Saturday, 4th April 2020, 6:00 am
COVID-19 has ripped a behemothic aperture in his interest and work. There’s been annihilation like the pandemic, of path, however aback have been the events, in delivered than 4 a long time of actuality the affable TV frontman, that he had truely no action to undergo to our dwelling-rooms?
“There have been some moves aback Sportscene become off the air within the 1980s,” says Donnelly. “The technicians had that energy. This is the age of the video-journalist but if I turned into activity as much as Aberdeen to allocution to Fergie I required, with the aid of the guidelines, a cameraman, an abettor cameraman, an electrician alike if the account become at apex in aerial summer and there would be no charge for lighting fixtures – and a backdrop guy to perform abiding a spent espresso cup didn’t devious into shot.”
And how did Dougie acquisition Sir Alex Ferguson on those journeys arctic to analysis at the boost of the New Firm revolution? “Oh, ample as you capacity consider. Plenty of anguish at the amount of the adolescent presenter. He’d booty me into the bathrobe allowance to peer Willie Miller and Alex McLeish and cross: ‘Here he is, boys – the Glasgow media, aback to patronise us once more.’ Again he’d say: ‘Come on, let’s be given a basin of soup and you could acquaint me what’s blow at Ibrox, at Celtic Park.’ I’m admiring to mention we became suitable buddies.”
Donnelly, 66, who currently broadcasts to eighty nations at the Golf Channel, has the time to bethink appropriate now and, as a BBC Scotland producer’s son, I knew I might adore his yarns from Queen Margaret Drive, the above Glasgow HQ of tartan-trimmed telly. Hopefully you will, too, aback you acquisition out that DD will booty us appropriate annular the apple and, yes, alike to Tillicoultry, which as every gogglebox-addicted Scot of a assertive age knows is “close to Stirling”. He will reel off the conventional suspects consisting of Fergie and Denis Law and Graeme Souness; Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance and Paul Lawrie. Again there may be the bizarre suspects: Billy Connolly, glam rockers Mud, a bevvy of Miss Scotlands… and Fiona Richmond.
“You received’t apperceive her, will you, Aidan?” he says. Oh yes, I say. The adventurous Fiona got Malcolm Allison sacked from Crystal Palace. He arrive her bottomward to the amphitheater for a picture-shoot and she jumped into the not unusual ablution within the billow with the players. Richmond changed into a bedfellow on DD’s babble show, Friday Night with Dougie Donnelly, and I’m absorbed how he alien her. Men Alone splendid columnist? Insatiable sexual adventuress? “Er, I can’t candidly keep in mind,” he stammers.
“There turned into aerial all-overs advanced over what she potential be slicing however she was decided that her formidable wasn’t porn. I reputedly queried whether or not what she did – approximately she’d alarm it – became a relevant aspiration for adolescent ladies but she argued her bend well.” No clips abide but I’m movement that Donnelly blushed, as without a doubt might I.
In a abstraction absolute constructing of VHSs of added illustrious moments our man displays on his considerable perfect fortune. “I definitely accept been the luckiest guy,” he says. “Maybe luckiest of all in affair Linda – we bless our fortieth bells ceremony this year – which I count on is attractive tremendous accustomed all that swanning off, the followed assignments, block the little white bedrock anywhere. But wonderful too to just accept been approximately aback our football aggregation able for Apple Cups with ample regularity, aback our rugby aggregation received Admirable Slams, aback we had apple champions in Allan Wells, Jim Watt and Stephen Hendry – abnormally aback I anticipation I’d by myself be engaging in this job for a brace of years afore it got here to a accustomed stop once more it would be aback to actuality a lawyer.”
At Strathclyde University, the apprentice stated hawkeye become a laugh secretary and booker of bands. “I bethink a London administrator phoned up disturbing to get me to booty Mud, who had been delivered poppy than our commonplace groups, however in the end I agreed. Two nights afore the gig they have been No 1 on Top of the Pops with Tiger Feet and at the Saturday night they performed our Union, in order that prevalent to be completed judgment.
“Then there was the Big Yin. Billy Connolly wasn’t but massive, to be honest, despite the fact that he had a desirable bounded later on and I knew he’d move bottomward in a position-bodied at our Sunday people night. He’d aloof breach up with Gerry Rafferty [the two formed the Humblebums] and I can still see him at the wee date of our balustrade disco, staring forlornly on the beam and going: ‘So truth we’re: Strathclyde University effin’ Union. Rafferty’s aloof long gone Top Ten in America and I’m ashore right here!’ But it become alone a abbreviate time afterwards that he went on [nationwide TV babble show] Parkinson and exploded.
“Back in Glasgow on considered one of his huge tours Linda and I took our 3 ladies backstage to accommodated him. The allowance become active but he came over
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