Book Festival’s PR Coup in Snagging Little and Large

by Scott Douglas

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Legendary double act Little and Large have made their Festival debut, it seems.

Not the chubby funnyman and his long-faced sidekick who made Saturday nights unbearable in the early 80s.

Naw – another pair of comedians altogether.

Former Evening News scribbler Adrian Mather and snapper Billy Henry must have been quite a sight when on jobs together.

Adrian is a hulking, fearsome looking man who wouldn’t look out of place in the Scotland rugby squad’s front row (except he has a full set of teeth).

Bill is a newspaper veteran who retired earlier this year. Anyone who worked with him will remember firstly the quality of his photography – and secondly the quality of his constant gags about being er, somewhat vertically challenged.

Now the pair have turned up unexpectedly as the poster boys for the Edinburgh Book Festival, on its “Press Office” page.

It’s quite fitting really. Adrian consumes books at a fearsome rate to keep his planet-sized brain ticking over. Meanwhile Bill likes nothing better than a big pile of hardbacks – usually to stand on.

The website for the event features a photograph of the pair on a newspaper assignment from a number of years ago.

It shows Adrian making himself useful as only a six foot something man can – by holding up high the flash unit  for a five-foot nothing photographer.

No doubt by that point the big fella’s ears were ringing with quick fire quips from Billy.

Cumbernauld’s finest doesn’t half have an armory of size-related gags to make the taller person quail . While amusing, none of them are quite as “funny” as his Masonic handshake.

It’s fair to say that sitting through a job with Bill would throw up more gags and one-liners than your average Fringe show.

He retired earlier this year after 19 years at the Edinburgh Evening News and many who worked with him used the chance to wax lyrical about the joys of working with him, particularly on the more challenging jobs.

While Bill is now tending his flower beds at home in Numbandcauld, I’m hoping big Adrian still has a few more good years in him.

Just over a year ago he was rescued from newspapers by a Darth Vader-esque conversion to the Dark Side (we call it that so that newspaper hacks  will stay where they are) – and he is now the engine room of Holyrood Partnership, PR in Edinburgh.

Once I’ve worked out how to use Survey Monkey I intend to run an online poll on whether big Adrian should keep his beard – or revert to the smoother faced look shown in this image.

Our thanks to the Book Festival for dredging up this photo to ensure this memorable double act may be gone from newspapers – but isn’t forgotten.

 

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