Loanhead actor makes second appearance in Still Game

Actor Frank Gilhooley. Picture; contributed
Actor Frank Gilhooley. Picture; contributed
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It is the iconic sitcom taking Scottish TV by storm after almost a decade off the airwaves.

But there is an extra special reason for viewers from Midlothian to tune in to this week’s eagerly-awaited second instalment of Still Game.

The resurrected comedy series features Loanhead actor Frank Gilhooley, a former bankrupt labourer who is making a triumphant comeback of his own.

The 45-year-old appeared in the series more than a decade ago, going on to land roles in Outlander and Hollywood blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy.

But it is as Mark the angry quizmaster that Still Game fans best remember him in an episode which sees his character screaming abuse in Tam Mullen’s face for failing to answer a question on time.

Frank, who will be playing the same character from 2004, said: “Mark is not the friendliest of chaps – in fact he is a horrible character. He is making a return to the show on Friday where he will rattle a few cages.

“Last time I was at the Comedy Unit, everything was smaller. But this time everything was bigger, stronger, grander. I have been blessed to have been given roles in a few things but this was a real 
privilege. Scottish comedy is where my heart is.”

Frank was able to reprise the role after former cast members were invited to an informal audition with director Michael Hines.

The episode – called The Undrinkables – airs on BBC One on Friday from 9.30pm.

Jack and Victor receive the sad news that dear old friend, Pete the Jakey, has died.

Pete may have been homeless but he held a special place in the heart of Craiglang’s community. The episode is dedicated to Jake D’Arcy who played the character from 2002 to 2007. Jake died in May 2015.

Mr Gilhooley attended St Margaret’s Primary School, Loanhead, and St David’s Roman Catholic High School in Dalkeith.

The father-of-three trained as a landscape contractor before starting his own business in the early 90s.

He stumbled into acting in 2001 after a personal setback and started by getting involved in the Edinburgh Theatre Workshop’s community play.

Frank declared himself bankrupt following a spike in his mortgage repayments on Leadburn Manor Fly Fishing Centre outside Penicuik. But within a week of ­taking the tough decision, he was offered the part of a tattoo-sporting prisoner on the Guardians of the Galaxy, which took more than £625 million at the box office.

His latest project will see him playing a Hell’s Angel in Due Justice, an action-adventure-comedy film set to be filmed in LA.