Lights, camera, action – and a bit of applause, please – as BBC Scotland gears up to film the second series of Granite Harbour right here in Aberdeen.
OK, so the first season of the “fish out of water” detective show about cop Davis Lindo arriving from Jamaica to the chilly north-east didn’t set the heather alight for some folk – with much muttering about “where’s the Doric?” and “is that supposed to be an Aberdeen accent?”
And, let’s be frank, some of the continuity shots around our beloved city had us pointing at the telly and going “fit?” – to wit, when the new cop Davis stepped out of the bus station, emerging onto Broad Street via the front of Marischal Square.
Also, who can forget the drive along the Beach Boulevard where characters were looking out the car window at oil rigs just offshore?
These, though, are petty quibbles and giggles to be found when TV shows are filmed anywhere in the UK. What, you don’t think the good people of Birmingham have never facepalmed over some of the accents inflicted on them?
But forget all that fictional licence and focus on the matter in hand. A major TV series is being filmed in Aberdeen again. A TV show that has actually found traction in the wider UK and wider world, thanks to the BBC’s reach, that showcases the Granite City.
No matter what you thought of the first season – for my money, it was an enjoyable cop show with potential to get even better – Aberdeen had never looked so good in some of the scenes.
As well as giving the north-east a prime position in a global shop window, there’s also the sheer fun of seeing film crews working on our streets, and actors like Romario Simpson and Hannah Donaldson being here in town. A wee bit of showbiz glamour is always welcome.
The return of Granite Harbour is another sign that film and television producers are recognising Aberdeen and the north-east as offering great locations. Jon S Baird recently had the city standing in for Soviet Russia in his film Tetris, while, up north, Portsoy has been a key player in Peaky Blinders, as well as for The Crown.
Historically, we had Mel Gibson going full thesp for Hamlet, filmed at Dunnottar Castle. There have been many more.
The potential economic boost of attracting film production is not to be sneezed at – Ireland basically built a major industry out of it
The potential economic boost of attracting film production is not to be sneezed at – Ireland basically built a major industry out of it, along with the tourism spin-offs that followed.
Which is a good point at which to remind everyone that the ambitious suggestion of bringing a film studio to the north or north-east of Scotland, put forward by Elgin’s Openbrolly, deserves serious support.
So, let’s welcome the cast and crew of Granite Harbour and keep our eyes on the bigger picture – a moving one – of the potential it could unlock for Aberdeen and the north-east.
Time to roll up our sleeves
Right, that’s September 8 in the calendar: I have a date with a needle.
You see, I’m now of the age where the lovely folk at NHS Grampian invite me to get my annual flu vaccination ahead of winter arriving.
Once upon a time, I would have thought it wasn’t worth the bother, what with me being rudely healthy – I can easily cope with a case of the snuffles. But the last three years have taught me well.
You simply can’t take a virus lightly anymore – my bout of Covid was a miserable experience, and flu is very much A Bad Thing. So, I didn’t hesitate to roll my sleeves up to book an appointment to roll my sleeve up.
And, with Scotland’s health supremo Professor Jason Leitch saying he’s worried about the strain on the NHS this winter between flu and a bit of an upswing in Covid cases, we should all be answering his call to take whatever vaccines we are eligible for.
A slightly updated version of the vaccine eligibility groups for winter in Scotland from last week (at risk age group has been expanded to include upwards of six months and non-patient facing health workers added to flu). More here: https://t.co/BmJW09kkKi pic.twitter.com/tInKYTEU9A
— Jason Leitch (@jasonleitch) August 16, 2023
It’s not just for our own good – although that is vital. But if we are protecting ourselves from the nasty bugs coming our way, it will help take the load of our already stretched health services.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, as the old saying goes, so it makes perfect sense to get a jab.
In fact, it doesn’t make any sense not to – unless you’re still wearing your tinfoil hat from the Covid days and muttering that Bill Gates wants to track your every movement with microchips to bring in the New World Order.
If you have been invited to get a vaccination, go and do it – for all our sakes.
Scott Begbie is a journalist and editor, formerly for The Press and Journal and Evening Express