ALASDAIR Gray has claimed that an offer by Sir Sean Connery to do the voiceovers at the new Bannockburn visitor centre was turned down because the actor supports Scottish independence.
The author makes the claim, which is disputed by the battlefield’s custodian, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), in his new book Independence – An Argument For Home Rule.
The claim is contained in a letter which Gray wrote to an NTS official and is included in the book, which is published by Canongate. Gray explains that he was given a lift from an exhibition in Pollok House, Glasgow, by an NTS employee.
According to Gray, the employee “told me he had the recent pleasure of refusing a job application by Sean Connery. The actor had heard your trust would soon have a museum on Bannockburn with a recorded voice lecturing on it, and had offered to give his voice free. He did not need to say that he had rejected the actor because, like Bruce and Salmond, Connery wanted Scottish independence.
“I do not know how the Bannockburn museum will avoid the subject, but where there is a will there is a way. I am sure the trust will not be so tactless as to pay an English actor for his voice, but I may be wrong.”
An NTS spokeswoman denied Gray’s version of events. She said: “We understand that Mr Connery had been under consideration as a voiceover artist for a film produced several years ago at the now-defunct visitor centre at Bannockburn. However, it was decided that it was not an appropriate choice for the film – this was a decision taken for artistic reasons alone.”
She added: “In the new exhibition, the Scottish actors David Hayman and James Cosmo have both provided voiceovers. David Hayman also voices our TV advert for the centre.”
Hayman and Cosmo are supporters of Yes Scotland.