This view looking South over the River Tay from Broughty Ferry towards Tayport and Tentsmuir Forest beyond, appeared in several scenes in the BBC Scotland series ‘Bob Servant’ based on Neil Forsyth’s books and starring Dundee man and Hollywood actor Brian Cox. Not to be confused of course with the other Brian Cox the scientist! The last episode in the present series finished a week ago tonight and so I write this in search of a Bob Servant ‘fix’ as I absolutely loved the series and the cheeseburger magnate character with his ludicrous notions of grandeur. And Brian Cox a son of Dundee is a fine fine actor on both stage and screen who has played a vast range of roles from Hannibal Lecter (before Anthony Hopkins) to Shakespeare and William Wallace’s uncle in Braveheart! He has also found time to be an excellent ambassador for the city of Dundee in many ways – the City of Culture bid, University Rector etc.
Not everyone ‘got’ Bob Servant of course but for me it was a brilliant example of mock heroism where much of the humour came from Bob’s imperviousness to the everyday realities around him. Though his greatest achievement in the books was arguably to take on and defeat spam emailers round the world!
I have never had the privilege of meeting Brian Cox in person but have two tenuous connections. The first was that my late uncle was one of his teachers at school in Dundee and when Brian Cox started out sweeping the stage or whatever at the renowned Dundee Repertory Theatre he would sometimes offer his ex-teachers comps for shows – though my uncle wasn’t a big theatre goer! The second is that Brian Cox like me is descended from Dundee Jute Mill workers and is one of the patrons of Verdant Works Scotland’s Jute Museum where I am now a Tour Guide. If I ever get to meet him I know which of his roles I’d most like to ask him about – Bob Servant by a country mile!!