Jack and Victor (PA)

30 – First episode of Still Game

1 September, 2002

JOHN CLEESE, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson – and eh, Jack and Victor.

The Edinburgh Fringe has a reputation of launching careers and making stars.

Years before Basil Fawlty, Gregory House and Mr Bean, those actors were treading the boards at the capital. And so were a couple of curmudgeonly pensioners.

Ford Kiernan was a familiar name on the Glasgow comedy scene but in 1997 everything changed when Ford and pal Greg Hemphill spoke to the boss of popular venue the Gilded Balloon.

She liked their idea of a show about two oldies with attitude, based on Ford’s uncle Barney and Greg’s grandfather Sammy.

So, as it happened, did the audiences and they ended up doing 88 live shows.

The terrible two were joined by feisty Winston, originally played by Gavin Mitchell who went on to be Boaby the barman.

It was filmed for DVD and Ford and Greg made sure Jack and Victor stayed up to no good when they moved on to Chewin’ The Fat.

Wise heads at BBC Scotland ensured Craiglang’s finest got their own show in September 2002.

Soon the rest of the UK were just as hooked as Scots – if a bit less sure of what was being said.


When it finished, teeth were taken out of bedside jars and gnashed in anguish at the thought of Isa nosying no more.

By the time they were reunited in 2014 for a record-breaking run at the SSE Hydro Ford said: “It’s like being in The Beatles.”

So put that in your pipe and smoke it!