Former First Minister Alex Salmond says he’ll be arriving in Galashiels later this month with his acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show, on the “train that I built”.
Speaking to the Southern this week, ahead of taking his show to the Borders later this month, he claimed the Borders Railway would not have been built if it was not for his insistence.
He said: “I brooked no opposition on this issue, and believe me, there was plenty of opposition from Network Rail.
“It’s good to see they are looking into extending the line to Carlisle, but I am disappointed that they didn’t build the one thing I would have liked to have seen – a turntable at Tweedbank.
“Only with this would they be able to maximise the vast tourism potential of the line, by taking people back up north as well as down to the Borders in the steam trains.”
The ex-leader of the Scottish National Party wowed audiences in the capital with his “Unleashed” show, which mixes monologues from Mr Salmond himself, with chat, comedy and music. Mr Salmond said he was looking forward to the show at the Volunteer Hall on Friday, November 24, and that he hopes it will continue a very impressive run.
He said: “The whole gang of performers are looking forward enormously to the show at Galashiels enormously, and we’ll be looking to extend our run of 23 sell-out shows – 19 at the Fringe and four elsewhere.
“My sister Gail, who lives in Hawick and stood for the vacant Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire seat, says the Volunteer Hall is a beautiful venue.
“It’s a fantastic chance for Borderers to see the show before we head off to larger venues in London, Monaco and New York.”
He hinted at some of the treats in store at the Volunteer Hall.
He said: “I think we can safely say we will be hearing from such women in politics as Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Hilary Clinton and Melania Trump, through the medium of Scottish comedian and impersonator Ashleigh Storrie.
“Musically, there will be our house band, The Carloways, as well as singer Sheena Wellington, who people may remember from the opening of the Scottish Parliament.”
Also appearing will be Mr Salmond’s alter ego, the Very Reverend Former First Minister, with more than a wink to Rikki Fulton’s I.M. Jolly. There will also be a surprise special guest, who will be interviewed by Mr Salmond on the night.
This guest’s identity will remain just that, a surprise. Previous guests have included Brian Cox and John Bercow.
● We’ve got two pairs of tickets to Alex Salmond’s ‘Unleashed’ show to give away. To be in with a chance, just answer the following question: “How many shows did Alex Salmond perform at the Edinburgh Fringe this year?”
Email your answer, along with your name, address and daytime phone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, November 14. Mark your email ‘Unleashed competition’.
If you are unsuccessful, you can buy tickets, priced £20, from www.alexsalmond.scot/unleashedtour