BORN in the east end, forever associated with the south side as Govan’s favourite housewife, Elaine C Smith is loved across the city and beyond.

She can switch between stage and screen, journalism and political campaigning, singing and public speaking with ease.

Elaine is as well known for her TV roles – as long-suffering Mary Doll in Rab C Nesbitt, for example, or as brutally blunt, outrageously funny Christine in sitcom Two Doors Down, for which she won a Best Television Actress Scottish BAFTA - as she is for her one woman show which toured theatres to great acclaim, blazing a trail for young female comedians everywhere.

She can hold an audience in the palm of her hand – whether on a panto stage or at the Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year dinner – like no-one else.

While she is mainly known for comedy, Elaine is just as skilled and successful in straight acting roles such as those in Two Thousand Acres of Sky and Kay Mellor’s hit series The Syndicate.

Read more: Elaine C Smith and daughter Hannah prepare for Glasgow performances

Born in Baillieston, Elaine trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Originally planning to be a drama teacher, she moved to Edinburgh to complete her teacher training but she returned to Glasgow and joined Wildcat Theatre Company, where she performed in Tony Roper’s seminal play, The Steamie.

Her first major television appearances were in the mid-80s, in BBC sketch show Naked Video and sitcom City Lights.

On stage, she has been seen in everything from the Kings’ Theatre pantomimes to new works at the Tron and Traverse in Edinburgh, and her own shows at Oran Mor.

Other notable Scottish theatre roles include Guys and Dolls and Shirley Valentine and she toured the UK in a stage version of the hit British film Calendar Girls.

She is an outspoken campaigner for Scottish independence. A founder member of the Scottish Artists for Independence movement 27 years ago, she is now convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention and remains an unstinting supporter of the cause.


ONE OF the best actors ever to come out of Glasgow, Scotland and probably the world, Robert Carlyle makes everything he is in unmissable.

Born in Maryhill, he has had a hugely varied career over the last 30 years, in film, on television and on stage – but he will probably always be best known for his turn as Begbie the hardman in Trainspotting.

Robert ‘s father was a painter and decorator - his mother left when he was a young child - and it was going to the cinema with his dad which sparked his desire to be an actor.

Read more: Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle helps raise £10,000 to fund statue of boxing legend Benny Lynch

At the age of 21, he enrolled in acting classes and in 1991, together with four other actors, he founded Raindog theatre company. His performance in mid-90s crime drama Cracker, as Albie, who becomes a killer after the death of his father was intense and gripping, and it served as a springboard to the rest of his career.

His big movie breakthrough came when Danny Boyle’s film Trainspotting was released in 1996, and since then he has played everything from Bond villain in The World is Not Enough to a nice guy steelworker who becomes a stripper in The Full Monty.

Recently, he returned to the role of Begbie for Trainspotting 2 and in stark contrast, also played an upper class Scottish Tory prime minister in Sky’s political drama COBRA.

Away from movies, Robert also starred as Mr Gold in family fairytale fantasy series Once Upon a Time for eight seasons, and played inter-dimensional scientist Dr Nicholas Rush in Stargate: Universe.

He is refreshingly un-starry and down to earth for an actor who is as famous and as successful as he is, and once said about Hollywood, in an interview with our sister title The Herald: “It’s no’ me. I don’t like hanging around there. The people, no disrespect, are a different animal. I hate watching chat shows because I hate this whole world, this falseness, when I hear actors talking it makes me feel sick and embarrassed.”

Although now living in Vancouver with his family, Robert has always stood up for Glasgow causes he believes in – in 2004, for example, he showed his support for the Queen Mother’s Maternity Hospital which was under threat of closure, and four years later, he joined the successful campaign against a £7m nightclub and restaurant plan for the Botanic Gardens. In 2012 he signed the Evening Times petition for an opt-out organ donor campaign.