Rik Mayall

RIK Mayall is standing in the middle of West George Street, trying to stop traffic. He wants desperately to be photographed having a fight with a taxi driver, but Glasgow’s cabbies just zoom past, honking and waving. “Fuck!” he exclaims. “People are too nice up here! What we need are some Cockneys!” Then he grabs… Read more »

Nicola Sturgeon

THE village of Dreghorn, Ayrshire, one summer evening in 1987. In her home, “Tulsa”, a bungalow down a quiet cul-de-sac, Kay Ullrich, a 43-year-old social worker and SNP ­activist, is preparing to go out canvassing. The prospect fills her with little joy. She has no chance of being elected MP for Cunninghame South. This is… Read more »

Margo MacDonald

MARGO MacDonald phones to say I should come to lunch at Holyrood. “Ask for me at the front desk, which cost £88,000. You’ll have seen similar out at Ikea.” This is a typical Margo bon mot – a needling criticism of the expense of the Parliament building couched as a gentle witticism with a sure… Read more »

Tilda Swinton

TILDA Swinton is standing on the beach at Nairn, the beige sand dotted with worm-casts, bladder-wrack and mussel shells the shape and colour of bruised eyes. She is wearing a fuzzy orange coat, her red hair is dyed blonde, and she is being photographed with her back to the Moray Firth. Swinton has called this… Read more »

Lou Reed

IT was a bright cold day in March, and the clocks were striking one when I learned I was to interview Lou Reed. Lou Reed! My immediate reaction was elation, swiftly followed by doubt, then dread. Reed is notoriously difficult; he is to journalists what Cape Horn was to 18th century sailors – a vicious… Read more »