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COMIC LEGENDS GET KEY TO THE GRANITE CITY; Scotland The What? trio are honoured.

Byline: By Bob Dow

ABERDEEN'S best-loved comics got the freedom of the city yesterday as civic leaders honoured the Scotland The What? team.

George Donald, Buff Hardie and Steven Robertson were driven in procession to His Majesty's Theatre to receive the honour, given in the past to Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The veteran trio, who last performed at His Majesty's in 1995, rode along Union Street in an open-top Rolls-Royce.

At the theatre, George, Buff and Steven were each presented with a silver casket before being made freemen of the city.

After the ceremony, they went on to a civic reception at the Beach Ballroom.

The boys, now in their 70s, met at Aberdeen University and enjoyed a 26-year stage and TV career.

Their records and regular shows at His Majesty's made them an institution in the north-east and they sold out venues across the world.

But they never went full-time. Buff stuck to his day job as chief executive of Grampian Health Board, George worked as a lawyer and Steven was deputy rector of Perth Academy.

Aberdeen City Council honoured the trio for services to the north-east arts scene.

Lord Provost Peter Stephen said: "I'm delighted that we can salute the huge contribution these local loons have made to contemporary Scottish culture and to the preservation of the Doric dialect."

Buff said: "We are extremely proud. There have been some really big figures to get this honour."

But the boys have no plans to tread the boards again.

Buff said: "We're all happy to be retired."


FREE-HEE: Left to right, Steven, George and Buff in the Rolls
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 21, 2008
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