Across The Capital
“Stoppage Time” is an informal take on some of the key stories in UK football. Jonny and Joe will discuss their thoughts on Celtic and the grogginess of their European hangover, Harry Redknapp’s decision to take on yet another club in the nether regions of the league and discussing whether it’s Benitez or Chelsea we should dislike more.
By Tom McCallum
2014 is already set to be a busy year in Scotland and the announcement that the controversial Edinburgh tram project will also be completed in this year has added to this.
Testing has commenced on the section of track between the recently opened Edinburgh airport station and the depot at Gogarburn 3 km away. Overhead power lines are being turned on today enabling full scale testing to start.
If it the tests go to plan this section will be ready for use in March next year indicating that the project could be due for completion in the summer of 2014.
2014 is already a busy year in Scotland with the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, also happening in the summer, and the independence referendum set for the autumn.
The project is already massively behind schedule and hugely over budget. It has not been popular with the Edinburgh public so far. The testing would indicate the first sign that the project will be completed by the new deadline.
I’ve been out asking the Edinburgh public if now is the time to put the controversy in the past and start looking forward to the projects completion.
With the Evening News showcasing the best talent our city has to offer with the
Edinburgh’s Got Talent competition, we take a look back at the most memorable Scottish reality TV show contestants…
Who could forget Simon Cowell’s jaw dropping in complete shock as Susan Boyle took to the stage at Glasgow’s SECC to audition for 2009’s Britain’s Got Talent? The smirk was soon wiped off his face as she delivered a flawless performance of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables which resulted in a standing ovation from both the audience and all three judges. She has since gone on to release two top-selling albums – one of which remains the best-selling UK album of all time. Not bad for a 47 year-old from Blackburn who almost missed the audition thanks to getting on the wrong bus!
Back in 2001, Darius stunned the nation for all the wrong reasons when he performed a ‘unique’ rendition of Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time on the first series on Pop Idol. Despite going through a stage of infamy, Darius has since gone on to become a West End star and, in 2010, won ITV1’s Popstar To Opera Star.
19 year-old Leon Jackson from Whitburn deferred a place at our very own Edinburgh Napier University when he was chosen by Danni Minogue to appear on the fourth series of X Factor. He went on the win the show after a show-stopping duet performance with Kylie Minogue and had a number-one hit with his debut single When You Believe. His mainstream success was short-lived and he was dropped from Sony in 2009. He is currently working on a new acoustic album which he hopes to release independently next year.
Brothers Brian and Craig MacDonald competed in the third series of X Factor where they were finalists but lost out to Leona Lewis who eventually won the series. Following the show, they were chosen to support Westlife on tour and achieved limited commercial success in the UK. They are currently recording in their fifth album in Nashville which will be released in Asia early next year.
David Sneddon from Paisley won the first series of Fame Academy in 2002. His first single Stop Living The Lie held the number one spot in the charts for two weeks and remained in the Top 40 for a total of nine weeks. Despite his success, Sneddon decided to quit ‘fame’ in 2003 to focus on writing songs for other artists. He justified his decision by saying he entered the competition as a songwriter and musician and did not enjoy the fame that came with it. He has since written songs for a number of artists including Matt Cardle and the band Hurts.
Photos from Artists own websites.
Edinburgh’s Got Talent is set to take place at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Friday 28th October.
This years competition has been fiercer than ever and with an increased venue capacity of 3,000, so the pressure is on for this years finalists!
Judging this year shall come from Deborah Welsh – promotions manager of Evening News as well as producer of the event, Liam Rudden Arts & Entertainment Editor of Evening News, Forth One presenter Boogie and Forth One Events manager Richie Jeffrey.
Guest performances on the night will come from X Factor star Gamu Nhengu who will perform material from her début album for the first time, and last year’s Edinburgh‘s Got Talent winner Gavin Blackie. The singer from Granton has gone on to secure a record deal since winning the competition and will release his second single on the 24th October. When we caught up with him, he advised this years contestants to “enjoy themselves and remember the judges don’t bite, they want everyone to do well!”.
As there was a tie for 10th place, the judges have now decided to allow 11 acts to perform.
The public and judges votes have been counted and the top ten acts will take to the stage at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Friday 28th October.
The finalists are as follows:
Nicole Syme – Songwriter
Erin Henderson – Singer
Hustle – Dance Group
Darren Gilbertson – Singer
Rebecca Traynor – Songwriter
Morningside Dance Academy – Dance
Stephanie Ternent – Songwriter
Edinburgh Dance Academy – Dance
Ashley Anderson – Singer
Caitlin Vanbeck – Singer
Ross Arthur – Solo Guitar & Vocals
We’ve also managed to get an interview with one of the judges, Deborah Welsh, watch the video below!
