John Gibson: This kilt was landlord Al’s delight

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Telly’s best-loved pub landlord Al Murray, here for a Fringe frolic, popped into Slaters, the George Street outfitters for a kilt for his show.

No problem for the store’s manager Peter Chesney and his first lieutenant Sandy Bisset. “Ideally Al would have wanted a Murray tartan but we were fresh out of that and he was happy with the grey-ish kilt with the Saltire,’’ says Mr Chesney.

“Slaters presented him with £500 worth of vouchers in aid of his favourite Cambodian Children charity.”

Landlord Al, who peaked when opposite Harry Hill, refused a glass, preferring a cup of tea and a chocolate finger. He loves kids. His first was born in Edinburgh.

Joan’s no moan

Talking about Michael Winner’s remake of the classic Big Sleep, Joan Collins (she has a book to sell, therefore her reminiscence is expertly timed) fondly remembers the film’s star Robert Mitchum: “He epitomised the strong, silent type, was as gentle with me as if he were playing with a kitten. He had to wrestle me to the floor, fling me across the room, grab my hair, twist my neck and then, for the grand finale, throw me across his knee and spank me . . . I hardly felt a thing throughout.’’ She’s complaining?

The write stuff

I hear that a stall at the Gyle Shopping Centre – I rarely venture that far out of town, not without a road map a flask of soup – recently, for free, offered youngsters a chance to improve their handwriting.

An admirable ploy, if true. Spelling, too? But primarily a job for parents and schools, surely. Mind you, my own scrawl, I’m told, resembles a dog wee-weeing in the snow.

Now how about a similar facility for adults on how to hold their cutlery?