Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

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Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby mgd » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:24 pm

He of Herald Diary fame. I remember being saddened by the news in early March 2009 that he was being discarded by the Herald along with a long list of colleagues. For many years I enjoyed his TV reviews, his very knowledgeable music and concert comment but most of all the hilarious Diary which he co wrote with Ken Smith. The acerbic but at times hysterically funny, laugh out loud articles have never been the same since David departed. The Diary is still good but not to the previous high standard when David co authored it. I never thought the Diary would be the same when Tom Shields left but David and Ken working together proved me wrong.

So what is a talented man doing with himself now that he presumably has a little more time on his hands? I know he had a radio show with Saga (I didn't realise he was old enough to be honest) and then Radio Six International but beyond that I can't find much out. I know he is a well established West Ender of many years residence, right in the heart of Kelvinside I'm told, and I imagine he's still hanging out down the Byres and Ashton Lane but does anyone know if he's still writing with that fantastic humour any more?
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby rabmania » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:39 pm

Check his Facebook page (and kill me now). I don't understand it, but he's still around. I miss his Herald contributions and I hate Radio Scotland so much I never know if he's on there as he used to be.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby larrytrooper » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi again mgd, I did not read much of the Herald, but I do remember Tom Shields, he was a pal of Andy Bell, I think Ian Pattison and William Mcilvenny know the chap Belcher, Ian is in Hungary 'till Sunday and William is in Edinburugh just now, if it's important I'll ask them next time I see one of them. I think he might have been a bald chap with glasses, walks a lovely long haired Alsation near Helen's house( Helen of Cafe in Cresswell Lane fame. She lives in Clevden.) Could that be your friend ? On another thread I was aking about a Glasgow Bakery, I don't know if you are old enough, if you read it, can you help. It was a relation of mine's who has since passed away and I would like a wee bit of info. if anyone on the forum had any. Thanks and good to see you on here again, Larry.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby mgd » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:01 pm

Thanks for the replies folks. Sorry that I seemed to have had your last topic ended prematurely larrytrooper, it was actually a very valid point you were making IMO. I don't know the Helen you're talking about, I had heard that David lived in Kelvinside from a friend who knew his daughter or something like that. It's not a matter of any urgency, I just wondered where, if anywhere, he was writing just now. I see you can buy books of Herald Diary highlights on Amazon now and I may well indulge myself in that. I'm impressed that you know both William McIlvanney and Ian Pattison (and I don't mean that sarcastically) so if you don't mind asking them in the passing I'd appreciate it.

On the bakery question I did see your post but I do think that it may be before my time, not by much probably.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby larrytrooper » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:14 pm

I'll do that for you mgd. (The Metro Bistro was Helen's cafe.) Rabmania, I'm not sure if this means anything, however the Bakery I was Talking about in Pitt St., (no longer there, the B.T. building is on it's place I think) had a very deep basement and a sub basement as well, I know it is a wee bit along from where you were talking about, but it shows you there was definately deep cellars. I do believe they kept bags of flour in the first basement, so it must have been very dry.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby Josef » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:37 am

He used to do, not just the tv reviews, but the tv listings. I remember that he was no fan of snooker.

"7:30 - Coronation Street
8:00 - Snooker - World Championships from Sheffield. Day 27 of the best of 3000 final.

I think that period was about the last time I read the Herald, though - the Diary was news to me.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby moonbeam » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:25 pm

The new look front page of the Herald is a real turnoff. Wednesdays front page "scoop" over a man buying a salmon beat.Hardly a story more envy. Miss the Diary now Tom Shields and David Belcher have gone.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby The Egg Man » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:44 pm

moonbeam wrote:The new look front page of the Herald is a real turnoff. Wednesdays front page "scoop" over a man buying a salmon beat.Hardly a story more envy. Miss the Diary now Tom Shields and David Belcher have gone.


Not much happens in August. In fact not much happens most of the time. The BBC Scotland/ STV newsreaders could hardly disguise their glee at two big stories last night. I suspect they could only have been happier if they'd happened on separate days.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby The Egg Man » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:55 pm

larrytrooper wrote: ...........however the Bakery I was Talking about in Pitt St., (no longer there, the B.T. building is on it's place I think) had a very deep basement and a sub basement as well, I know it is a wee bit along from where you were talking about, but it shows you there was definately deep cellars. I do believe they kept bags of flour in the first basement, so it must have been very dry.


My recollection is that there was a bakery on the north west corner of St Vincent Street and Pitt Street (where McClure Naismith are now) where you could turn up after 4am, chap on a wooden door on Pitt Street and be served fresh rolls.

There may well have been another further south on Pitt Street but I don't remember it.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby mgd » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:17 pm

rabmania wrote:Check his Facebook page (and kill me now). I don't understand it, but he's still around. I miss his Herald contributions and I hate Radio Scotland so much I never know if he's on there as he used to be.