You can watch a selection of the acts auditions for Edinburghs Got Talent by clicking their names above!
The winner will receive £1,000 plus the chance to perform at the Radio Forth Awards in November.
The final, with an increased venue capacity of 3,000, is open to the public and tickets are on sale now!
You can buy tickets for the Edinburgh’s Got Talent final now by clicking here!
Take a look at our list of top Scottish talent show contestants here.
Compiled by Lori Cormack
Whether you’re looking for something to do this weekend, or need an after-work treat, there’s lots to choose from in the city this week. We’ve picked out some of the best.
First up, the Cameo cinema in the city’s Tollcross area is giving you the chance to view George Harrison: Living in the Material World before it airs on TV. This Martin Scorsese directed documentary uses never before seen footage from the guitarist’s childhood, straight through his years with the famous four, until his death in 2011. We also hear from band mate Paul McCartney and legend Eric Clapton. Showing Thursday night, at 7pm but you’ll need to give the box office a call for tickets.
As we have already featured on the website, October is the month of the Hispanic Festival in Edinburgh. This Friday Alistair Moffat delivers the keynote lecture, DNA – Iberia and Scotland – The Prehistoric Links. Author and broadcaster Moffat focuses on the links between Iberia and Scotland, and reveals just where our ancestors may have come from. There will be a Q&A session afterwards and music provided by Galo Ceron. Doors open at the Central Library at 6pm and these three hours of entertainment are completely free.
If Scottish culture is more your thing, then The Jam House is playing host to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Fairbridge Celidh this Friday. It’s all in aid of Fair Bridge, a charity who work with disadvantaged young people aged 13-25 to give them the motivation, self-confidence and skills they need to change their lives. Tickets are £20 or £35 per couple and include food, sparkling reception, and a raffle ticket. It all kicks off at 5pm.
You’ll have no problems getting your five a day this weekend, as Apple Day is coming to the Botanics. Although officially one day of celebration, the Edinburgh attraction has turned it in to a whole weekend for you to enjoy. The free event will be held in the John Hope Gateway Centre between 1 – 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday and you can sample different varieties of the juicy treat and pick up some tips on growing your own.
Lastly, no culture round up would be complete without a trip to the theatre. This week the Edinburgh University Theatre Group occupy the Bedlam Theatre in the city’s Bristo Place with their version of the award-winning Elephant Man. It tells the true story of a young doctor’s attempted rehabilitation of the Victorian side-show freak, John Merrick. Showing until Saturday, doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £5, or £4.50 for students.
It comes as no news that Scotland has a drinking problem. Recent legislation passed by the Scottish Government has largely focused on curbing the nation’s drinking. Coming into affect on the first of October, tighter laws regarding the marketing and pricing of alcohol will aim to curtail a nation for whom alcoholism is as ingrained as the rolling of an R.
But these players were minnows compared to other heavy drinkers of Scottish football. While playing for Hibernian, George Best was sacked after he went on a drinking session with the French rugby team, who were in Edinburgh to play Scotland. He was brought back a week later. By this point Best had already risen and fallen in dramatic fashion and had returned to British football from America when Hibs were fighting relegation. Whilst Hibs were still relegated Best’s arrival at the club saw ticket sales quadruple, such was the man’s standing. Alcohol would play as much a part of his public life as his skill on the pitch, and would sadly claim his life.
Yet in Scotland the drinking culture among athletes is far from limited to footballers. Ken Buchanan, a boxing hall of famer, was once one of the top billed fighters in the world and a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division. But as with Benny Lynch before him and as Scott Harrison would go on to suffer, Buchanan would demonstrate the Scottish athlete’s ability to be laid low by the drink, “I tried Alcoholics Anonymous but couldn’t take it. It has played a big part in my life and caused the break up of my second marriage.”
Yesterday saw two people being sent to hospital after they tried their hand at the Kismot Killer – a curry concocted by two local restaurateurs, who are naturally gifted with minds for publicity. Take this back almost three years to a show hosted by myself and a friend on local radio station, Leith FM. After running a little late, I walked in the door to find myself confronted by a hazard box containing the now revered Kismot Killer curry….
Akbar Ali and his brother are the brains behind creating what is unofficially the ‘world’s hottest curry’. It’s made up of various chillies, including the Naga Chilli whose origins can be traced back to Bangladesh. What is vital to know is that “this is not just an extra hot Vindaloo, this is a completely new recipe that took years to perfect”. The Ali brothers then went on to say that, “even their own mother has to leave the room whilst it’s cooking because of the potency of the chillies!”
