John Gibson: How long before gong for Tommy?

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Tommy Carson was 12, a mere bairn, when he won a talent contest, singing on stage at the Palladium, a variety theatre in East Fountainbridge.

“My prize was a pound note. It paid for a holiday for my dad. In the Thirties a quid would buy you holiday,’’ says Tommy, a grand old soldier who entertained the troops in concert parties during the war.

He still can’t give up the mic, hogging it again at the weekend while hosting the Scottish Pensioners’ new year dinner at the Apex Hotel.Loves an audience, so he does.

He’ll be 90 this October. Long recommended for a gong for his charity work.

Not to worry, Tommy. Some day soon. I well know how you feel. I’ve reserved a patch on my uniform for service beyond the call of duty but she keeps ignoring my letters.

In their defence

Only 54 per cent of Britain’s reservists are adequately fit for the fight, according to my mole. Just 1500 out of the 30,000 on the Ministry of Defence’s books are fit for combat duties.

Not a word to the North Koreans about this.

Afterwords . .

. . . straight talking from Janet Street-Porter: “A modern woman’s biggest fear is not living alone, it’s looking her age. We will never admit it, though.”