13 February, 2020

Doddie fills Winter Words Launch with laughter

As the 16th annual Winter Words Festival kicked off a fantastic first day at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Thursday, 13 February, one of Scotland’s best-loved treasures, rugby fan-favourite, and something of a national legend, Doddie Weir, brought the house down with laughter in a packed auditorium, and filled out the book fair with audience members lining up into the restaurant and River Room, waiting to get a word with the great man.

During his hour event at Winter Words, Doddie, in his trademark tartan trousers (and shoes), illustrated with ease the unique humour that has made everyone - from rugby fans to royalty - laugh at his one-liners and life observations throughout the years. No less so since his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease in 2017 and now written into his book, The World According to Doddie amongst his secrets to enjoying life in his hilarious, thought-provoking and life-affirming style. Doddie talked about his journey with the illness, anecdotes about his rugby life and even had young Scotland Rugby hopefuls on stage to line up and sing Flower of Scotland as they would before a match, and then taught them how to ‘ruck’ – with one of the youngster’s father lay on the floor with the ball!

The Winter Words festival provides an important boost to the Perthshire economy at this time of year with many visitors seeing multiple events over several days of the four-day festival. Continuing through to Sunday, with a world exclusive from broadcaster and author, Sally Magnusson, will be joining us ahead of the launch of her second novel with a very special sneak preview of The Ninth Child, while Paul Murton, one of Scotland’s best-known TV presenters, will take you on a turn-by-turn trip around the Viking north. The audience can singalong with the Shanty Yell boys, fish off Muckle Flugga, and a Norwegian pub crawl in Lerwick. All without leaving the comfort of their Pitlochry seat!

Also featuring in this year’s line-up are two of Britain’s best-known news and Newsnight presenters, Kirsty Wark and Gavin Esler. Kirsty takes a break from Brexit and politics to talk about her latest novel, set in the wilds of Scotland, while Gavin stays with them dealing with the many questions that remain.

There’s also a double-hitter of crime-writing from husband and wife team Chris Brookmyre and wife Ambrose Parry, discussing how they bring their characters and the Victorian Streets of Edinburgh to life: plus Queen of Crime Val McDermid, along with award-winning photographer Alan McCredie, on an illustrated journey to the places where her stories and characters reside.

Then for something not entirely different, as Professor Angela Gallop, one of the UK’s most eminent forensic scientists - involved in cases such as the Yorkshire Ripper, and the killings of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor, Rachel Nickell and Roberto Calvi – joins Winter Words in a search for the truth, from the crime scene to the courtroom.

Festival favourite, poet Kenneth Steven, joins Winter Words for a very special workshop - a chance to learn about writing poetry from an expert in Writing the Tay. Each day of the festival presents a Literary Lunch, where a selection of authors, speak around a delicious two-course lunch. And on Sunday, Ghillie Basan, broadcaster and food anthropologist talks about Scotland’s fabulous produce, wild food and whisky, to create delicious dishes.

To get your hands on last minute tickets for these and many more events: Call Pitlochry Festival Theatre Box Office Team on 01796 484626 or click here to book online.

See all news articles