Searching my veins for Scottish blood
I was in Glasgow on Sunday night attending the Scottish BAFTAs.
A very vibrant event it was, adorned by the entire Scots media royal family. I have searched my veins in vain for a single drop of Scots blood, but have found none. But I feel an affinity with the ease, optimism, dynamism even.
Besides my editor is the greatest living Scotsman. Well, he was until last night when I told Jeremy Isaacs, the founding father of Channel 4, that he was.
I described Isaacs as somewhat like the shoe in ‘the Life of Brian’. We are all following it, following the ethos and ideal he established in 1982.
The very fact that we are still doing so twenty years after he left is why I found myself giving him a BAFTA life time achievement award.
In some ways the high spot to this very delightful evening was my return to the Malmaison Hotel for the night.
Stepping out of my taxi at midnight I was accosted by several spirited Scots and induced down to the bar to join a celebration.
I was unsure what awaited me, but upon arrival I was swept up in a vortex of merriment and celebration presided over by none other that the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy – whose poetry I genuinely appreciate.
I had been lured into a celebration of a performance of her work. The voice of my welcoming neighbour on the sofa was hauntingly familiar and turned out to be that of the extraordinary poet Jackie Kay, often to be heard on Radio 4.
I have rarely, if ever felt so spontaneously welcomed into a warmer collective bosom than I was last night by the twenty or so performers and poets collected there.
I almost felt like one of the family.