Glasgow Letter – 2.1.20

Donnie Maroot and Darren MacLean having a laugh ahead of the Strictly Come Ceilidh Dancing event that is Donnie organising and at which Darren will be judging. Hopefully the judges will not come to blows!

Want to read more?

We value our content  and access to our full site is  only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish)

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now
Strictly Come Cèilidh Dancing

Happy New Year, Glasgow Letter readers! There are lots of exciting events coming up in January and February throughout the city.

One that is worth mentioning immediately is Strictly Come Cèilidh Dancing on Friday January 10 in the Glasgow University Union.
This event has been organised by Donald “Maroot” MacLeod in aid of the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust.

There will be 10 “celebrity” dancers who will swap partners between each dance and three “celebrity” judges who will mark each competitor after each dance.

I use the word celebrity loosely, as you can probably imagine! I am one of the judges but I am beginning to question my qualifications for the role after finding out that one of my fellow judges is Rachel MacLaggan – a professional Highland Dancer and founder member of Flings and Things who regularly dance with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers!

Our third judge is my good pal, Darren MacLean, who (thankfully) I feel is more at my own level of dancing professionalism. The old joke about being a champ dancer or a damn chancer springs to mind!

Competitors on the evening will be Mànran’s Ewen Henderson, Skerryvore’s Martin Gillespie, Sian’s Ceitlin LR Smith, Trail West’s Seonaidh MacIntyre, Alba Choir’s Joy Dunlop, Iain Beggs and Mairi MacLennan from BBC Alba series Bannan, Shona Masson (presenter on BBC Alba), Alana MacInnes (who found fame years ago with “the dress”), and Lorne MacDougall – possibly the biggest celebrity of all of us having featured in Doctor Who, Brave, Still Game, Whisky Galore, and Strictly Come Dancing… the actual Strictly Come Dancing as opposed to this cèilidh version!

The most important thing is that this event is fundraising for a very good cause so will hopefully attract a big audience. Tickets are £25 and are available by contacting Donald on

A Christmas gift

For those who read last week’s column and got in touch with me to express concern that I didn’t buy my mother a Christmas present, I should probably clarify that (as well as a pile of washing) I brought home a couple of tickets for a very interesting Celtic Connections gig!

Jamie MacDougall sings the songs of Harry Lauder in the Tron Theatre at 8pm on Wednesday January 22.

The Celtic Connections description of the show reads thus:

A former coal-miner and flax-mill child labourer, the remarkable Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950) was the first global superstar – the first UK artist to sell a million records, the first music-hall knight – sharing his couthy humour, unashamed sentimentality and homely poetic charm with audiences across four continents. Celebrating 150 years since Lauder’s birth, leading Scottish tenor Jamie MacDougall reprises his own hit one-man show, adapted from Jimmy Logan’s A Play With Tunes, back in the city where Lauder first found fame. Featuring many of his best-loved songs alongside private insights, it also highlights his prodigious fundraising work for injured servicemen, following his own son’s death at the Somme.