Trainspotting and Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd recalls being a 'jumperooter' in Edinburgh before hitting the big time in Hollywood

Kevin McKidd as Adam Lyal (Deceased) in his days with The Cadies and Witchery ToursKevin McKidd as Adam Lyal (Deceased) in his days with The Cadies and Witchery Tours
Kevin McKidd as Adam Lyal (Deceased) in his days with The Cadies and Witchery Tours
TRAINSPOTTING star and Hollywood favourite Kevin McKidd has recalled his time as a student studying drama at the city's Queen Margaret College while launching a charity single to raise funds for The Trussell Trust and Help Musicians UK.

The Grey's Anatomy star who is originally from Elgin recalled, "I worked in Edinburgh when I was drama student for The Cadies and Witchery Tours and loved my time there. Edinburgh helped me pay my way through drama school."

As a tour guide with The Cadies and Witchery Tours, the Capital's original ghost walk based at the West Bow, McKidd worked his way up the ranks at the company eventually donning the coveted white face and cloak of tour leader Adam Lyal (Desceased) as he traipsed the closes of the Old Town accompanied by tourists and locals alike.

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Although he recalled he started in a very different role - jumping out to scare visitors.

Kevin McKiddKevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd

"Originally I was employed out as the jumperooter!" he laughs, adding, "Fond memories and Robin Mitchell, the owner, is still a good pal."

McKidd's charity single, Leave a Light On, a Celtic ballad written by James D Reid, is performed by McKidd’s Speyisde Sessions Band and was released earlier this week, along with an accompanying JustGiving fundraising page.

The actor, who is the band's lead male vocalist and is joined on the single by Mairead Carlin on the track, explained that the idea of supporting the two charities came about when he and Reid were having a chat about wanting to do something to help after both had been shocked by reports on empty food banks.

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After a chat with River City actor Iain Robertson, a plan was hatched to pull together their old team from a highly successful, previous collaboration in 2012, The Speyside Sessions.

McKidd explains, “I had been looking for an excuse to get the old Speyside Sessions Band back together. It has been such a great experience to get the old Speyside Sessions Band back together. James has done a great job with writing Leave a Light On. He and [producer] Ronan Scolard had an uphill struggle to mix and produce this song with all the Quarantine restrictions and everyone being apart. But they did it brilliantly.’

He adds, "It was Iain Robertson’s idea to raise money for the Trussell Trust and support all of the Food banks across the UK. I hate to give the wee man credit of any kind in case it goes to his already big heid ,but in this case he was dead on and has helped immensely with the whole project.

“Then when we got Mairead on board, she suggested that we help raise money for Help Musicians UK. Another brilliant idea! She has been amazing to collaborate with and so talented. We are so lucky to have her on this single."

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With 13 backing singers, many of them singing into their i-phones from under their stairs or in their bedrooms McKidd himself threw together a temporary studio and sang into a very basic mic, going into his laptop.

Leave a Light On is released on Download iTunes and Google Play and streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMusica, Saavn, Anghami, KKBox, NetEase (beta) and many othersDonate to and download from Google and Spotify.

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