John Gibson: Lord John is still in great nick

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YOU might call it a ploughman’s lunch. Lord John McCluskey happened to be strolling up the Royal Mile when, sunning himself at the door of Gordon’s Trattoria, Gordon Scott bundled him inside for a refreshment.

With an engagement later in the afternoon, John settled for alcohol-free bread and cheese. He was, though, still in celebratory fettle. He’d hit 83 three days earlier.

He told me and Gordon, who’s a long-time acquaintance: “Officially I retired eight years ago but I still do get involved in what you call the business. Yes, perhaps I thrive on it.”

Still swims every day. Still at the piano in his West End home. Still at Celtic Park but the ties there are not as strong as they used to be.

He’s served his time, has His Lordship . . . 30 years at the Bar, 20 on the Bench. Besides the daily swim, he gets a good tune out of his grand piano. M’lud, resting my case.

Briers pitch

HERE’S Richard Briers, formerly always good for a laugh on television: “Anything featuring David Attenborough makes me happy. He’s a great man and I manage to stay awake through all his programmes, which is quite something.” Yes, Richard. Quite an achievement. However, Old Atters never fails to send me to sleep. Different strokes for different folks.