John Gibson: John’s still smokin’ 45 years on

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Strangers confront John Miller in the street and ask ‘‘were you no’ the singer in Fags ‘n’ Matches?’’ Indeed he was and the band are remembered from all of 45 years back when it won this paper’s Search for a Star competition at the Playhouse, packed for the final.

Miller, 73, who has kept his now white hair, is recalling: “The band originally was called The Blue Max and performed regularly at the Maybury Roadhouse in Corstorphine in the Seventies. We were founder on keyboards Graeme Tosh, whose brother Stuart played with 10CC, drummer Colin Bellet, guitarist Jimmy Ackroyd, bassist/pianist Roy Martin and me as lead singer.

‘‘We’re all coming out of retirement to play a charity gig at Kirkliston Bowling Club on Saturday, April 12, for Kirkliston’s Gala Day on June 14.

‘‘We adopted the name Fags ‘n’ Matches through a workmate of mine. All he seemed to say the day long was whaur’s ma fags ‘n’ matches?”

Pig in a poke

Nothing is sacred. Nothing. Not even the bacon butty. Life without the mid-morning bacon roll wouldn’t be worth living.

A deadly pig virus, known as the porcine epidemice diarrhoea virus, could well destroy Britain’s pig population. Penny Johnston of the National Farmers’ Union is squealing about it: ‘‘The virus has a very high impact and the potential to spread quickly. It could be devastating for farmers . . . so prices go up if it happens.’’

It killed four million pigs in America alone last year. It’s difficult keeping one’s snout out of the trough when catastrophy threatens the beloved bacon roll. I smell trouble ahead.