Tormod MacGill-Eain

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Norman Hector Mackinnon Maclean[1] (Scottish Gaelic: Tormod MacGill-Eain) (born 1936)[2] is a Scottish Gaelic comedian, novelist, poet, musician and broadcaster. He is the only person to have won both Bardic Crown and Gold Medal at the same Royal National Mod. His struggles with alcoholism are documented in his autobiography, The Leper's Bell:Autobiography of a Changeling.

Early life[edit]

Maclean was born in Glasgow on the 26th of December, 1936, but was evacuated to Lochaber in 1940 where he was brought up by Gaelic speaking relatives. He spent a part of his childhood in South Uist and Benbecula. He then went to Glasgow where he attended Bellahouston Academy. His father died suddenly when Maclean was 15.[3]

Career[edit]

Maclean attended Glasgow University. He trained to become a teacher but also started to perform songs and piping. In the early 1970s he expanded his repertoire by spending more time on jokes between songs and became a stand-up comedian (similar to the progression made by Billy Connolly with whom he was often compared).[4] He wrote and starred in his own TV show "Tormod Air Telly".[5] Maclean provided the vocal talents for several re-dubbings of children's programmes into Gaelic - most notably "Donnie Murdo", the Gaelic version of Dangermouse.

Throughout his life, Maclean has had a destructive relationship with alcohol which stopped him taking many opportunities, he was due to appear in Comfort & Joy as well as failing to appear for bookings or failing to achieve his potential as well as having a large effect on his personal life and health.[6][7]

Maclean, the subject of an award-winning documentary, 'Tormod', produced by BBC Alba, moved to Uist in 2009. He writes a monthly column for the community newspaper, 'Am Pàipear', and has a supporting role, as an old bard, in the full-length feature film, Ruadhan the Bard, due to be released in early 2012.

Maclean is settled in Uist and has enjoyed sobriety since the spring of 2010, when he also stopped smoking.

Corpus[edit]

Maclean composed the pipe tune "A Scarce O' Tatties",[8] he has composed long and short poems, including "Maol Donn" a.k.a.MacCrimmon's Sweetheart which won him the Bardic Crown in 1967, and has produced novels in Gaelic, "Cumhnantan" (1997), "Keino" (1999), "Dacha Mo Ghaoil" (2005),[9] and "Slaightearan" (2007), as well as his autobiography, "The Leper's Bell" (2009), in English.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brocklebank, Ted (13 January 1997). "Gael blows away dreaded demons". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Tobar an Dualchais". Retrieved 23 Sep 2011. 
  3. ^ Ross, Peter (20 September 2009). "Interview: Norman Maclean, comedian". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Ross, Peter (20 September 2009). "Interview: Norman Maclean, comedian". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Ross, Peter (20 September 2009). "Interview: Norman Maclean, comedian". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Ross, Peter (20 September 2009). "Interview: Norman Maclean, comedian". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Brocklebank, Ted (13 January 1997). "Gael blows away dreaded demons". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Live Wizardry Silly Wizard". andymstewart.com. 1988. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Comhairle nan Leabhraichean page

External references[edit]