Val McDermid returns to Kirkcaldy Galleries cafe for new radio programme

It was a homecoming for Val McDermid this week as she visited Café Wemyss at Kirkcaldy Galleries to record a programme for BBC Radio Scotland.
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The programme called For The Record is hosted by Nicola Meighan and produced by Esme Kennedy as an occasional series of personal interviews where the guest recalls musical moments from their life in song from childhood singalongs to a piece they wish they had written.

Val is not only a best-selling crime author with 13 million sales but also a performer, playwright and recording artist with her band The Fun Loving Crime Writers so after a lifetime of music lots of song memories to draw from. She recalled her days in the children’s section at Templehall Library aged six and longing for a look at the adult fiction section having consumed all Enid Blyton and the like. This she did when the family moved to Sang Road and to the site where we were for these nostalgic and humorous stories. Presenter Nicola Meighan skillfully examined the childhood days of Juniors Choice and Family Favourites to tearful reminiscences of love songs from the pen of Robert Burns.

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We hear of her days as a journalist in England, her playwriting successes and her first attempts at fiction. Val’s head is constantly full of ideas and stories, and she reveals her processes and how her characters insist on being written such as Karen Pirie, now a successful TV series. Val might have been a professional folk singer, she tells us, as she would study the artists of the day and even perform at open nights in the Elbow Room in Rosslyn Street Kirkcaldy.

Nicola Meighan & Val McDermid in Kirkcaldy Galleries (Pic: John Murray)Nicola Meighan & Val McDermid in Kirkcaldy Galleries (Pic: John Murray)
Nicola Meighan & Val McDermid in Kirkcaldy Galleries (Pic: John Murray)

It was here she would see her heroes like Billy Connolly, Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes who became a dear friend. They had planned an album together too just before his premature death in 2022.

The capacity audience loved these insights and the demand for tickets was greatly over subscribed but we all can hear the full programme with all the music inserts on Good Friday March 29th at 4pm on BBC Radio Scotland or on BBC Sounds.