- The Midgie
- 1 December 2008
Star tours are big in Los Angeles, where itinerant individuals can buy maps telling them where Brad Pitt parks his car or take a tour in the hope of seeing Arnie hanging out his washing. Edinburgh's got a fair few of its own celebrity tales to tell, so here's a selection of the best.
The Sovereign Head of State has a plush pad smack in the middle of Edinburgh: Holyrood Palace. It’s morbidly fascinating to observe the hooplah that surrounds Her Majesty’s visitations. Light relief comes in the form of hubby Prince Philip. While on a tour of a local factory in 1999, the Duke of Edinburgh pointed out a fuse box that looked quite old. He said: 'It looks like it was put in by an Indian!' Don’t get too close, foot-in-mouth is highly contagious.
JK’s success as a scribe is scary in itself, but more frightening is the unseemly spat between coffee house proprietors laying claim to being the source of her inspiration. Some suggest it was Wizard’s Tea and Cake Emporium on Tolkien Street, others speculate she wrote most of the original Harry Potter story at home, ordering in from Azkaban’s Indian Takeaway on Pratchett Row. In fact, Nicolson’s Café on Nicolson Street, now Buffet King, was a spot for some of her earlier writing, followed by the Elephant House on George IV Bridge.
Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera
When pop music’s biggest superstars descended on Edinburgh in for the MTV Europe Music Awards. Stars of the show were former Mickey Mouse Club presenters Justin and Christina, showing us how they’d become all grown up. ‘Troosersnake’ shook his booty at an after-party at City nightclub on Market Street, while ‘the raj wee midden’ took over an entire floor as a guest in the Balmoral Hotel.
Read any of Rankin’s books and Edinburgh is practically a main character. He was born here, he’s written most of his books in his home in Brunsfield and is now widely hailed as one of Edinburgh’s favourite sons. He is a long-time patron of the city’s music scene and has worked with some of them.
Edinburgh-born Connery likes it so much here that he lives in the Bahamas, vowing to return only when Scottish independence is a reality. Knighted in 2000 for his contribution to sharp suits and shlurred speech, Connery, who spent the early years of his life in a tiny Fountainbridge flat, is consistently voted the best James Bond, though we wonder if that would’ve changed if Robbie Williams had been given the role.
Born in the capital and educated at Fettes College on Carrington Road, this former political goldenballs has been re-incarnated as a multi-millionaire lecture-circuit star. The ghoulish spectre of his tenure hangs over current PM, Gordon Brown, who has a PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh.
An eerie parallel with Miss JK Rowling, arguments often arise over which bars he frequented while writing Trainspotting, but on his recent visits to his home-town, our Midgie spies have definitely spotted him many a time in Pivo bar on Calton Road.