THEY live in a high rise tower block in a fictional Glasgow suburb, an economically deprived corner of working class Scotland, where life revolves around the bookies, the pub and the paper shop.

Yet if there’s one thing Craiglang has in abundance it’s a defiant sense of community.

And it’s this quality which the cast of Scotland’s favourite comedy hope will provide respite from the tumult of UK politics for a couple of hours every night for the next two weeks.

Still Game, the BBC Scotland comedy created and written by Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan, will take the final steps of its long goodbye tomorrow night, when the curtain goes up on the much-anticipated finale at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

Ford Kiernan, who created the long-running show with co-star Greg Hemphill, considers the comedy a tonic to the current relentless diet of political turbulence.

He said: “It’s an opt-out, an opt out from not having to listen to this constant diatribe. The way we look at it, is we’re taking them on a night out from everything that’s going on. And Scotland works hard so we deserve it.”

Two previous Still Game live productions - which have so far amounted to a stunning 35 shows - were staged during times of political upheaval.

In 2014, the show opened the day after Scotland voted No in the independence referendum.

In 2017, it went up in the days before the UK government prepared to trigger Article 50 to begin the process of leaving the EU.

This week the Prime Minister was found to have acted unlawfully by the Supreme Court.

Co-star Sanjeev Kohli added: “The guys have always been very careful when it comes to things like football and politics and religion.

“If people are bored senseless of the echo chamber, then we’re offering something a-political.”

The cast of Scotland’s favourite comedy came together for their last ever photoshoot yesterday ahead of their swansong at the SSE Hydro.

The live show will pick up where the television finale left off in an emotional conclusion to the series which ran for nine series until earlier this year.

And while the live show promises to bring the franchise to a full and final conclusion, cast members yesterday told how they’re struggling to accept that this time it really is Still Game: Endgame.

Gavin Mitchell, who plays Boaby the barman, said: “We’ve not come to terms with the fact that it’s over.

“It’ll take us a while to process and digest that this is it, and maybe to be able to reflect on it eventually.

“We’ve all grown and changed in our lives, in that time. Families, marriages, children, all sorts of things, all sorts of developments in our lives. So this will be like losing a limb. We’ve been so used to it being in our lives.

“I think because we’ve been so close to it for so long, we can’t fully comprehend what the boys have created, what we’ve become part of.

“It’s weird - nomatter how much people tell you they love it over the years, how much it has meant to them, you still have to go out and buy the milk.

“You don’t appreciate what it has become, because you’re in the middle of that storm. I suppose there will be a moment when that thing will click, at some point in the future, and that will be the moment when we step back and look.

“Maybe then we’ll all go and meet up - and maybe go and visit whichever one of us is in a home.”

Creator and writer Ford Kiernan paid tribute to the cast members who have made the show, which he conceived with Greg Hemphill, a runaway success.

In a meeting backstage at the SSE Hydro during a break from rehearsals, he told the cast that the acting chops they’d earned in Osprey Heights and the Clansman will ensure their careers endure well beyond their capers in Craiglang.

He said: “Everybody who has been in Still Game really has demonstrated a whole range of acting abilities, and that’s the CV that we’re all left with. Everybody has had a heavy storyline, heroic storyline, and funny storylines.

“There can’t be an agent in anywhere that hasn’t looked at Still Game and seen what everybody can do. So that’s the future - pleasing yourself and going off and doing the jobs you want to do.”

For Paul Riley, who plays Winston Ingram, the last leg is a reminder of how far the show has come.

The actor was part of the original three-man production first staged at the Edinburgh fringe in 1997.

He said: “This isn’t just about the last run of live shows, it’s about 20-odd years of being involved in Still Game, combing make up through your hair with a toothbrush and then going out and playing to ten people.

“I remember we joked then that we’d be doing this 20 years later. And now here we are.”

The finale will see characters from sketch show Chewin’ The Fat cross into the Still Game universe, with creator and writer Greg Hemphill relishing the opportunity to bring things full circle.

He said: “We don’t want to have seven curtain call, because you feel the law of diminishing returns pretty steeply in comedy. Still Game started on the stage and it’s finishing on the stage. We’re finishing where it started.”

Still Game: The Final Farewell opens on Friday at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow.