World Tour of Scotland
|World Tour of Scotland|
DVD box-set cover
|Format||Documentary / Comedy|
|Created by||Billy Connolly
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||180 minutes
World Tour of Scotland is a six-part television series — the first of Billy Connolly's "world tours" — originally broadcast by the BBC in late 1994. It involves his touring around his homeland of Scotland for 54 nights during early 1994, beginning in Greenock and visiting cities and towns and performing live on stage to audiences. However, this, like all his other tours, involve more than just shows: he visits numerous places of historic and scenic value, as well as some places that resonate with his own upbringing.
The series is dedicated "with much love and thanks to the people of Scotland". It has since been released on VHS and DVD. On the latter format, the six episodes are split across two discs.
Opening and closing titles
The opening titles feature an aerial view of the Range Rover (driven by Connolly throughout the series) making its way through various locations and weathers. The camera is mounted atop four metal legs, several feet in length.
The closing titles feature an excerpt of Connolly's performing his cover of Van Morrison's "Irish Heartbeat", live at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, over landscape views of the areas visited in the respective episodes.
The series is often repeated on the UKTV channels Dave and Blighty.
The series begins with Connolly aboard a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry sailing down the west coast.
- Isle of Arran. As Connolly drives off the ferry, his best friend, Danny Kyle, is shown to be in the passenger seat
- Brodick Village Hall (concert venue)
- Connolly is shown playing the banjo with his Isle of Arran-based friends
- Partick and Govan
- Stirling (including the MacRobert Centre concert venue) and Bannockburn
- Kirkcaldy and Forfar (concert venue)
- Scone Palace ("Never to be pronounced Scone.")
- Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, and South Queensferry
- Blair Atholl
- Highlands (Loch Garry, near Drumochter, where he skites stones on the ice; also passes Dalwhinnie, Laggan and Findhorn Bridge in Tomatin)
- Inverness (Concert Venue at Eden Court, Fishing on River Ness and view Loch Ness)
- Culloden Moor
- Ulbster, Caithness
- Ackergill Tower, Caithness
- Lerwick, Shetland (including two performances in the same night at the Garrison Theatre; the latter takes him into the next day)
- Arbroath (where he samples a smokie and revisits the location at which he lost his virginity)
- Dundee (including footage from his performance at Caird Hall)
- Scottish Borders, Kelso (including footage from his performance at Tait Hall)
Connolly almost ventures into English territory at the end of the episode when he cycles past the "Scotland" sign in Roxburgh. "I've come a bit far here, I believe," he says, after screeching his bike to a halt. "And me out without my passport. It is a Scottish tour, after all."
"One thing confuses me, however," he continued, as he prepares to retrace his route. "If this is the border with England, and that is the border with Scotland, what happens in here? Maybe it is owned by the Manx government, or something. I don't know. Perhaps you can build a house here and never pay tax again."
The music featured in the series is available on Connolly's 1995 album Musical Tour of Scotland.
Notes and references
- Another Range Rover (number plate L863 ORV, as opposed to the one Connolly drove (L154 THP)), was used for pick-ups. The hair and eyebrows of the look-alike (from behind, at least) driver are more bushy than Connolly's, and he is wearing a big ring on his right hand and bracelet on his right wrist. Connolly, however, wears neither.