to take part include SNP MSP and former minister Fergus Ewing, ex-Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, former SNP leadership contender Kate Forbes and SNP MSP Michelle Thomson.

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The second night, August 5, will see a special motion on the “public sector’s right to strike”, with Mr Salmond’s team backed by RMT leader Mick Lynch and Mr Davis’s side supported by controversial Talk TV host Mike Graham.

Former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, who is the producer of the series, said: “Every night will be lively, but the sparks will certainly fly in this debate. It’s a good job we have John Bercow sitting in the big chair to keep the best of order.”

Mr Salmond, who now leads the pro-independence Alba Party, previously fronted a show at the Fringe in 2017, which led to his controversial programme on Russian TV channel RT.



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