EXCLUSIVE: Gregor Fisher reveals he is working on a recipe with Ian Pattison to bring Rab C Nesbitt to Edinburgh
STAR of Rab C Nesbitt, Gregor Fisher is town ahead of his appearance in the musical How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which tours to the Festival Theatre later this month.
Edinburgh has played a significant part in his life, he reflects, as did Ian Pattison's working-class philosopher Rab C Nesbitt, a role he played in 66 episodes over 10 series of the popular sitcom. He thinks long and hard when asked if it was 'a relief' to let Rab go when the last episode aired in 2014, some 28 years after the character first appeared in the TV sketch show Naked Video.
"Em... relief is too big a word for it and not the right word," he considers, as he looks for a way to describe how he felt when he took off the famous string vest for the last time.
"It's very much like you're pleased to have children but also quite pleased when they go to university... but you still love them. It was that close, and will always be that meaningful a relationship, without wanting to sound like the archetypal w*nky actor.
"You can't do something like that in your life and it not be, at times, gut-wrenchingly significant to you. There's a lot I was very proud to be part of in those 60-odd episodes. It was a great experience."
One thing Rab C Nesbitt never did, of course, was visit the Capital. What would he have thought of the city?
"Rab never came to Edinburgh, but Rab might..." chips in the 65-year-old, revealing with a glint in his eye that he and Pattison have been talking.
Cryptically, he continues, "We are talking about a recipe at the minute, but it is not yet near an over, or ready to be fully baked..."
That's all he will say. Before Rab 'returns', however, there will be a chance to see Gregor on stage at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and for one night only, at the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, where he will appear in A Wee Blether with Gregor Fisher.
As for the future... "I'd like casting directors to not look at me through the eyes of my back catalogue," he says. "I want to do something that would make viewers turn around at the end and say, 'Who was the guy who was the nutter?' Or, 'Who was the guy who was the murderer? To play something I wouldn't normally be cast as... I would like that to happen."
A mischievous grin spreads across his face as he adds, "I'd also like the Bank of Scotland to get rid of Jimmy Cosmo from their adverts - I could do a much better for them than him, and you can print that." He bellows with laughter, "Every time I go into my bank I see Jimmy standing there in his furry jacket and think, 'I can dae that.'
How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Festival theatre, Nicolson Street, 26 November to 1 December, £28-£48, https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-the-musical
A Wee Blether with Gregor Fisher, Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, 23 November, 7.30 pm, £25, http://beaconartscentre.co.uk/events/a-wee-blether-with-gregor-fisher/