John Gibson: Place to go if you need Marr maps

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It wasn’t as though Andrew Marr was wandering around Edinburgh like a lost laddie. But, yes, he was looking for a map.

He was in St Mary’s Street on Tuesday and he knew exactly where he was and what he was after in the Capital’s Old Town.

And mid-afternoon he dropped in to Paul Clark’s atmospheric gallery, the bustling street’s newest shop specialising in antique maps, drawings and pictures.

‘‘Andrew was in town for the day with a BBC film unit to record three upcoming programmes about Sir Walter Scott and Scott’s devout unionist views and what his work did to bring a lot of tourists from abroad to Scotland,’’ says Clark, who adds: “It was a delight to have a blether with Andrew, who took time from his BBC schedule to browse around the shop. Just a nice guy. Quite personable. I have a whole new slant on his show Sunday mornings.’’

Nice guy. But did he buy? ‘‘Yes, a map of south-east Perthshire where he and the family hail from. Maybe a Mother’s Day present for his mum, I didn’t inquire.’’

My question for Marr, had I been allowed to break into their blether, would have been to ask when Edinburgh and its big wigs will be featured on his Sunday morning show, the Edinburgh with its crumbling streets (half-cobbled, half-tarred St Mary’s Street for starters) that’s kept under wraps.

Barnaby lives

Rumours of his death were grossly exaggerated. I should know. Because I wrote here, in this very column, that Barnaby Hawkes had died. He was no longer with us. I put my hands up. I was the exaggerator.