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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...


Game Shot! The day Jocky Wilson went from double tops to Top of the Pops

September 30 2017

It was the moment Fife’s world darts champion took his place in pop folklore. The gap-toothed Kirkcaldy-born darts legend’s smile was seen by millions of music fans on the world’s longest running weekly music show. On September 30 1982 Dexy’s Midnight Runners appeared on Top of the Pops to perform ‘Jackie Wilson Said’ which was their tribute to the soul legend. Appearing on the screen behind them, however, was a giant picture of Jocky Wilson, which was a deliberate joke as requested by the band. The performance 35 years ago has subsequently achieved cult status and is still fondly remembered today as one of TV’s more surreal moments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvDlx4yvyaI Wilson was the reigning darts world champion while Dexy’s were enjoying great success and performing the follow up to ‘Come On Eileen’. Dexy’s lead singer Kevin Rowland recalled: “For a laugh, we told the producer to put a picture of Jocky Wilson up behind us. “He said: ‘But Kevin, people will think we made a mistake.’ “I told him only an idiot would think that. “The morning after, the (Radio 1) DJ Mike Read said: ‘Bloody Top of the Pops. How could they mix up one of the great soul singers with a Scottish darts player?’” The story of the “embarrassing mix-up” became part of the TOTP narrative to the extent that, when Jocky Wilson died in 2012, the incident featured prominently in his obituaries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df8408FY_X4 Dexy’s guitarist Billy Adams added: "We were perceived as such a serious band few people expected us to have a sense of humour. “People would rather believe it was a mistake than think we might be having a laugh." Top of the Pops presenter David “Kid” Jensen said he pointed out the “mistake” in rehearsals to the team but it went ahead. “It’s just become part of the show’s folklore,” he said. A short, tubby man with very few teeth and a passion for lager, Jocky Wilson was one of Scotland’s most unlikely sporting successes. He twitched, jerked and almost launched himself at the board. Nevertheless a consistent player, he reached at least the quarter-finals of every World Championship between 1979 and 1991 — a 13-year run. The two-time world champion made his final televised appearance at the PDC’s World Matchplay event, before finally retiring from the sport in 1996. Legendary darts commentator Sid Waddell once said of Wilson: “He’s going like the Loch Ness Monster with a following wind!”


Jocky Wilson stage play will “neither demonise or over-romanticise”

January 19 2017

One of Scotland’s most unlikely sporting heroes is to be the subject of a new play. The late Jocky Wilson, the Fife darts favourite who was twice crowned world champion and who fought a long battle against alcohol and ended up a virtual recluse, is to be saluted in Jocky Wilson Says. Premiering at Oran Mor in Glasgow in March, the play will be staged five years after Wilson’s death. The show, set before Wilson became a household name through TV coverage of darts, has been created by a brother and sister team from Fife, Jane Livingstone and singer-songwriter Jonathan Cairney. It will recall an infamous incident when the then 29-year-old ex-miner was travelling around the United States playing exhibition matches. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYAatoDZalo He stayed up so late in Los Angeles that he was forced to hitch 400 miles through the desert to Las Vegas after missing his bus. Jane Livingstone said: “There was literally a time when everybody in Scotland would have known Jocky Wilson’s name, but they possibly wouldn’t have been able to tell you much about where he was from, what his background was like and what motivated him.” He continued: “Some people get very excited about him and think of him as a great Scottish hero. “Other people feel his story is very sad and see him as an embarrassing figure. “We think of him as a tremendous character, but because there are these differing views about him it made us think that his was a story worth looking at.” She added: “We don’t see his as a tragic story. We’ve done quite a number of interviews with people who played darts with Jocky in Fife. “We had an idea of how we wanted to present a story and what we wanted to say about him. “We wanted to ‘run that by’ some people who actually knew him at the time so we’re not that far off. “It’s neither going to be demonising or over-romanticising him.” Oran Mor co-artistic director Morag Fullerton said: “I was just really intrigued by the setting of the play in the desert and the fact it is based on a real-life incident. “Hopefully, we’re going to evoke his spirit of his character, tell some of the stories about him, and look at what it was that made him such a winner – and loser.” Jocky Wilson Says will premiere at Oran Mor arts centre, Byres Road, Glasgow, on March 20. “The English poison the water” Born in Kirkcaldy in 1950, Jocky Wilson’s early life did little to suggest he was to one day become a household name. Having grown up in an orphanage, he would spend time in the army, before working in a fish processing plant and as a miner before unemployment gave him the impetus to become a professional darts player in 1979. After entering a darts competition at Butlin’s in Ayr, he won a first prize of £500 and decided to focus his attention on the game. Within months he was taking part in the World Championships and three years later won the tournament, a triumph he was to repeat in 1989. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMI5Zqi5hHU His career at the oche would make him a national star, at a time when the sport was widely televised and featured such luminaries as Eric Bristow and Bob Anderson. A heavy smoker and drinker even while playing, Wilson was also well known for having lost his teeth by the age of 28, claiming never to have brushed them because his gran had told him “the English poison the water”. After retiring from the game in December 1995, he returned to his home town and retreated from public life before dying in 2012 at the age of 62.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Dundee woman banned for drink-driving

