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Spectator Life: meet the ‘hot Scots’ with fiery views on independence

24 March 2014

Ahead of the referendum in September, and as the country prepares for the Commonwealth Games, the spring issue of Spectator Life has a distinctly Scottish theme. In the spirit of Gerard Butler, Ewan McGregor, and James McAvoy, in what we affectionately term our ‘hot Scots’ feature, we put a spotlight on a new generation of Scottish actors who seem destined for equally great things, from Joanna Vanderham, star of The Paradise and the recent Henry James adaptation What Maisie Knew, to Laura Fraser of Breaking Bad and Richard Madden and Rose Leslie, who you may recognise from Game of Thrones. Also featured is Chloe Pirrie who first caught my eye at the Moët BIFAS – the indie equivalent of the BAFTAS – where she won the prestigious newcomer award.

Naturally, we took the opportunity to canvas their views on independence and happily they are on the whole an opinionated bunch. Rose Leslie eloquently expressed a conundrum for many a voter telling us ‘I do consider myself Scottish but I also feel very British.’ Meanwhile James McArdle who will play James I at the National Theatre later this year, lifts the lid on RADA’s approach to regional accents:-

‘My speech teacher said, “James, must you go home for Christmas?” When I said yes she said, “Then do listen to Radio 4.’’’

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Now what would Alex Salmond say about that?

Whatever their views, at least the younger generation can be relied upon to express an opinion of some kind. For some reason Olympian Sir Chris Hoy has come over all coy on the subject of the referendum. The debate is ‘something I’m steering well clear of at the moment’ he told Freddy Gray – a curious media strategy for someone who has been quoted on the ‘Better Together’ website. You can read the full interview and get to know the hot Scots to watch in the new issue, out with the Spectator on 28 March. You can also read about the Scottish issue in tonight’s Londoner’s Diary in the Evening Standard.

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Show comments
  • Jambo25

    The story about Mr McArdle and the speech teacher was quite interesting. When I was engaged in teaching practice, back in the mid 70s, a methods tutor, from Moray House, advised me to avail myself of the services of a speech therapist as my Scottish accent was too strong. Since I had been educated at an Edinburgh public school and an English university then the University of Edinburgh and had worked in London for a number of years, my accent was impeccably middle class Edinburgh. Still too much Scottish in it for this particular lady. My reply to her would have been very understandable in whatever accent it had been couched.

  • Iain Hill

    Let’s beware of those who will not commit themselves simply because they may incur some financial risk.

    • The_greyhound

      “Sir” Sean Connery do you mean?

    • Fergus Pickering

      What is so reat about incurring financial risk so as to wrap yourself in a flag? Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

      • Maidmarrion

        Tell the USA that .

        • Fergus Pickering


      • Jambo25

        That’s why I eschew all British patriotism and don’t even recognise myself as having any kind of British identity.

        • Fergus Pickering

          But aren’t you one of those daft Scots guys. It applies to you as well.

  • anyfool

    The yes camp must be winning when you have their figurehead Hoy wobbling, then you have some barely known actress from Game of Thrones, Ygritte ( you know nothing Jon Snow ) taking over as lead non entity from him.
    What has happened to Darling, he has not been heard of for months, has he gone wobbly as well, are the rats jumping of the good ship Better Together. is Matthew Parris going to lose his £100 pound bet.
    This seems to have happened since the PM stuck his oar in.

    • The_greyhound

      “The yes camp must be winning”

      Winning what?

      If Hoy is going all reticent it will be because of the hysterical personal attacks that characterise the faltering yes “campaign”.

      • Maidmarrion

        Hoy is reticent because it is no ones business but his own how he will cast his vote – he is a clever , popular bloke in Scotland and keeps his own council.
        Much was made of a ” cybernat” attack on him in the press ,however the only example the media came up with was some sad ba$tard mentioning ” Braveheart” – which is considered to be a unionist gibe and far from a phrase used by any self respecting ” cybernat”
        Much was made of a similar ” attack” on an unfunny comedienne and yet no example could be found and the unfunny lady declined to be interviewed thereafter.
        We have been subjected to some truly moronic ,patronising drivel from so called celebrity – were you to google the Burns night “treat” by a certain Mr Barrowman you would understand what I mean.

        • Derick Tulloch

          The Immortal Cringefest!

    • Tony Quintus

      Perhaps he’s afraid of the rabid nats going after his family.

  • Liz

    Another day, another single image of a female person on the front page chosen to titillate.

    • Wessex Man

      oh do grow up….yet ….yet cor blimey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Martin Adamson

    Phew, thank God for actors! When it comes to vital decisions about the future of the nation, nobody’s opinions are more worth listening to that a bunch of people who memorise something some else has written and then repeat it in a loud voice while wearing stupid clothes.

    • John Lea

      Personally, when in doubt over the proper stance to take on Syria/Libya/Crimea etc, I always look to Sean Penn for moral guidance. Or that ugly bird who used to be in The Eurythmics. I find that praying to Bono in times of trouble also helps.

    • CharlietheChump

      AND who are never quite sure WHO they are this week . . .

    • TRAV1S

      Maybe we should parachute these Luvvies into the Crimea, where they could befuddle Putin through the medium of mime.

    • telemachus

      If you heard the Egyptian actor on Channel 4 news last night you would not be so patronising
      He gave us the people’s view on Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Military regime

      • Martin Adamson

        Wow, a single actor managed to encapsulate the views of 80 million people on a broad range of political topics, speaking in a foreign language in a 5 minute interview! Truly, there is nothing thespians cannot do.

  • asalord

    James VI

    • Iain Hill


      • Wessex Man

        yeah and and?

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