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BBC - Frankie Boyle's Tour of Scotland (2020)
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Frankie sets off on a stand-up tour of Scotland. On four trips to four gigs, he meets a heady mix of people and places, filtering his nation's past and present through his unique mind.
Chapter 1: Aberdeen to Oban
Frankie Boyle travels from Aberdeen to Oban to explore how Scotland's landscape has shaped the nation's history and meets people who live off the land today. It is a journey that sees him contemplate where best to go whilst in witness protection, discuss why people shouldn't trust extroverts and question whether horses laugh.
On his journey, Frankie meets a hermit called Jake who lives in the forests of the north east of Scotland. Frankie finds out why Jake has retreated to the countryside before exploring his very unique treehouse.
On the north east coast of Scotland, Frankie visits the community of Findhorn. He finds out how this remote area of barren sand dunes became transformed into a thriving village whose main aim is to be environmentally, economically and socially self-sustaining. Frankie helps out in the greenhouse and explores the humble beginnings of the commune and questions whether he is suited to life in a remote community.
Frankie travels to one of the most stunning glens in the Highlands and gives his own unique perspective on one of the darkest events in Scotland's history - the Glencoe massacre. Visiting the beautiful town of Inveraray, he meets Andy Wightman, an MSP and a campaigner for land reform, who explains why more than half of Scotland is owned by fewer than 500 people.
Frankie then goes deep underground to visit the Cruachan Power Station. Frankie travels along a kilometre-long tunnel to see the huge turbine hall that has been carved out of solid granite in the heart of a mountain and meet one of the 'Tunnel Tigers' who worked on the construction of this engineering marvel. Frankie then goes into full celebrity travelogue-mode as he embarks on a ferry journey to the Isle of Mull. The journey culminates in a stand-up show in Oban.
Chapter 2: Edinburgh to Aberdeen
Frankie Boyle travels from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and explores Scotland's complicated relationship with language. In Edinburgh, he joins the crowds of the Fringe and goes to see a one-man show by the author of the critically acclaimed book The Poverty Safari, Darren McGarvey. They discuss how language shapes who we are, how it can be used to exclude working class people from important debates and consider how best to climb down from high walls.
Frankie also wants to find out why crime fiction has become such a literary phenomenon in Scotland. In a bar in Edinburgh's affluent district of Morningside, Frankie meets best-selling author Val McDermid, finds out about the origins of Tartan Noir and learns her secret to creating realistic characters and dialogue.
Travelling north, Frankie stays the night in a hotel that has links to the creation of one of the most famous literary characters in the world - Dracula. Similarly inspired, Frankie gives his own unique theory on what might have inspired Bram Stoker to create the famous vampire.
The next morning, Frankie goes to jail. In Grampian Prison, he visits the education wing, where he joins a class of prisoners who are all learning about the Scots language. He finds out why different dialects and words have gone in and out of fashion and works with the prisoners on a script in Scots. Frankie also finds out from Scots language expert Alistair Heather why Scots is experiencing a renaissance.
Ahead of his stand-up show in Aberdeen, Frankie meets up with sign language interpreter Catherine King. Catherine interprets stand-up shows for the deaf community. She talks to Frankie about how she works on stage and interprets his sometimes shocking stand-up. Frankie then takes to the stage with Catherine.
Chapter 3: Glasgow to Ayr
Frankie heads south, travelling from his hometown of Glasgow to his stand-up show in the west-coast seaside town of Ayr. Along the way, he explores what it feels to 'belong' to a certain community and how those groups define modern Scotland. The last time Frankie himself felt like he belonged in a certain group was when he joined a martial arts club in the east end of Glasgow. Frankie returns to his old club for a training session with his old sensei, Tommy Carruthers. Tommy is an expert in jeet kune do, a martial art created by Bruce Lee. Tommy's unique technique and popularity have led to some describing him as the man who turned being Glaswegian into a martial art. Frankie gets a workout to find out whether he has retained some of the fighting skills that Tommy taught him.
Whilst in Glasgow, Frankie travels to the ruins of Crookston Castle in the south of the city. It was in Crookston Castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, is thought to have married her second husband. In the ruins of the castle, Frankie meets Scottish historian Fiona Watson to find out why Mary, Queen of Scots, was always considered an outsider by both her parliament and her subjects. He learns that while Mary may have been taught the finer skills of becoming a monarch when she grew up in the French court, those skills were of little help in a Scotland that was gripped with religious division and revolt.
Glasgow is no stranger to riots and protests and Frankie meets one high-profile female campaigner who became famous in Scotland as one of the Glasgow Girls. Amal Azzudin was born in Somalia but grew up in Glasgow. She hit the headlines when she was just 15 when she and four other schoolmates campaigned against the treatment of asylum seekers. Frankie chats over a coffee with Amal and finds out why she protested and what she loves about modern Scotland.
One community that Frankie has always wanted to find out more about is the people that run Scotland's fairgrounds, the showmen. Frankie pops into the coastal town of Troon to meet some members of the Codona family, one of the most famous showmen families in Scotland. Whilst there, Frankie goes behind the scenes at the hotdog stall and gets to do battle on the dodgems.
Frankie nears his journey end as he arrives in Ayr. He is playing in the famous Gaiety Theatre, which is an art deco venue run by the local community and volunteers. Before his show, Frankie meets Scottish comedy legend Elaine C Smith to discuss performing onstage and their different styles of comedy. Frankie then hits the stage to entertain the people of Ayrshire.
Chapter 4: Oban to Glasgow
Frankie embarks on his last journey of the series, travelling from Oban to his home town of Glasgow. As he is contractually obliged to have a theme for each journey, on this leg he is looking at creativity and how it applies to the ways in which Scotland thinks of itself. Travelling through the stunning glens of the Highlands, Frankie visits the home of one of the world's most critically acclaimed comic book writers, Grant Morrison. Grant has written stories for some of the comic world's most iconic characters, such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men, Spiderman and Judge Dredd. Grant's home sits across from a base for nuclear submarines, and Frankie wants to chat to Grant about how his childhood fascination and fear of 'the bomb' has affected his writing and may have led him to writing superhero stories.
From superheroes to Scotland's most famous hero, Frankie travels from Dunoon to Bannockburn, the site of Robert the Bruce's most famous battle. There he meets battle re-enactor John Lyons and finds out how to fight with a sword and a shield, just like the Scots knights of the 1300s.
After his fight in a field, Frankie heads to Glasgow, where he finds out how a group of young artists are brightening up some of the darker corners of Glasgow's cityscape. Over the last decade, murals have sprung up all over Glasgow, and one group behind this street art renaissance is the Cobolt Collective. Frankie joins the four-woman team as they paint a huge mural that celebrates some of Glasgow's most iconic buildings. Despite being on top of a swaying scissor lift, Frankie manages to keep a steady hand and helps out with painting the mural.
Although murals can brighten up the streets of Glasgow, they can't paint over one of the darker chapters in the city's history. Much of Glasgow's grand architecture and wealth was created off the back of slavery in the British colonies, and some streets still commemorate the merchants who profited the most from trade in humans. Frankie meets local councillor Graham Campbell to find out how Glasgow should do more to confront its shameful past.
After touring the streets of the Merchant City with Graham, Frankie makes his way to the King's Theatre in Glasgow for his last gig of the series.
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