August 21 2013

A 51-year-old Dundee woman caught drink-driving has been banned for 12 months and fined £300. Mildred Elizabeth Wilson, of the city’s Balerno Street, appeared before Sheriff Lindsay Wood at Arbroath Sheriff Court and represented herself in the dock. She previously admitted driving a vehicle after consuming excess alcohol (95 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) in South Street, Monifieth, on February 24. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said Wilson’s vehicle was spotted by police moving across the road. She was travelling in the car with a male and Ms Drummond said Wilson smelled strongly of alcohol. She failed a breath test before a sample of blood was also taken for analysis. Speaking from the dock, Wilson told the sheriff that a man in the pub had given her friend “cheek” and when they left he had been headbutted by the man in the car park. Wilson said she got in the car and “drove in panic to get away”. She apologised for her actions. Imposing the sentence, the sheriff offered a reduction of a third if Wilson completes a drink drive rehabilitation course.

UK & World

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.

Dundee United

Jackie McNamara says Dundee United have no ‘for sale’ signs in their window

January 9 2014

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has given the strongest indication yet that the club is not looking to cash in during the transfer window. The Tangerines will, in all likelihood, face wave after wave of transfer speculation this month. Prize assets like Andy Robertson, Ryan Gauld, John Souttar, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong have already been linked with an array of clubs and it is hard to ignore, for example, a visit to Tannadice from Everton boss Roberto Martinez. However, McNamara who has added Brentford’s Farid El Alagui to his squad stressed that no offer has been made for anyone by anyone since the window opened. Significantly, he argued that even if a bumper bid did come in then it may still not be in the best interests of the club to accept it. “There has been a lot of talk but there has been no bid for any player and long may that continue to be the case,” said McNamara. “We are just like any other club but it is not as if we want to sell anyone because we don’t. We want to keep them and build for the future. “It doesn’t suit us to sell anyone just now. There is no advantage to us regardless of the money side of things. “So for me it is important to keep them all and the sooner the window shuts the better.” Meanwhile, United are awaiting news back from John Rankin’s agent regarding a possible new deal. The midfielder’s contract runs out in the summer and, along with team-mate Gavin Gunning, he has yet to commit himself to staying on beyond that. Mark Wilson’s short-term deal expires at the end of the month but the indications are that he will be re-signing. “We have spoken to John’s agent and are waiting on him getting back to us,” said McNamara. “I appreciate that he has to do what is best for him and respect that position. “Mark Wilson’s deal is up at the end of the month so we are also trying to sort that out. If they want to be with us for the future then that’s great for us.”