I had a look at Facebook but I'm not a member out of choice, too easy to find out personal information on people. Even without being registered I could see David Belcher's favourite music, books/authors, music, movies and even his likes. Seems he is a stickler for correct punctuation as one of his likes is,

'Let's eat Grandma!' or, 'Let's eat, Grandma!' Punctuation saves lives.

Beyond that there's nothing to indicate how he fills his time now.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby larrytrooper » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:26 pm

The Egg Man wrote:
larrytrooper wrote: ...........however the Bakery I was Talking about in Pitt St., (no longer there, the B.T. building is on it's place I think) had a very deep basement and a sub basement as well, I know it is a wee bit along from where you were talking about, but it shows you there was definately deep cellars. I do believe they kept bags of flour in the first basement, so it must have been very dry.


My recollection is that there was a bakery on the north west corner of St Vincent Street and Pitt Street (where McClure Naismith are now) where you could turn up after 4am, chap on a wooden door on Pitt Street and be served fresh rolls.

There may well have been another further south on Pitt Street but I don't remember it.

I think that was Robinsons Rolls, he (Robinson) used to be a van driver for the one at the bottom of Pitt St., The one at the bottom did the last Scotch oven rolls, as opposed to the modern electric ovens and were quite different in taste texture and even size !!
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby sunnysider » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:12 pm

Belcher was, is, a hero.

He was given the daily TV listings - LISTINGS - job on the Herald, and he turned it into the biggest must-read in the entire paper, by injecting personality, style, wit, attitude and an intuitive grasp of the zeitgeist. The TV listings, FFS!

This was in the days of Arnold Kemp, Reynolds, Ann Simpson, Archer, and McLean.

As usual in newspapers, he was mis-read and misunderstood and ended up doing 'modern culture' features, none of which replicated the cattle-prod-up-your-arse belt of fresh energy which he brought to the listings.

I don't know what he's doing now, but he will always be a hero to me.

Charlie Brooker? Pffffft.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby Josef » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:22 pm

sunnysider wrote:Belcher was, is, a hero.

He was given the daily TV listings - LISTINGS - job on the Herald, and he turned it into the biggest must-read in the entire paper, by injecting personality, style, wit, attitude and an intuitive grasp of the zeitgeist. The TV listings, FFS!

This was in the days of Arnold Kemp, Reynolds, Ann Simpson, Archer, and McLean.

As usual in newspapers, he was mis-read and misunderstood and ended up doing 'modern culture' features, none of which replicated the cattle-prod-up-your-arse belt of fresh energy which he brought to the listings.

I don't know what he's doing now, but he will always be a hero to me.

Charlie Brooker? Pffffft.


I would almost entirely agree with that.

With the minor exceptions that 1) I think Archer had left for the ET by the time Belcher started. Archer's football sketches for the Herald were literate and funny, which I remember solely because I remember being astonished by the utterly mundane pish he wrote when he started with the ET. That was my introduction to how journalism works.

And 2) I like Charlie Brooker's Guardian columns. I've never seen him on tv, mind - I'm told he has a bit of an irritating voice/manner in that medium.
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby rabmania » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:44 am

From the man himself:

I can't imagine who'd be interested, but I think he's doing a four-times-weekly hour-long soul show on Glasgow's finest world-wide internet radio station, http://www.facebook.com/l/7962fFiv-quOL ... diosix.com
And he seems to do regular live soul gigs as a DJ in Velvet Elvis on Dumbarton Road
And he's working on a radio sitcom provisionally titled Dumfoonert with the Comedy Unit (creators of Rab C Nesbitt, Still Game, Chewin' the Fat etc etc)
When he's not doing that, he often can be seen in Byres Road, shouting at pigeons, or defacing the covers of Runrig albums in the Oxfam record shop, or waiting for Elaine C Smith to emerge from Waitrose so he can get her autograph etc etc
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Re: Whatever Happened to David Belcher?

Postby hungryjoe » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:58 am

larrytrooper wrote:I think that was Robinsons Rolls, he (Robinson) used to be a van driver for the one at the bottom of Pitt St., The one at the bottom did the last Scotch oven rolls, as opposed to the modern electric ovens and were quite different in taste texture and even size !!

Dunn's bakery in Abercrombie St. didn't use a Scotch oven commercially (as far as I know). When my dad had the pub, be would take down some cans of beer for the bakers at around 1.30am. Because the main oven wouldn't have rolls ready at that time, the bakers did rolls for us in a Scotch oven. We'd phone my mum from the bakery and she'd have bacon ready for us getting home with the fresh from the oven rolls. Magic. This was in the mid 70s.

I stopped buying The Herald after they got rid of Arnold Kemp. Tom Shields' Diary was brilliant. He didn't cover himself in glory though, when he did it in The Record for a while.
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