Edinburgh man behind Taggart to give Leith talk

Mark McManus and James MacPherson in a scene from the TV series Taggart
Mark McManus and James MacPherson in a scene from the TV series Taggart
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HE is the tough-talking detective famous for cleaning up the mean streets of Glasgow.

And now the Edinburgh man behind the award-wining Taggart TV series is heading back to his home city to share some of his secrets with the Leith Festival.

Glenn Chandler, known as the godfather of Scottish crime noir, will be in the Malmaison hotel on Friday, June 19 choosing his favourite moments from the hit TV show.

This will be followed by a rare question and answer session in which he will give behind-the-scene insights into how he dreamed up murder after murder for his no-nonsense sleuth to solve.

Chandler, who is originally from Meadowbank and was educated at the Royal High, said: “I was born and brought up in Edinburgh but ironically ended up writing about a Glasgow detective.

“But I did bring him through to the Capital sometimes so you could say Edinburgh was the guest star of the show.

“I’m looking forward to being back.”

Chandler, who lives in Hertfordshire, said it had been strange re-visiting old episodes of the crime drama, the earliest of which date from 1983.

Malmaison will be the festival hub for the first time, with performances from original Bay City Roller Alan Longmuir and 15-year-old magician Dan Bastianelli among the shows on offer.

Longmuir, who will perform on Sunday, June 21, said: “I’m really looking forward to coming home and playing all the old hits in Leith one more time. We built our worldwide success on our local audiences and they have always been incredibly loyal so it is great to be able to entertain them.”

The opening party will be held in the ground floor of the hotel on Friday, June 12, with events running throughout the month.

Established in 1907, the Leith Festival is among the oldest community arts festivals in the world. It will include events at venues throughout Leith up until June 21, including the annual Gala Day, exhibitions and performances.

The festival’s artistic director, Tony Delicata, stressed that it had been “gaining momentum” after running into financial difficulties in 2011, adding: “Every year we try to do something different. It’s got something for everyone and the summer really starts here.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com