Although people were taken to hospital, complaining of vomiting and stomach cramps it cannot be said that there was no forewarning. In fact, there is a rather ominous disclaimer that needs to be signed to continue the process, and you really are signing your life away: “Kismot restaurant will take no responsibility for your bodily functions after you eat the curry. If you die whilst eating or as a direct result of eating the curry, members of the table will share the cost of your Kismot Killer.” There is one silver lining – you get the curry free of charge if you do successfully stomach it all.
On that fateful day, there was no escape. I was live on air and under immense peer pressure, and even as it was being prepared in the kitchen, the smell that drifted into the studio was toxic. As I digested the curry, I realised I had made a huge mistake in trying the chicken version – there is more chewing involved which somewhat draws out the experience. It can only be compared to swallowing fiery, molten lava, and no one would do that in a hurry!
As an aid there were several litres of milk on standby – although Akbar did point out I would probably feel better with double cream. Nevertheless there was not a full carton in sight afterwards, the brothers, relishing my pain, told me that, “We’ve had boys come in all the way from India who’ve thought they could handle it, hard boys from the worst estates of Edinburgh, but not even any of the Kismot staff have been able to handle this, everyone’s reaction is the same,” so I could feel comforted by that fact at least.
The worse was still to come though, with another friend in the studio willing to power his way through what to him as a seasoned hot curry eater, seemed like the ultimate challenge. His name will not be disclosed due to the unfortunate and embarrassing outcome of eating his way through six gigantic spoonfuls in comparison to my mere one spoonful. For a while he had left the room for reasons unknown only to reappear half an hour later with no explanation of his whereabouts. After much prying we discovered he had fallen asleep on the toilet, as he just could not move – unexpected, hilarious and at the same time a little bit tragic as he had been defeated by his greatest love of all, a hot curry.
The Kismot Killer is the only 18-rated curry in the world, it has a death disclaimer and a hall of fame dedicated to those who have risen to the challenge – but still has not entered in to the Guiness Book of World Records. After trying the goods, it was discovered that the brothers ultimate aim is have created the ‘official hottest curry in the world’, but according to Ali they need, “almost £3000 to pay for people to come and test the curry and their stay whilst they are here to even be considered.” So while there might be plenty of media attention for this small family-run business, the cost of reaching their ultimate goal is still a burning issue.
For the more faint-hearted it is recommended that you try another invention from the Ali brothers – the chocolate naan bread. This can contain a chocolate bar of your choice and is made fresh up for you in the restaurant. This might be a more humane option, one that doesn’t have any repercussions and won’t get you on national news. In the words of Akbar Ali, “anyone who tries this curry is a complete dunderheed” – we do all love a challenge though, don’t we?
Lori Cormack, Entertainment Editor
Whether you want to laugh until your stomach hurts, or dance until your feet fall off, there’s plenty on offer this week around the capital to keep you occupied.
First up, it’s the Best of Scottish Comedy. This monthly showcase of the best Scotland has to offer takes place at The Stand Comedy Club on York Place tonight. Performers include Jay Lafferty and Raymond Mearns. It’s usually packed, so get yourself down there early to secure seats (although maybe not in the front row, we all know where that leads). Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.30pm show, tickets are £6 full price, and a fiver if you’re a student.
How about making a song and dance of it? Any Eastenders fans will recognise Eddie Moon, real name and one time heart-throb for all of our mums, David Essex in this show. His touring musical, All the Fun of the Fair occupies The Edinburgh Playhouse from next Tuesday. Described as a drama-dey by one critic, we see fun fair owner Levi Lee juggling an ex wife, new lover and rebel son, all to his own well-loved hits. See it between 4 – 8 October, prices start at £20.50 full price and £17.50 concessions.
A change of culture could be just what you need, and the MacDonald Roxburghe Hotel has the perfect solution. This Sunday, Bollywood comes to the capital, in An Evening of Bollywood Magic. As well as a three course meal, guests will be treated to dance demonstrations, magic from Ravi Mayar and music from DJ Taz. There will also be a raffle and charity auction, where you could bid for a pair of Amir Khan boxing gloves. The night kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets cost £30.
If it’s an educational experience that you’re after, why not head for The Filmhouse this coming Monday. There will be a showing of Krakatoa: The Last Days, a docu-drama based on survival stories from residents living below Krakatoa at the time of it’s eruption. The showing will be introduced by Doctor Stuart Monro, and there will be a discussion afterwards. On at the Filmhouse, on Lothian Road, 3 October at 5.45pm. Tickets priced at £7.50, or £5.50 for students.
