It’s not fame or money SuBo craves, it’s love

By Michael MacLeod

LOVELESS singing sensation Susan Boyle fears she will never find a soulmate because men think she is “a freak”.

The Britain’s Got Talent star confessed to her longing for love in a series of 3am phone calls to her brother.

She told sibling Gerry that her West Lothian home feels like a “prison cell” when she has nobody to celebrate with or lean on during down-times.

Speaking in a weekend interview, businessman Gerry, 55, said his superstar sister was left “hurt enormously” by the nickname “Hairy Angel”.

He said: “It’s just all so sad, so sad.
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Let Olympians take drugs, says ethics scientist

By Michael MacLeod

A SCOTS sports scientist has caused a storm in the middle of the Winter Olympics by calling for performance enhancing drugs to be legalised.

Professor Andy Miah, Chair in Ethics and Emerging Technologies at the University of the West of Scotland, believes allowing steroid use would mean attention could be focused on managing the health risks they pose.

He said: “We need to recognise that enhancements are becoming more prevalent and sport will soon need to embrace them more fully.”
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Virgin aim to solve cross-border train ticket chaos

By Michael MacLeod

OVERCROWDING on train journeys between Scotland and England could be solved if strict rules on ticket fares were relaxed, according to the head of Virgin Trains.

Chris Gibb is angry that hundreds of seats are often left empty during peak periods on London to Glasgow services, while passengers on trains leaving minutes later in off-peak periods struggle to get a seat.

He blames an “outdated” fare structure between peak and off-peak periods for the problems.

Virgin has proposed replacing government-regulated off-peak ticket pricing by shifting passengers to trains with fewer pre-booked seats.

But unions and passenger groups warned the plan could open the door to uncontrolled fare increases.
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Experts round on Salmond’s “weight problem” ahead of obesity war

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTLAND’S First Minister has been slammed for “letting himself go” by fat-fighting health campaigners.

The National Obesity Forum say curry-loving SNP leader Alex Salmond should “be more responsible” in setting an example as he leads the Scottish Government’s war on bulging waistlines.

They questioned the credibility of the fun-loving First Minister – known for his attention-grabbing stunts – ahead of a new Scottish Government battle on flab.

Since securing power in the Scottish Parliament he has been photographed scoffing pies to promote Scottish produce and posing in a chef’s hat and clutching a curry while judging the Indian chef of the year contest.

The call for political heavyweights to “practice what you preach” comes as an expert report estimated Scotland’s obesity epidemic costs the taxpayer £457 million per year.
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Five arrests as Scottish Defence League driven out by police

By Michael MacLeod and Cara Sulieman

FIVE people were arrested as neo-Nazis came face to face with anti-fascist activists in Edinburgh at the weekend.

A ring of 700 police officers had to close streets to keep the rival demonstrations from clashing, bringing the capital to a standstill.

They penned around 40 Scottish Defence League members into a pub opposite the Scottish Parliament while Scotland United Against Racism and Fascism held an anti-Nazi demo at the top of the Royal Mile.

But a flashpoint saw around 100 people break away from the peaceful protest and running towards the pub, resulting in a four-hour stand-off.
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Extra exam stress for pupils as teacher loses test papers

By Michael MacLeod

DISGRUNTLED pupils at a Scots school are being forced to re-sit exams after a teacher lost their papers.

In a grovelling letter to parents, a teacher at Irvine Royal Academy confessed his “considerable regret” over the bungle.

But angry school kids are upset they will have to face the stress of the Higher English prelim for a second time.

The class of around 25 will re-do the exam this week at the north Ayrshire school, whose former pupils include blunder banker Sir Tom McKillop, who quit his post as chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland last year after taking personal responsibility for its plight.
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Pringle brands own models “skeletal” and “horribly skinny”

By Rory Reynolds

ONE of Scotland’s best-known fashion houses has described its own models as “skeletal” and “horribly skinny” in its new PR video.

Pringle, which has been fronted by Sophie Dahl, Pixie Geldof and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton sparked a row after hiring controversial artist David Shrigley to promote their latest collection.

In an animated film due to be screened today at London Fashion Week, the Glasgow based-artist mocks the models employed by the borders-based firm.

Shrigley – a former newspaper cartoonist who also directed a music video for Blur – slated fashion shows as “boring”, adding that most models live on “fluff and cocaine”.

However critics have said that the film could damage Scotland’s reputation overseas, adding that it is crude and depicts Scotland as backward. Continue reading

£4-a-plate curry kitchen rivals top Michelin star eateries at awards

By Rory Reynolds

A CHARITY curry kitchen that feeds students and worshippers is to go head-to-head with Scotland’s top Michelin star restaurants tonight.

Edinburgh’s Mosque Kitchen – which serves curry on a paper plate for £4 – has been shortlisted alongside Tom Kitchin and Albert Roux’s award-winning eateries at the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

The outdoor diner, part of the huge Edinburgh Central Mosque, is favoured by top comedians Stewart Lee and Shappi Khorsandi during the festival, and has been praised by judges for its authentic cooking and generous portions.

The Mosque Kitchen will be up against Scotland’s top restaurants, including The Peat Inn in St Andrews, where a six-course tasting menu will cost £55, and The Kitchin (CORR) in Leith, where a rib of beef for two will set you back £68.

The kitchen was set up following the 9/11 attacks to open up the mosque to people of different faiths and practices in the city. Continue reading

Rangers fans chief defends famine song as “no big deal”

By Rory Reynolds

A SPOKESMAN for the Rangers Supporters Trust has sparked a furious row after claiming it was not bigoted to call a Celtic fan a “dirty Fenian bastard.”

David Edgar, the trust’s media spokesman, also defended the singing of the Famine Song – which has been banned at Ibrox – by fans as “no big deal”.

Edgar made the claims in a new book, Rangers: Triumphs, Troubles, Traditionals, saying that the significance of The Famine Song has been overhyped.

An anti-sectarian group has hit out at Edgar, saying that the song is sung to cause “deep offence”.

In the book Edgar claims: “It was never aimed at Irish people and that is the important thing. Continue reading