Talk of the Town: Bangs not fine and Dandy for Brown

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AS the former incumbent of the top job in British politics, Gordon Brown is no stranger to round-the-clock security checks and threat-to-life scenarios.

But in the company of literary types and political anoraks, you would think the Edinburgh Book Festival would be on the lower end of the assassination scale.

Bodyguards for the former prime minister were said to be on high alert yesterday after a series of bangs and cracks “exploded” in Charlotte Square.

As Ian Rankin tweeted: “Gordon Brown is at the Book Fest. Security everywhere. Event clashes with one for The Dandy, who have given Thunderbangs to all the kids... Pop-pop noises everywhere. Security twitching. You couldn’t make it up.”

It all points to fun and Games for police pair

OF all the possible stints a pair of city coppers could have landed – 3am Cowgate patrol, guarding the sheriff court or collaring violent criminals – it looks like these two drew the long straw, or maybe not.

Lothian and Borders officers James and Andy surfaced on the Twitter-sphere enjoying the final days of the Olympics in London.

Drafted in to help police the Games, the pair took a quick break to pose with a Team GB Union Jack for a snap which ended up online.

The duo even paid homage to sprint legend Usain Bolt – or is it Mo Farah? - with their own take on the “lightning bolt”.

Joust our sort of thing

FORGET posh recitals and pretentious prose, three Edinburgh students are bringing poetry to the masses after launching a new event at this year’s Book Festival.

“Impro Slam” will pit four performance poets in a freestyle verbal joust to create the most entertaining and witty poems, using words and themes suggested by the audience.

Known as “slammers”, the performers will be eliminated over three rounds. Tomorrow’s event is part of a push to attract a younger audience to the Book Festival.

It is not anticipated that our own esteemed makar, Ron Butlin, will take on the competition.