In autumn 2015, Gregor Fisher started work on his autobiography entitled 'The Boy From Nowhere'. It told the story of his traumatic childhood, his relationship with his adoptive parents, his relationship with his wife and children and the history behind the creation of his most famous television portrayal - drunken Glasweigan philosopher 'Rab C. Nesbitt'.
This BBC Scotland documentary, 'In Search Of Gregor Fisher', was screened in late 2015 to coincide with the publication of his book. It featured clips from his most memorable television and film roles, never before seen photographs from his early life and interviews with friends, family and fellow actors including his wife Vicki Burton, his sisters Maureen and Anne, friend Johnny Monohan, writer Ian Pattison ( who created 'Rab C.' ), Phil Differ, co-stars Elaine C. Smith, Tony Roper and Barbara Rafferty and journalist Melanie Reid ( who ghost wrote the book with Gregor ).
It stars off with Gregor walking down Central Station in Glasgow. We are then onto a journey of his life. He was born on 22 December 1953. His early childhood was nothing short of tragic. By the time he was four, he had been adopted no less than three times before being adopted by Cis and John Leckie. After leaving school ( with one O-Level in art ) and going through a succession of dead end jobs, Gregor attended drama school at the age of 18. At the age of 24, he landed his first television role in the BBC Scotland drama 'Rob Roy' which is where he met producer and director Colin Gilbert. He would work with Gilbert two years later alongside Rikki Fulton in 'Scotch & Wry' ( which Gilbert was script editing on ) and again years later when Gregor worked on 'Naked Video'.
It was on 'Naked Video' he would land the role that would make his name and fortune, 'Rab C. Nesbitt'. Gregor spoke of how he never wanted to play the role as he felt the character portrayed an image of an unfunny, drunken stereotype. He even admitted to not learning the first sketch very well during film as his heart was not in it and he felt that it would die the death. As it turned out, it was the ace in the pack. The downside to his portrayal is that it led to him being typecast. As a result, he became for a while quite reclusive as the recognition became too much for him, especially when a drunken idiot, with absolutely no sense of irony, accosted him in the street to vent his spleen about his dislike for his portrayal of Nesbitt: ''You're giving this place a f**king bad name!''.
I don't want to say too much else as I would not want to spoil the book too much for the uninitiated. 'In Search Of Gregor Fisher' is an amusing, touching and fascinating journey through the complicated and awkward path that was Gregor's early life. Gregor, sporting a beard and a cosy looking jumper, comes across here as down to earth and likable who, with his new life in France, seems perfectly happy with his lot. The soundtrack comprising the documentary is excellent too.
Enjoyable though it was, 'In Search Of Gregor Fisher' holds slightly unhappy memories for me as on the night of its broadcast, I was informed of the death of my friend David McNiven, who created the music for 'Naked Video' and 'Rab C.' among many others.
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