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What we learned this week….about Graeme Souness’ bid to help Black Isle girl and more woes for Boris Johnson

There was a rapid fall from grace for ITV presenter Phillip Schofield while France introduced radical new air regulations.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing fresh woes.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing fresh woes.

What we learned this week….

GRAEME Souness always had the reputation of being a tough-as-teak customer on the football pitch, but the former Liverpool and Scotland star has shown his tender side by teaming up with a Highland dad to raise awareness of his daughter’s skin condition.

Isla Grist, 14, from the Black Isle, suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic condition which is sometimes called “butterfly skin” because it causes painful tears or blisters to victims at the slightest touch.

But now, after being inspired by her story, Souness, 70, has challenged himself to swim the English Channel with a team including Isla’s father Andy on June 18.

Graeme Souness
Former footballer Graeme Souness is swimming the English Channel in honour of 14-year-old Isla Grist, who he described as the “most courageous human” he’s ever met. She has butterfly skin, a painful skin condition that causes skin to blister. Image: Debra.

Woes for Boris Johnson

BORIS Johnson has been referred to police by the Cabinet Office over a series of further potential rule breaches during the Covid pandemic.

The former prime minister, who was fined last year for breaking Covid rules at Downing Street in 2020, denies any wrongdoing, but the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was assessing information it had received from the Cabinet Office.

Mr Johnson has also been referred to Thames Valley police because his ministerial diary revealed visits by family and friends to Chequers – the PM’s country house in Buckinghamshire – during the lockdown period. One rule for them….

Phillip Schofoeld left This Morning with immediate effect.

PHILLIP Schofield may have spent more than 20 years on the This Morning sofa, but he might just have said goodbye to his broadcasting career.

The 61-year-old presenter was axed from the programme last week, as speculation mounted over his future, but the uncertainty didn’t continue for long.

Instead, matters developed quickly on Friday night when Schofield sad he had lied about an affair with a younger male ITV work colleague and admitted that it had been “unwise but not illegal”. He has resigned from ITV with immediate effect and will no longer present the British Soap Awards next month.

Flight ban taking off

FRANCE has taken the drastic step of banning domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to cut carbon emissions.

The law came into force after legislators voted to end air routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours. It effectively rules out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux.

If something similar was introduced in Scotland, Aberdeen travellers could fly to Glasgow, but have to take the train to Edinburgh. On the off chance it was running!

Kate Winslet and Bear Grylls on her episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls – Season 2.”

Royal relations

ADVENTURER Bear Grylls said it was “epic” to discover he was related to Robert the Bruce during the filming of a new series of Who Do You Think You Are?

The TV presenter and writer travelled to Scotland to learn about his connection to the famous Scottish king and was astonished to find the link with the man who led the Scots to victory at the Battle of Bannockburb in 1314.

Speaking to Radio Times, he described Bruce as “a clansman who rewrote the rules of conventional soldiering”. The programme will be broadcast on June 15.

THE PROCLAIMERS revealed they had no idea their song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) had been removed from an official Coronation playlist.

The twins’ smash hit was originally included in the DCMS selection, but was later withdrawn, following complaints about the duo’s well-known republican views.

However, Craig and Charlie Reid said: “We didn’t know that it was going on and we didn’t know it was coming off. We’re presuming some ‘Bufton Tufton’ from Tunbridge Wells must have complained, but who knows?”

Peggy Finnie, Stuart Milne and Ron Finnie.
Stuart Milne (centre) with Peggy and Ron Finnie at their jewellery shop in Aberdeen.

Hair-raising challenge

THE general manager of an Aberdeen jewellery store isn’t simply walking off into retirement, but embarking on a spectacular charity adventure.

Stuart Milne first joined Finnies the Jewellers in 1981 and has worked with three generations of the family over the past four decades.

Now, to mark his departure, Mr Milne has decided to take on a hair-raising challenge to raise money for The Archie Foundation. On Saturday July 29, he will abseil 130ft down the Northern Lights Tower as a “leap into retirement”.

HIGHLAND Council reversed a ban on the hiring of bouncy castles at its premises.

On Tuesday, the local authority stated that inflatables could no longer be a feature of events at its properties because of health and safety reasons.

But, following complaints, it said the decision had now been reviewed and that new conditions had been put in place to permit their use. A u-turn in less than 24 hours!

Guy Pearce.
Guy Pearce is unlikely to be a permanent resident of Ramsay Street. story SHOWBIZ Neighbours. Photo: Fremantle/Channel 5/PA Wire.

Neighbours reboot

ACTOR Guy Pearce will appear in the upcoming Neighbours reboot, though it’s unlikely he will stay in Ramsay Street for too long before returning to Hollywood.

Along with former stars Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Margot Robbie, Pearce returned for the programme’s finale last summer and was reunited with his former love interest Jane Harris, played by Annie Jones.

However, now that Amazon is reviving the series, Pearce has admitted there’s a quandary. He said: “Obviously, if I’m going to extricate myself from the show, I want to do it respectfully. So there may be a little appearance or two, shall we say.”

It sounds like Jane’s going to get her heart broken again.

RICHARD E Grant paid an emotional visit to the north-east for the first time since the death of his Aberdeen-born wife in 2021.

He posted a video online, sharing that his return to the Granite city has been “emotionally charged…but comforting”, adding how much he missed Joan Washington, a voice coach, who was married to Grant for 35 years.

Richard E. Grant with his late wife Joan Washington.
Richard E. Grant with his late wife Joan Washington. Photo: Richard Young/Shutterstock