John Gibson: Uptown and a Downtoner at Slaters

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Talk of the town, the return of Downton Abbey to our screens.

One of the magnetic series’ stars, Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cara), was uptown in Edinburgh’s George Street during the Festival, singing in the Assembly Rooms. A Fringe attraction with time enough to trawl for bargain in neighbouring outfitters Slaters.

Says general manager Peter Chesney: “Elizabeth all but brought the shop to a standstill while she signed autographs. She charmed everybody and I had to lecture my star-struck staff again, a few days earlier when Linda Lusardi had come in with husband Sam Kane, ex Brookside and Coronation Street. She bought shoes for her son and we gave her gift vouchers for her charity. It was a lights, camera, action day when these people dropped in.”

Join the choir

Before you know it they’ll be in X Factor. The Edinburgh Contemporary Choir are singing this song, ‘‘Our new Choir Needs You”. Again, first publicised in the column some months back, they are asking me to help them recruit members.

Says their anonymous spokesperson: “Our brand new rock and pop choir is holding rehearsals, the first at St Mary’s RC Cathedral this week and another at St Paul’s Pilrig on October 3.”

No auditions, no need to read music, male and female. Just be there. Details at 614 0085. Now sing out loud.

Afterwords . . .

. . . Proud of himself, and why not? Cliff Richard at 72 saying: “I’m one of the only singers to have sold nearly 300 million records. As much, if not more, than any other recording artist. Yet I’m not known in America.’’ Not to worry, Cliff, we all love you.