Borders actor Jack Lowden helps raise £200,000-plus to buy protective gear for medics

Borders film star Jack Lowden has helped raise more than £200,000 for personal protective equipment for medics by taking part in an online variety show.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 24th April 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 10:34 am
Actor Jack Lowden's Trainspotting tribute to raise funds for Masks for Scotland.
Actor Jack Lowden's Trainspotting tribute to raise funds for Masks for Scotland.

The near-four-hour show generated more than £40,000 for the Masks for Scotland crowdfunding initiative while being live-streamed on Wednesday night, and the fundraiser, set up by Dundee University professor Jill Belch, has since passed its £200,000 target.

The show, titled For the Love of Scotland was organised by television presenter and disc jockey Edith Bowman after being suggested by Lowden.

Introducing the event, the Dunkirk and Calibre actor, brought up in Oxton, said: “It’s hugely important. A lot of this tonight that folk are going to do is fun and nonsense, but at the root of it is a really serious situation that we really shouldn’t be in.

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“We’re asking people to go to work unprepared, so this is a bit of fun but it’s for a really good cause.”

His contribution to the show was a tribute to the 1996 film Trainspotting parodying its opening speech by Ewan McGregor’s character Mark Renton mocking the ‘choose life’ slogan used by a mid-1980s anti-drugs campaign, a monologue reprised in its 2017 follow-up, T2 Trainspotting, partly shot in the Borders not far from Lowden’s family home.

The 29-year-old, using the 1977 Iggy Pop song Lust for Life as a soundtrack, as in the original, substitutes Renton’s rant against what he sees as the malaises of modern society with a jocular look at life in lockdown and promotion of the UK Government’s health messages.

In his near-two-minute snippet, he tells viewers: “Choose life, choose your future, choose staying at home, choose good health, choose rubber gloves, choose swapping your favourite-smelling perfume for the clinical musk of antibacterial gel.”

Actor Jack Lowden trying out an alternative hairstyle in his Trainspotting tribute to raise funds for Masks for Scotland.

His video can still be seen via his Twitter page, twitter.com/JALowden, and donations can still be made at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/masks-for-scotland

Other stars featured included fellow actors Sam Heughan, Alan Cumming, Mark Bonnar, Peter Capaldi, Peter Mullan, Karen Gillan, James McAvoy and Martin Compston, as well as former footballer Ally McCoist and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.

Music was provided by the likes of Annie Lennox, Fran Healy, KT Tunstall, Lauren Mayberry, Rachel Sermanni, Sam McTrusty and Simon Neil.

Ms Belch has welcomed the funding boost provided by the show, saying: “ We are absolutely blown away. The show was joyful.

Actor Jack Lowden's Trainspotting tribute to raise funds for Masks for Scotland.

“In terms of the money raised, until now we had been focusing on face protection – masks and goggles. This huge amount will now allow us to purchase more face protection but also much-needed gowns for our medical teams in Scotland.”

Fife-born Bowman, 46, added: “What a night.

“The generosity and spirit of everyone who watched, took part and helped me organise the event has blown my mind.

“The four hours flew by and what an incredible amount of money has been raised to provide urgent PPE.

Actor Jack Lowden practises social distancing in his Trainspotting tribute to raise funds for Masks for Scotland.

“Thank you one and all.”