Scotland

Tributes to TV presenter Jimmy Nairn

Jimmy Nairn Image copyright STV/Nairn family

Tributes have been paid to the former TV presenter Jimmy Nairn who has died, aged 91.

He was one of the first voices to be heard on STV when it began broadcasting in 1957, and became a star in The One O'Clock Gang, a popular sketch and song show in the 1960s.

He went on to become a successful businessman.

His son, the chef Nick Nairn, spoke of his sadness but said his father had lived an "extraordinary life".

Jimmy Nairn was born on a council estate in Kirkintilloch, and once recalled in a BBC interview that he "hated school with a passion".

He left school at 15 to work in a shipping office in Glasgow where he "blossomed" and rose to be a shipping agent.

However, at the age of 25, Jimmy Nairn opted for a complete change of career and went to drama school.

He went on to work at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow and did shifts as a BBC announcer on the side.

'Technically' first on air

When Scottish Television (STV) began in 1957, Jimmy Nairn maintained that his voice was the first on air.

He said: "Arthur Montford and I were hired on the same day.

"I think somebody said Arthur thought he had been the first one but I was taken to London with Geraldo's orchestra and they recorded these station idents and they went out before anything else. So technically I was first."

The STV job gave him enough money to get married and he ended up living at Lochend, a 40-acre estate near Lake of Menteith in the Stirlingshire countryside, which remains home to Nick Nairn's Cook School.

As well as the celebrity status Jimmy Nairn had from appearing on shows such as The One O'Clock Gang, he also ran a shipping business, which he later sold to P&O.

He walked away from the high-profile business world to concentrate on his family and Lochend, where he built holiday chalets to replace the caravan park which had been part of the estate.

Image caption Nick Nairn said his father was a man who put family and lifestyle above materialism

Announcing his father's death, Nick Nairn said: "Dad had an extraordinary life, from business man to actor to an ambassador for all things Scottish. He excelled at whatever he turned his hand to. He possessed a formidable intellect and had a unique and incisive understanding of the ways of the world.

He added that his father "choose lifestyle over materialism", and "his judgement and sensibility were matchless, he was blessed with a rare and uncanny ability to see things for what they really were.

"However, his greatest achievement by far was his family and the wonderful home he created here at Lochend."

'Never forgotten'

Mr Nairn added of his parents: "He and my mum, Irene, conducted an incredible lifelong love affair, they were best friends, confidants and true partners.

"Married for 61 years, they have three loving children, my sister Victoria, my brother Topher and myself.

"He enjoyed an exceptional relationship with my brother-in-law Chris, they shared many common interests and a passion for wood working.

"He leaves five adoring grandchildren."

Mr Nairn said that his father died surrounded by his family and "will never be forgotten".

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