A word of appreciation for Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane is 66 years old. This is one of those facts that in turn makes me feel stupidly old as it feels to me like Coltrane is going to be with us forever so the idea that he’s reaching 70 is amazing. Coltrane is one of our greats, and to me, a bit of an idol from his comedy through to his more serious work such as this week’s drama on Channel 4, National Treasure, where he plays a beloved 1970’s celebrity accused of raping children.

Coltrane’s best known these days for the Harry Potter films, but in the real world he got his big film break with Flash Gordon

Alright, maybe not a break, but for me Coltrane was someone who’d pop up on comedy programmes like A Kick up the 80’s, or Laugh, I Nearly Paid My License Fee  doing characters like Mason Boyne.

Indeed, Coltrane often ripped the piss out of the Orange Order and that strain of British Unionism in the sort of comedy that back in the 1980’s was risky stuff in Scotland.

I think though those of us used to him popping up in The Young Ones or Blackadder were a wee bit surprised to see him star on John Byrne’s classic drama series Tutti Frutti.

Though he had popped up as the comic relief in Neil Jordan;s glorious Mona Lisa.

As a dramatic actor he came to his own with Cracker, which is still some of the most astonishing drama ITV’s ever produced.

I remember seeing Coltrane back in the 1980’s emerge from various bookies and pubs in Glasgow’s West End never having the bollocks to say hello or tell him how much fun he’d given me on TV, but I’ll wrap this up with probably my favourite bit of telly featuring Coltrane from The Comic Strip episode The Supergrass.

Cheers big man, here’s hoping for more quality from you in years to come…

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