John Gibson: A big day down there at the Abbey

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain

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Wouldn’t be the same without them, would it? The annual Celtic Festival will be celebrated on Saturday at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith where the festivities will be graced by inseparable duo Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham.

The Festival is in its third year, and the college this year celebrated its 75th anniversary. Organisers claim this will be the biggest yet, Aly and Phil “rounding off a day of music, dance, crafts, outdoor activities and culture’’ in the ceilidh tent.’’

Principal of the college Ann Southwood adds: “Our festival will see a rich mix of live music, dance, song and debate from local groups, performers and some big names.’’

They don’t come any bigger than Messrs Bain and Cunningham, and if Aly is in particularly celebratory mood, that’s because he turned 66 on Tuesday and I’ve no doubt he made a dram good day of it.

Another planet

Whisper it. Contrary to reports, Sir David Attenborough (call him Dave at your peril) is not retiring from television.

Indeed, Sir David, who recently quietly notched an 86th birthday, plans to dig ever deeper into natural history. Far as he’s concerned, nothing on the planet is forbidden.

He’s packing his bags for a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Subsequently he’ll have his passport stamped for Africa and Australia. Travel sick he ain’t.

But he’s been nowhere till he’s done the cheap day return from Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street.