Talk of the Town: Nigel strings them along on night out

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HE’s known as the bad boy of classical music and world-famous violinist Nigel Kennedy certainly ensured regulars at an Edinburgh bar had a night to remember after jumping on stage to join the house band on his fiddle.

He had been enjoying dinner and a few drams at the Whiski bar and restaurant on the Royal Mile after his sell-out show at the Usher Hall when he decided to join in with regular band, The Gorms.

Owner Gary Still said: “We couldn’t believe it when we realised that it was Nigel Kennedy on the fiddle. His playing was absolutely brilliant.”

Rankin reveals writing a stinker is a rites of passage

FOR aspiring authors staring in horror at the latest draft of their as-yet unfinished novel, do not despair, even the best have been there.

Bestselling Rebus author Ian Rankin has done his bit to ease the worry of the next generation, by admitting his own first work – 1983 black comedy Summer Rites, rejected by publishers and stored in a box ever since – is a far cry from the polished masterpieces for which he is famous.

Ahead of an appearance at a festival celebrating first novels, Rankin said: “A lot of us have got stuff in the bottom drawer that we’re either very embarrassed about or we’re glad it never did get published.”

And to prove the point he admitted his first book only had one fan – his wife.

Bearing up well

HE is almost certainly the most popular new resident of the Capital, so Talk of the Town is pleased to report that giant panda Yang Guang is on the mend.

The poorly panda had to retire from public view last week after being diagnosed with a bout of colic. After a few days of rest, however, the zoo has announced that he is feeling better and is likely to be back on show later this week.

Hugh Roberts, chief executive of the zoo, said the panda had received get well messages from around the world.

It’s offaly good, honest

IT’S Scotland’s national dish, and a national disgrace that so many youngsters have never tried the Chieftain o’ the puddin’ race.

So ahead of Burns Night a local company is doing its bit to get more people tucking into haggis.

Edinburgh’s Macsween is going after “haggis virgins”, by singing its praises online. A relaunched website will aim to get youngsters to overcome their fears about eating the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, and embrace the Scottish offering to world cuisine.