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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Perth & Kinross

Prisoner to serve extra 32 months for razor attack

July 5 2014

A prisoner who slashed a fellow inmate with a razor blade has been handed a further jail sentence. Ryan Ingram attacked Jason Forrest at Perth Prison on December 2 2013. The assault left Forrest needing treatment for cuts measuring as much as three and a half inches. Perth Sheriff Court was told by Ingram’s solicitor that he was a “vulnerable” individual who used razor blades to self-harm. After the attack, Ingram, 32, told prison officers he was carrying a second blade for this purpose. The solicitor said Ingram had launched the attack in defence of another prisoner, who had originally appeared in the dock with him, and wrestled the blade from Forrest. He said: “Mr Ingram had been taken under the wing of the man who would have been his co-accused. “He was not the person who brought the razor blade into the cell but he accepts it doesn’t amount to self-defence because the complainer was on the way out of the cell when he was attacked.” He added that Forest had suffered no permanent disfigurement as a result of the attack. Ingram had earlier been found guilty of assaulting Forrest by repeatedly punching him, striking him with the razor blade and a pool cue and of possessing a razor blade. Sheriff Fiona Tait ordered Ingram to serve a further 32 months on top of his current sentence.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


Scotland interim boss Malky Mackay rings changes for Holland clash

October 30 2017

Scotland interim manager Malky Mackay has named a much-changed squad for the friendly against the Netherlands. The Scots take on the Dutch at Pittodrie a week on Thursday in the first match of the post-Gordon Strachan era. Mackay has chosen to freshen things up against Holland, with Dons trio Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and on-loan Ryan Christie all included. Also given the nod by Mackay are former Hibs frontman Jason Cummings, now at Nottingham Fiorest, Easter Road defender Paul Hanlon and midfielder Ryan Jack of Rangers. Embarrassingly, Scotland and Celtic captain Scott Brown’s name was left off the initial list Tweeted out by the SFA but included in later versions. Squad: Archer (Millwall), Gordon (Celtic), Marshall (Hull); Berra (Hearts), Cooper (Leeds), Hanlon (Hibs), Mulgrew (Blackburn), Paterson (Cardiff), Robertson (Liverpool), Tierney (Celtic); Armstrong (Celtic), Brown (Celtic), Fletcher (Stoke), Forrest (Celtic), Fraser (Bournemouth), Jack (Rangers), McGinn (Hibs), McGregor (Celtic), McLean (Aberdeen), Phillips (West Brom), Shinnie (Aberdeen), Christie (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic); Cummings (Nottingham Forest), Griffiths (Celtic).

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Preview – Following the Fleet: Drifters

September 16 2016

The worlds of beat-boxing and heritage fishing will collide in Anstruther when a special evening of silent film with live backing vocals and post-screening Q&A is held in association with the Scottish Fisheries Museum. Anstruther’s Dreel Halls is the venue as Beat-boxer and composer Jason Singh performs his live vocal score to John Grierson’s monumental silent film Drifters. Premiering alongside Battleship Potemkin in 1929, Drifters follows North Sea herring fisherman through their dramatic daily routines as well as the industry’s struggles between tradition, modernity, technology, the environment and nature. Jason’s score is a totally unique performance combining live vocal sound effects, voice manipulation, beatboxing and live sampling to create an exhilarating cinematic experience. This special live event is part of Following the Fleet, a tour of Scotland’s major herring fishing ports produced by Shona Thomson and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network. *Anster Cinema – Following the Fleet: Drifters takes place at Dreel Halls, Anstruther on Saturday September 17. www.followingthefleet.com


Celtic v Rangers – Story of the match

April 29 2018

Celtic celebrated winning their seventh straight Ladbrokes Premiership crown with a merciless 5-0 drubbing of Rangers at Parkhead.Odsonne Edouard, the 20-year-old French striker on loan from Paris St Germain, scored a first-half double with James Forrest adding a third before the break to send Hoops fans into a half-time frenzy.Celtic’s current dominance over their city rivals was underlined after the break as midfielders Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor added further goals to spark off the familiar celebrations with three fixtures remaining.Tweet of the matchStar man – Odsonne EdouardWith Moussa Dembele out, Brendan Rodgers faced a dilemma over who to start up front – Edouard or Leigh Griffiths. He went with the on-loan Paris St Germain striker and got his reward as the 20-year-old put on a stunning display. His close-range finish for the opener may have been simple, but his next for goal number two was clinical perfection. Capped off a fine display by laying on the fifth for Callum McGregor.Moment of the matchThe Celtic support did not need to wait for the goals to start raining in for them to enjoy themselves but the party really got under way when James Forrest slammed home the third goal after a great solo run.Second thoughts for Steven Gerrard?Sources close to Rangers say that the former Liverpool and England skipper is close to agreeing to become the next Ibrox boss but based on this latest pasting at Parkhead, he could be forgiven for having second thoughts. The gap separating them from Brendan Rodgers’ treble-chasers is wider than ever and there appears no quick fix that could allow Gerrard to enjoy success any time soon.Data pointRodgers has enjoyed four-goal winning margins three times since taking over last season but this five-goal pasting is the Hoops’ biggest derby triumph over Gers since 1895 and takes the manager’s Old Firm record to 11 games without defeat.Player ratingsCeltic:  Craig Gordon 6, Mikael Lustig 6, Dedryck Boyata 7, Kristoffer Ajer 6, Kieran Tierney 8, Olivier Ntcham 8, Scott Brown 7, James Forrest 8, Tom Rogic 8, Callum McGregor 8, Odsonne Edouard 9. Subs: Scott Sinclair (for Rogic, 70) 5, Jack Hendry (for Lustig, 71) 4, Leigh Griffiths (for Edouard, 75) 5.Rangers: Jak Alnwick 4, James Tavernier 4, Ross McCrorie 4, Russell Martin 4, Andy Halliday 5, Jason Holt 6, Graham Dorrans 4, Daniel Candeias 5, Josh Windass 4, Jamie Murphy 6, Jason Cummings 4. Subs: Alfredo Morelos (for Windass, 60) 5, Greg Docherty (for Dorrans, 71) 4.Who’s up next?Hearts v Celtic (Ladbrokes Premiership, Sunday, May 6)Rangers v Kilmarnock (Ladbrokes Premiership, Saturday, May 5)

