John Gibson: Doc Gibson will see you now!

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough
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My informant – whisper it – is Judy Vickers, a colleague who decorates a desk next to me here at Holyrood Towers and I trust her implicitly.

Burrowing into Scottish Medicine, a newly-published tome, she was shocked and stunned (me, too!) to learn that John Gibson, a Leith surgeon, was appointed the first city professor in midwifery in 1726. Responsible to midwives for their licence.

Gibson became the first professor of midwifery in Britain, authorised to teach student doctors and midwives alike.

As I recurringly advise you, trust me, I’m not a doctor. But I do feel I missed my calling. I’d have been a dab hand with the scalpel.

My childhood tonsils were preserved in aspic for many a year, by the way.

Is it natural?

I keep wondering. Is David Attenborough’s voice for real? So fragile. So precious. You oft wonder if he’ll make it to the end of the show.

Now Dave in a dollop of Fragile Planet has shattered my conception of him. In a crucial scene with polar bears purporting to have been filmed in the icy wilderness reportedly was shot in a Dutch zoo using fake snow.

The BBC have been vociferous in their defence. Taints Attaboy Attenborough for all that. He’s chipping in with his tuppenceworth. Well, naturally. He’s a naturalist.

Afterwords . .

. . . Wouldn’t rate them an odd couple but hardly the average twosome, Jeremy Irons, 62, and married 33 years to Sinead Cusack, confessing: “Sinead and I have had difficult times. Every marriage does because people are impossible, I’m impossible, my wife’s impossible. Life’s impossible.” Aye, tell us about it.