Still Game star lines up chilling Halloween treat for TV viewers
He is best known as one half of the comedy duo currently pulling in millions of viewers to watch Still Game's return to the nation's TV screens.
But now Greg Hemphill is set to send shivers down the spines of viewers with a Halloween horror story - his first full-length drama as a director - set on a remote Scottish island.
Gregory’s Girl star John Gordon Sinclair, Balamory favourite Julie Wilson Nimmo, Deacon Blue singer Lorraine McIntosh and former Taggart star John Michie are among the star-studded cast assembled for the BBC Scotland drama West Skerra Light.
Lewis Howden and Tam Dean Burn are among the host of familiar faces from the Scottish acting world in the nerve-jangling story, details of which have been kept firmly under wraps by the BBC until now.
The “black comedy” revolves around the unnerving owner of a haunted lighthouse and the incomers who descend on her isolated home for the night and soon find themselves battling for survival.
Hemphill, a self-confessed fan of horror films, has made West Skerra Light six years after he a musical version of the cult 1970s favourite The Wicker Man was brought to the stage by the National Theatre of Scotland. He has reunited with his co-writer on that project, Donald McLeary, to pen the script for West Skerra Light, his second project behind the camera.
Last year Hemphill directed fellow Glasgow comic Frankie Boyle in Gasping - a short film about a recovering alcoholic.
The new hour-long drama also features rising stars Lorna Craig, who also appeared in Gasping alongside McIntosh, whose previous acting credits include My Name Is Joe and Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, and Lorne McFadden, who is playing England World Cup idol Bobby Moore in a forthcoming ITV drama series.
A spokeswoman for BBC Scotland, which joined forces with Glasgow-based Hopscotch Productions to make West Skerra Light, said it was intended to “embrace the spirit of Halloween.”
A spokeswoman said: “A group of city dwellers arrive on the Isle of Skerra to view the local lighthouse which is up for sale. Young lovers Lana and Gregor, unhappily married husband and wife Bill and Joan and businessman Tom all have their sights set on the unusual property and are met by lighthouse owner and local oddball Frances McGilvary.
“However, what they don’t realise is that all who set foot in this lighthouse are cursed. And before the night is out, they will have swapped their superficial city worries for an altogether bigger dilemma – how to escape the malevolent presence stalking West Skerra Light.”
John Archer, owner of Hopscotch, said: “After Gasping, I thought the next thing we should do with Greg was a Hogmanay special, as that time of year is a opportunity to do something a bit different. But then it became much more suitable for Halloween.”
Carolynne Sinclair Kidd, producer of West Skerra Light, which was filmed on location at the Corsewall Lighthouse in Dumfriesshire and the Cuan Ferry in Argyll, described it as a “comedy horror.”
She said: “This is only the second thing Greg has directed, but he is just the most generous, appreciative and thoughtful director you could ever hope to work with. People loved doing their best for him.”