Her Life, The End of Still Game,& Why She Believes
Craiglang Will Live On
By, Sergio Burns
Brooding, dark, malevolent tower blocks rise above a misty city skyline like apocalyptic tombstones. In the gathering gloom the high rise flats reach Heavenward, as a gentle rain falls from a dark charcoal-clouded sky. Against this heady backdrop, Boabby comes into scene, stopping, looking about himself. Then Navid shuffles into frame smiling and nodding at Boabby. They are followed by Tam, Winston (limping), Jack, Victor and Isa…We wait. Told we are allotted a space for the interview at 12.30, and will have 25 minutes. I phone several times, the number is engaged. I call his PR, he assures me he will get him off the phone and asks me to ring in 30 seconds.
Craiglang? Aye, well it is no Beverly Hills!
I had agreed to meet Jane McCarry, who plays the role of Isa Drennan in the legendary Scottish sitcom ‘Still Game’, in the foyer of the Central Hotel Glasgow. To help her recognise me, I would be wearing my Ayrshire Magazine lanyard and carrying a copy of the latest issue of AM.
Arriving early, I had time for an Americano in Costa on West Nile Street, and settled down to make final preparations for the interview. Then Jane phoned, a change of plan, could I walk round to Bath Street and she would pick me up? I agreed and set off. A few blocks in and moving toward The Griffin pub, I had to admit, I felt a little conspicuous waving the latest copy of the magazine at passing traffic. My parents had told me never to except lifts from strangers…so, this was a first for me, as she picked me up and drove us over to the west end, and a lovely little cafe beside Kelvinbridge Underground.
McCarry, however, is a revelation. Light years from the character she portrays so brilliantly in her part as Isa in the award winning comedy. She is, of course, far younger, slimmer and more fashionably dressed than the frumpy gossip and lovable pain in the derriére to Jack Jarvis (Ford Kiernan) and Victor McDade (Greg Hemphill).
“It was a real chemistry, something that you couldn’t put your finger on,” Jane said of the people she worked with on Still Game, and the runaway success of the show. “Something that I guess no one knew could have possibly have happened. I genuinely think of those boys like my family, my brothers.
I see them, I see Gavin (Mitchell who plays Boabby) today for lunch. I saw Mark (Cox, who plays Tam) and Paul (Riley, who plays Winston) last week. Great characters, all of them, talented actors. But it is more than that, it is… the fact that all of us love older people, all of us play the parts with huge respect for the characters we play.
I love the character of Navid…