Bradley Welsh given sauna boss role in new Trainspotting (T2) film

Bradley Walsh. Picture: TSPL
Bradley Walsh. Picture: TSPL

BOXING gym boss Bradley Welsh takes his big screen bow in T2 Trainspotting on Sunday – but it was very nearly the film debut that never happened.

Asked to audition by director Danny Boyle, Bradley admits to “messing up” his big break after getting overexcited.

But he seized a second chance after a party chat to join stars Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller on the red carpet at tomorrow’s world premiere.

Former boxer Bradley was introduced to Boyle by writer and friend Irvine Welsh during a Guinness World Record bid for charity at his Holyrood Boxing Gym in 2014.

He offered to help-out with sets around Edinburgh – only to soon find his way in front of the camera.

“Originally I was only meant to be in a boxing scene but then Danny asked me to try for another part,” says Bradley, 43.

“I was given the script 30 minutes before and then told to read it in front of Danny and a camera,” he adds, of auditions in Bathgate. “I messed up – on reflection I was too excited.”

But then a chat with the Oscar-winning director at a party a week later led to Bradley sending in a showreel. 
“I told him I messed up and he agreed. I asked him if I could send a showreel and he told me to do it straight away – two days later he sent it back saying I got the part.

“He’s a very, very special man,” says Bradley of Boyle. “Not because he’s a big movie director but because of the way he is with normal people – he makes everyone feel involved.”

Bradley was keeping details of his role – which involved six days filming – under wraps but a preview clip shows him playing an Edinburgh sauna kingpin.

“I’m no shrinking violet and my experiences are coming from the streets of Edinburgh,” says Bradley.

In one scene, Slumdog Millionaire director Boyle had to lay down the law as Bradley tried some ad lib.

“I was saying to him, how about I say this, or how about I say that,” says Bradley.

“He turned to me and said, ‘yes, that’s good, and when you write your own script, you can put that in’.”

Joining Bradley at tomorrow’s premiere will be fiancée Emma, 30, while six-year-old daughter Tiger Eva will have to wait to watch dad’s screen debut in an 18 certificate film.

“She’s excited and keeps saying daddy’s in a movie.”