Isa’s big visit
TV hero drops in to watch pupils peform their version of show
Still Game actress Jane McCarry dropped in to Burnside Primary to visit three pupils whose sketch was a hit at their Christmas Show.
The Reformer arranged for Danny McAteer, Rory Wallace and Sophie Vergoz to meet Jane, who plays busybody Isa in the hit show.
It is a prospect that would send Jack and Victor to the Clansman for a few pints.
There were not one but two Isas at Burnside Primary school last week as Still Game star Jane McCarry met the cast’s tiny dopplegangers.
Earlier this year the Reformer reported how Burnside youngsters had featured their own Still Game sketch as part of a Christmas show, with pupils Danny McAteer, Rory Wallace and Sophie Vergoz dressed up as Jack, Victor and Isa to perform a story written by the school’s Alison Anderson.
With the popular BBC show set to return to TV screens this Friday after a nine-year hiatus, we thought we would see what King’s Park actress Jane made of the Burnside version of Craiglang.
She laughed: “If there’s ever a Hollywood movie made of my life, then I think we’ll get Sophie to play me. They all look great.”
The youngsters quizzed Jane on everything from how she got her start in acting to roles she had played in her school play.
And Jane was blown away by the questions the pupils had thought of.
She said: “It was really good, they asked a lot of different questions. As an actress you’re used to being asked the same sort of things but they were really good – and some of them were difficult.”
That included Jane being stumped when asked if she thought Jack or Victor was the funnier character in the show.
Jane said: “They’re both so talented and funny in different ways, so I had to be diplomatic when answering that one.”
Another question that Jane answered was how much of her character was based on herself.
She told the pupils that she would not ever give away a secret like Isa would, although there is nothing wrong with being nosey from time to time.
She also revealed that she tended to get roles like “the fifth angel from the left” when taking part in school shows, and that she does not think of herself as being a star, even with Still Game being massively popular.
She said: “I don’t feel like a famous actor.
“It’s maybe different for Greg and Ford but for the rest of us we just go about our business.”
She was certainly a star to the trio of kids, though – and to the school’s staff, several of whom were eager to
grab a selfie with Jane. She also told the Reformer that she based some of Isa’s character on people she spotted when she was younger.
The actress said: “I’ve always loved going places where I could watch people, so when I was younger I’d get the bus down to Rutherglen and go to the Mecca bingo and just people watch around there.
“There would be bits of friends or family or neighbours in Isa too – if you went down Rutherglen Main Street and into the arcade, within five minutes you’d see about five Isas. There would be folk like Tam or Winston there too – the show’s like a snapshot of life everywhere.”
She also offered words of praise for the impact that teachers can have, including the successful drama department run at Stonelaw High.
Jane said: “I know kids that have gone to Stonelaw, and I’ve seen a few shows there over the years there because kids I know have been in them and they’re always really good.
“Schools can be really important. When I was at King’s Park the strikes were on and there wasn’t too many activities on outside of class, but there was a teacher, Ms Stewart, who put on a school show every year, and that made all the difference in the world.
“That helped so many people there– it makes a huge difference if a school supports you.
“We’re not all academic, we have different paths, and schools that do things like a drama club or school shows can really make you full of confidence.
“I hope someone like Sophie can do really well with her acting.”
And she is delighted that Still Game is returning not just to TV screens but also to the SSE Hydro next year.
She added: “Somewhere like the Oran Mor is actually more terrifying than the Hydro because you can actually see and hear everything in the audience there.
“At the Hydro you’d be backstage and the music would be playing, with your heart thumping, and it’d be the most exciting thing in the world.
“You get a lovely warmth from people there, so we absolutely loved it – filming is great fun but there’s nothing like the thrill of performing in front of people.”
Still Game returns this Friday, October 7, on BBC One Scotland at 9.30pm.
Duo Jack and Victor had to deal with not one, but two Isa’s
Wee stars Danny, Rory and Sophie loved meeting Jane
Game for a laugh Jane had a great time chatting with the children, as well as teacher Alison Anderson (below)
Return Jack, Victor and Isa will be back on TV screens this Friday