Ewan and Uncle Denis

        The success of Ewan McGregor has been quite phenomenal and despite the historical tendencies of this “blog” , it is relevant and essential to include something about him and indeed his uncle  Denis Lawson in my tales of Strathearn  . I happen to have know the family for a long time and so the following is more a personal commentary than a biographical synopsis . Having spent many a happy holiday in Crieff as a school boy and visiting my young brother in law Gavin who was a boarder at Morrisons , it was perhaps not surprising that we chose to settle down in the town in the 1970s to bring up our young family . As a member of the local Round Table I met Jim McGregor and his wife Carol and at the same time joined the local film club in which they both were leading lights . Carol ‘s dad Lawrie Lawson had a small jeweller’s shop in East High Street in what is now the Carpet Shop . They eventually moved down to West High Street and when Lawrie died his wife Phyllis continued the business for many years. A lovely sparkly person who has  just passed her 90th birthday and a lot of whose genes, I suspect, found themselves into Ewan’s personality.

I recall in the late 1970s , returning to Crieff having worked for a number of years in pre revolutionary Iran and being asked to help out in a Carnival organised ,I think , by the Round Table  . This was about the time of the first Star Wars film and of course Carol McGregor’s brother Dennis Lawson had found fame playing Wedge Antilles in that movie . Presumably, family influence persuaded Denis to make a guest appearance. The idea was that a procession would make it ‘s way from the top end of the town down to the Market Park. Denis as the “ Star ” attraction would head the crocodile accompanied by Darth Vader . As David Prowse, the body builder who played the arch villain, was unavailable, yours truly was asked to substitute! Clad in the full gear complete with what seemed a 2 ton mask and wielding the light sabre, I boldly stepped out accompanying Dennis in the direction of the Park. After what seemed an eternity and having nearly suffocated I entered the ground. Fortunately by this time all eyes were on Denis aka Wedge Antilles and I managed to escape towards my wife’s small Renault parked conveniently at the top end of the Park. Imagine my horror as I struggled to disrobe in the tight confines of the mini auto to hear a childish voice bawl out “ Hi – come on – there’s Darth Vader changing his breeks ! ” Such is the price of fame !

Apart from his success on the silver screen Ewan has with dad Jim shown a keen interest in donning the leathers and biking some fair distances. Ewan and his pal Charley Boorman have biked thousands of miles and raised considerable sums for charities including UNICEF  ,McMillan Cancer relief and the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. The fund raising event held afterwards raised another £80 000 when Ewan’s BMW was auctioned. Nearly £200 000 went to the sponsored charities as a result of the evening. Crieff indeed can feel proud of Ewan as one of its sons .


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