Isa’s big visit

TV hero drops in to watch pupils pe­form their ver­sion of show

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Jonathan Ged­des

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

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