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk


Celtic thrash Rangers to secure seventh straight title

April 29 2018

Celtic clinched their seventh successive Ladbrokes Premiership title in stunning style with a 5-0 thrashing of ragged rivals Rangers at Parkhead.Odsonne Edouard, the 20-year-old French striker on loan from Paris St Germain, scored a first-half double with James Forrest adding a third before the break to send Hoops fans into a half-time frenzy.Celtic’s current dominance over their city rivals was underlined after the break as midfielders Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor added further goals to spark off the familiar celebrations with three fixtures remaining.Boss Brendan Rodgers is now unbeaten in 11 games against Rangers since he took over in 2016, nine wins and two draws, and his Celtic side are within a William Hill Scottish Cup final win against Motherwell away from an unprecedented successive treble.Celtic’s biggest win over Rangers was 7-1 in October, 1957 and it could have easily  been beaten.If former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to take over from Graeme Murty as the manager of Rangers – and he is the front runner – then he will have his work cut out to improve this Ibrox side who look bereft of belief when they encounter green and white hoops, not to say simply inferior.As always there had been plenty of speculation ahead of the noon kick-off regarding team selections.With Rangers’ number one keeper Wes Foderingham still carrying a shoulder injury, Jak Alnwick made his Old Firm debut with  midfielder Andy Halliday asked to play at left-back  due to Declan John’s broken hand.With Moussa Dembele injured, Rodgers opted to go with Edouard as his main striker instead of Leigh Griffiths who started on the bench, along with Jack Hendry who was replaced by right-back Mikael Lustig.The home side piled on relentless pressure from the start and an uncertain looking Alnwick made two early saves from Hoops midfielder Olivier Ntcham.However, it was team-mate Edouard who converted a Kieran Tierney cut-back from five yards to begin an afternoon of abject misery for the Govan side.Celtic had complete control of the game looking fitter, faster and more focused.However, in the 27th minute Gers midfielder Jason Holt broke forward and drew a decent save from Hoops keeper Craig Gordon with his left-footed drive and Tierney completed the clearance.Attacker Josh Windass failed to pick out Jason Cummings on another Gers break but in the 41st minute when midfielder Graham Dorrans lost possession in a Rangers attack, Forrest sent Edouard running clear into the opposition box and he  drove low past Alnwick and into the far corner.It soon got worse for the  visitors.Just before the break, with the Light Blues in complete disarray, Forrest rattled in number three on the angle from 10 yards.Rogic swept in number four from the edge of the box with the second half just under way before McGregor slid in an Edouard pass for the fifth after 52 minutes and the record books were being looked at.Windass had hit the post with an effort before he was replaced by Alfredo Morelos, his introduction mocked by ecstatic Hoops fans.Alnwick made fine saves from Forrest and Rogic amid more mundane ones as the home side threatened continuously, somehow failing to add  to the anguish of their battered and bruised city rivals.

Angus & The Mearns

Silent Witness to give Dundee and Angus a starring role

January 16 2014

Courier country will be showcased on BBC One tonight, as an episode of Silent Witness filmed in the area goes on air. The two-part episode of the hit series, which follows a team of pathologists as they help solve crimes, was filmed in Dundee and on Glen Cova. ‘In a Lonely Place’ sees lead characters Nikki and Jack come to Courier Country to help earnest detective DS Jason Ross investigate the chilling murder of a lap dancer found in a remote forest. The Silent Witness team spent 10 days in September filming in and around Dundee with the Tay Road Bridge being used in one scene and the show’s producer, Sharon Bloom, described the area as “a great place to shoot”. However, she added that Dundee will not be named as the city in the episode itself, but rather it will be a fictional place. A number of locals are also featuring in the episode as extras including David Mackaskill and his brother, who are playing members of a deer stalking party. TayScreen, the multi-agency partnership which covers the local councils, was involved in attracting the production company to Dundee. Part one of ‘In a Lonely Place’ will be broadcast on Thursday, at 9pm.