One of Scotland’s most popular stage and screen stars has been forced to pull out of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after being struck down with illness.
Andy Gray’s sudden departure has forced the cancellation of his brand new play just as its festival run was getting underway.
Gilded Balloon had to pull the plug on The Junkies, Gray’s latest stage show with broadcaster Grant Stott, after just one preview performance.
The pair, who were due to perform at the Gilded Balloon’s Rose Theatre venue, are one of the biggest box office draws at the Fringe thanks to their long-running panto double act and a series of hit plays at the Fringe.
The venue said it would be refunding tickets for the entire run due to Gray’s unexpected withdrawal.
Stott and Gray’s latest “dark comedy”, written by co-star Ruaraidh Murray, was expected to see the pair play second-hand junk dealers.
Gray has also been forced to withdraw from filming on the BBC drama series River City, in which he has played Pete McLean for the past two years.
A statement from Gilded Balloon said: “Due to medical circumstances, Andy Gray has regrettably had to withdraw from appearing in ‘The Junkies’.
“Unfortunately, as a result the decision has been made to cancel the rest of the run.
“Grant Stott and fellow cast members Ruaraidh Murray and Ryan Dewar, along with Karen and Katy Koren, all agree this is absolutely the right decision to make at this time and they all look forward to seeing Andy back on the stage where he belongs very soon.”
A spokeswoman for BBC Scotland said: “Due to medical reasons, Andy Gray has regrettably had to withdraw from appearing in the coming series of River City which begins filming on Monday following the summer break.
“We are currently in the process of re-working stories Andy’s character was involved in and amending scripts accordingly. All of the River City family send Andy our very best wishes.”
In a recent interview, Gray estimated he had shared a stage more than 1,500 times with Stott over the years.
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