Hanging On The Telephone
Daily Record 15th March 2003

Paul English talks to actress Lorraine McIntosh about self help groups and country music.

Hello Lorraine, how's tricks? 

Paul, can I be a pain in the neck and ask if you can call me back in 10 minutes? I'm trying to get my wee boy down to sleep so I can chat in peace. 

(15 minutes later). 

Hello? It's Paul again. I'll speak really quietly... 

It's okay, he's upstairs, sleeping. Seamus is only two, so he still goes for a nap in the afternoons. Normally, mum has one too, but not today. 

You've been a busy woman. I spotted you in Taggart recently. 

Yes, I know. I did that last year, round about the same time I was doing Mum's The Word. I was working on a new film back then too, called Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself. It's a tragi- comedy by Dogma, who made Breaking The Waves. It's directed by Lone Scherfig. 

What's it all about? 

It's literally about a guy who constantly tries to kill himself. There are a lot of Scots in it, including Shirley Henderson, who was Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter. Basically, Wilbur goes to a suicide self help group, and my character Ruby is one of the members. It was such a laugh, even though I end up drowning in the Clyde. 

Some people say it's a Scottish reaction to knock their own successes? Do you think that's happened with River City? 

Yes. I think that's a problem we have in this country. We don't like seeing ourselves represented on the telly. I've heard people say they hate hearing Glaswegian accents on TV. 

There were suggestions you were hired to save River City? 

I know, what a lot of rubbish. I was brought in long before the show was transmitted. But the papers were saying I was "Saviour of River City". I had to go round all the rest of the actors and say, "Listen, I didn't say that." 

Are you finding it difficult to be accepted as Lorraine the actress, rather than Lorraine from Deacon Blue? 

Not at all. I have to say, I've never felt that on any acting job I've done. 

You don't like being spotted in the street do you? Is that happening again? 

It is, but it's not as bad as when the band were at their peak. I get young schoolkids spotting me now as Alice from River City, so I try not to go out at lunchtime, because all the teenagers shout, "That's her out of River City." 

Deacon Blue will open Glasgow Academy, singing Raintown from start to finish for the first time. That album's 16 years old, think you'll remember it? 

Of course, we've been doing Raintown tracks live all that time. 

Is that your favourite Deacon Blue album? 

Yeah, I think so, but my favourite songs are Bethlehem's Gate and I Was Right And You Were Wrong from other albums. 

So what's the story with the band? Are they available for openings, weddings and bar mitzvahs? 

No, we're all dead busy, and it's really a one-off. When I got River City, I decided I didn't want to do any more Deacon Blue. But with this one being the opening night in Glasgow, it just seemed right. 

What of your solo music career? 

I was in a band called Cub a while back, but it didn't really come to anything. Ricky's always on at me to let him give his publisher in London our demo, so who knows? 

So what are you listening to these days? 

Dolly Parton, would you believe. I think her Little Sparrows album is fantastic. I'm also really keen on Canadian Rufus Wainwright and Coldplay - they're so great, they move me to tears. Paul English