HE is as quintessentially English as cricket, bowler hats and warm beer on a summer’s evening.
But now the darling of British cinema has come out as an unlikely devotee of one of Scotland’s most iconic bands.
Richard Curtis, the man famous for romantic comedies including Four Weddings and a Funeral, has proclaimed a lifelong love of The Proclaimers.
In his foreword to a book of their song lyrics, he praises the Leith duo for their “dazzling mixture of simplicity and wit and perception and honesty and passion, uniquely expressed”, revealing that he has listened to their music every week for years.
And the 58-year-old screenwriter described twins Charlie and Craig Reid as his “Scottish brothers” – making him an unlikely third Proclaimer.
He said: “We’ve grown up together. We couldn’t be more different – me England, them Scotland. Me moving pictures, them music that moves.
“But we have actually grown up and grown old together – one of the things I love about them is that their songs have been about a whole adult life.
“They didn’t let themselves get stranded, writing some youthful masterpieces about youth and then trying to do that again and again.
“They kept watching and over the years they’ve given me hope, consolation, joy, reflection and partnership, in that strange intimacy which a song in your ear alone can give.”
The director and screen-writer responsible for Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually talks about the duo’s uncanny ability to express whatever emotion he was feeling through key moments in his life. They include the joy of falling in love, captured in their now global anthem I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), and the grief of losing his parents.
“Whatever happens, whatever turn my life takes, The Proclaimers seem to have got there before me,” he said.
The Proclaimers Lyrics: 1987-2013 presents all of the lyrics from songs that the twins have written and recorded.
The compilation, available from Monday, includes nine studio albums, and 124 full song lyrics and also includes original introduction sleeve notes from two more high profile fans, Matt Lucas and David Tennant.
Kenny MacDonald, The Proclaimers’ manager, said Craig and Charlie were “very honoured” to have Richard Curtis write the foreword.
He said: “Richard is a huge and very passionate Proclaimers fan. Because the book is all about the written word, we thought he was the obvious choice given his esteem as a great writer. When we suggested it, he couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and Craig and Charlie were certainly very honoured to have him do so.”
Curtis wrote the cult Blackadder series and achieved breakthrough success with Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, the biggest grossing British film in history at that time.