Angus & The Mearns

Grieving dad backs drive to save lives

March 15 2014

The dad of a tragic Laurencekirk woman has given his backing to a campaign to equip the town with more defibrillators. However, David Wilson believes the lifesaving machines must be publicly accessible or heart attack victims may not get the chance to be saved. Mum-of-two Amy Wilson, 31, collapsed and died at a coffee morning in the town last November when she was just weeks away from giving birth to her son, Harry. It is understood Ms Wilson’s death may have been caused by a rare heart condition and two of her friends have since started Stars in the Sky to raise funds for at least one publicly accessible defibrillator. Mr Wilson told The Courier: “We are told that nothing could have saved the life of my daughter or her baby but my worry is that they never got the chance to be saved. “The Laurencekirk After School Club is a very hard working asset to the community. “I think the Stars in the Sky fundraising idea is a credit to all concerned but they need to know their efforts will be of benefit to any future need.” Mr Wilson said he hopes the publicity generated by his daughter’s plight will, in turn, help raise funds for what will be “a worthy and needed cause.” Although it is not certain a defibrillator would have saved Ms Wilson, her friends and family believe having such kit available 24-hours-a-day could make a difference to someone else. Laurencekirk has eight community first responders, who offer emergency medical support until paramedics arrive. Stewart Wight, team leader of the Laurencekirk First Response Team, said he was backing the charity campaign by the local community. He said the responders all have other work and simply cannot cover every period of each day but added it was unlikely Ms Wilson would have been saved. Mr Wight said the buying and distribution of community defibrillators is to be welcomed by all and is likely to have a major impact on the rapid treatment of cardiac arrests. He added: “I am, however, concerned about the figures suggested in relation to the cost of these machines. “Recent articles have suggested it requires several thousand pounds to acquire and install this equipment. “Having recently installed two defibrillators on a popular north-east golf course for less than £2,000, I would hope any community or organisation thinking of purchasing this equipment will not be put off by the prices that have been publicised. “It is also worth mentioning these machines in isolation can have a limited value without the CPR which accompanies their application, so encouraging community training can be equally as important as community fundraising.”

UK & World

Paedophile has sentence increased

August 13 2013

A paedophile who walked free from court after his 13-year-old victim was branded “predatory” by a prosecutor has had his sentence increased due to a technicality. Neil Wilson was handed an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting engaging in sexual activity with the girl, as well as separate counts of making indecent images, at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London last week. News that prosecutor Robert Colover had labelled the young victim “predatory” and “sexually experienced” caused outrage and led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service. Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints for remarking that his sentence took into account how the girl looked and behaved. Judge Peters altered Wilson’s sentence yesterday, at a brief hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, after admitting it needed correction. The judge altered Wilson’s total sentence to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, but kept the sentence for sexual activity with a child the same, at eight months suspended for two years. He said he was revoking a community order and imposing additional suspended jail terms for two counts involving indecent photographs, and another indictment involving five counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

UK & World

Court to review paedophile sentence

August 27 2013

A paedophile who was allowed to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" is to have his sentence reviewed by the Court of Appeal. Neil Wilson, 41, was handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years after he admitted engaging in sexual activity with the child, as well as offences of making indecent images of a child and offences of possession of an extreme pornographic image. A row broke out shortly after the case was heard when it emerged that prosecuting barrister Robert Colover had labelled the young girl "predatory" and "sexually experienced". The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, has decided to refer Wilson's sentence to the Court of Appeal, where three judges will decide whether or not it is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it. A statement from the Attorney General’s Office said: “Having carefullyreviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided torefer the sentence of Neil Wilson to the Court of Appeal for review. “The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it.” In addition to Mr Colover’s comments, Judge Nigel Peters QC said he accounted for the way the Wilson’s victim looked and behaved when he sentenced her attacker. Mr Colover has been suspended from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), while Judge Peters’ comments are to be investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints. As well as receiving a number of complaints, the CPS was confronted by a petition, which now has more than 50,000 signatures, demanding Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer investigate the language used by Mr Colover.