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I GOT DEATH THREATS FOR TV MASON BOYNE; Coltrane's Orangeman sparked fury.

Byline: George Mair

ROBBIE Coltrane has revealed how he received death threats for playing a spoof Orangeman.

The actor, 62, was one of the stars of BBC Scotland's 1984 comedy sketch show Laugh? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee.

One of his most outrageous characters was Mason Boyne.

In one sketch, Boyne - who has a daughter called Orangina and munches Orange Creams - counted the three most important issues facing mankind as "nuclear disarmament, a starving third world and the growing number of Catholics in Edinburgh".

He slept under a picture of the Reverend Ian Paisley and in one sketch, kissed a portrait of the Northern Irish politician.

But speaking on BBC Scotland's 60 Years of Television in Scotland, Coltrane reveals the character outraged some.

He said: "Phil Differ and I had the idea of writing an absurdly masonic guy, who painted all the green leaves in his garden orange and all that stuff.

"My favourite one was the episode when Orangina sent him a Christmas card and he'd got a box of Orange Creams from his wife, while she was ironing his sash.

"Then he kissed you-know-who on the way out. I got a lot of stick for that. I had death threats.

"We did the Pope the next week. As far as I was concerned, we were just being naughty, but the reaction was extraordinary. You wonder whether you would get away with it today."

Coltrane also portrayed a Cockney, red-wine drinking Pope impersonating Paisley's booming voice.

Writer Differ said: "I think it's important to poke fun at extremism in all its forms. And Mason Boyne was the ultimate Orangeman.

"I thought it was important that we just kind of had a wee go at them. But, equally important, I think you've got to balance that."

Watching Ourselves - 60 Years of Television in Scotland (Having a Laugh) is on BBC1 Scotland next Wednesday, April 4, at 7.30pm.

OLD FIRM CRIES FOR HELP RISE

THE number of visits to a website offering advice to victims of domestic abuse rose by 600per cent following the weekend's Old Firm match, according to a charity.

Shelter Scotland run a Facebook advertising campaign leading to their website. The massive increase, when compared with other weekends the campaign has run on, coincided with Sunday's Rangers v Celtic match.

Alison Watson, of Shelter Scotland, said: "We hope lessons will be learned and that the link between Old Firm matches and increased domestic abuse levels can finally be broken."

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IN CHARACTER Robbie Coltrane as the 80s sketch show's Mason Boyle
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 29, 2012
Words:426
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