And lastly, you’ll want to listen up for this one because it’s…wait for it… FREE. This weekend will see the return of the Morningside Makers Market. The new-for-this-year monthly market has everything you could want to fill your flat with gorgeous goodies, including jewellery, art, clothing, ceramics and confectionery. The 30+ stalls occupy the Columcille Centre, just off Morningside Road this Saturday (1st October) from 11am – 4pm.
Holding the e-cigarette, and thinking quite positively about it. It’s only for five days and at least I’ll have something to smoke. Everything I’ve tried before to try and ditch smoking has taken the actual act of smoking away: gum, mints and patches, and I constantly find that I’m looking for something to do, which is smoke.
It’s not off to a good start, despite my initial optimism. It’s actually only been a half day without smoking. I woke up with a throbbing headache and apart from paracetamol I knew the only other thing that would get me through a Monday morning was a few ciggies.
After a quick puff at lunchtime I went back to work feeling better than I had in the morning, so decided to try the e-ciggie. No one else was in the office so it gave me peace to try it out.
Tolerable is my first thought, it taste nothing like a real cigarette to but I’m still feeling quite optimistic about it.
After dinner is when I normally go out for a smoke but a few chores about the house have momentarily taken my mind off smoking, but only until they’re done with. Now I’m thinking it’s about time for a ciggie so I opt for e-cig. It seems worse this time and doesn’t fully satisfy me need or my want for one.
The night drags in slowly as I think about getting a real ciggie, so I make a cup of tea and sit inside with the e-ciggie again. I try to remind myself of the positives: that I’m not out in the rain, it’s better for my health etc, but it doesn’t compare to the real thing.
After pottering about the house and looking for things to do, it’s finally time for bed and I turn in for the night thinking about smoking.
Woke up and first thought ‘Oh no! I decided I’m not going to smoke today maybe I could just have one now and then I start stopping’ but I managed to resist the urge.
Kept same habit and used e-cigarette when I would normally have had first smoke of the day. Helps a little but don’t feel I’ve had a smoke; the edge has been taken off a little though.
I used e-ciggy when sitting at desk during morning tea break. It didn’t satisfy want for a real smoke. I would normally go outside at tea break to smoke and wondered if keeping the same habit would have helped but thought I’d look pretty daft going outside with a plastic cigarette. I’ve spent the first part of the morning thinking of and wanting a cigarette.
The morning’s pretty tough and I’m having difficulty keeping my concentration on work tasks…cigarette….cigarette. So I’m trying to stop myself from smoking by telling myself I can have one after a few days….helps a little bit.
Used e-ciggie again at desk thinking the nicotine might help but as I don’t normally smoke at my desk it just feels wrong. Now I’ve got a sore stomach and I’m thinking it’s the e-ciggie that’s doing it. It does taste pretty bad, tastes like the smell of burning plastic.
Just about lunch time now and I try the e-cigarette again but I can’t take any more of it and decide to have a real one and feel much better. I’ve decided that it will be my only one today, I reckon I can manage the rest of the day without one now.
Didn’t bother with the e-ciggie after lunch not really craving a cigarette too much
Not long back after lunch and starting to want a smoke. Had a few puffs on the e-ciggie instead. It is time for the afternoon tea break I’m using the e-ciggie again. Cant get peace as a few colleagues are curious about it and are asking annoying questions. I wish they would just piss off and give me peace to try and imagine that I’m really smoking.
Between tea break and home time using the fake fag again. My stomach is a bit sore and I’m feeling a wee bit sick, I’m convinced it’s the fake fag.
Home time and convinced myself not to have a real fag by telling myself I’ll have one before going to bed.
It’s after dinner and am trying to think of other thing to eat as I’m not going out for an after dinner smoke.
Watching the football on TV, it’s pretty boring game and am thinking I’ll go out for a real smoke at half time. I’m wondering if the game really is boring or is it that I just can’t concentrate and get into it.
Half time and I’m not going to smoke as I’ve decided that I’ll definitely have one before bed and I should be able to hang on till then
Had a go with the e-ciggie…it’s not anything like the real thing. I’m thinking it would be better if it was nearer the same size as a real cigarette and the weight of it is such that you can’t hold it like you would a real cigarette I think it must have been a non-smoker that designed it. IT’S NOT A REAL CIGARETTE. Roll on bed time, I’m bored.
I’m feeling quite happy now the day from hell is almost over, I’m going for a real cigarette then bed. This is the earliest I’ve gone to bed for ages.