By Rory Reynolds
THE FAMILY of Scots comedy legend Chic Murray have blasted STV for attempting to flog an unofficial tribute DVD online – just weeks before their own star-studded version is to be released.
The late comic’s daughter Annabelle – who included tributes from Billy Connolly and Elaine C Smith on the DVD – said she was “horrified” when she found out STV has released a version dubbed “dreadful” by fans.
Annabelle, her brother Douglas and mum Maidie, had been working with Scots publishers Birlinn on a special DVD to celebrate what would have been Chic’s 90th birthday.
She said: “We did a documentary called A World Of His Own in 1998, with a man called Andy Bates, who works with a company called Indigo Television.
“Last year he received an emailed from Ken Maliphant of Alba Home Vision, who told Andy he was planning on releasing a DVD about my dad.“So I contacted Ken and asked him not to go ahead with it as we were planning our own.”
Annabelle’s DVD, Just Daft – The Comic Genius of Chic Murray, contains a 1998 documentary that the family helped to make, along with many extras and unseen footage that they uncovered.
She added: “My mum recorded the introduction and ending for the DVD and the whole things has been very lovingly put together.
“We also have tributes from Billy Connolly, Elaine C Smith, Johnny Beattie, Barry Cryer, and Jimmy Tarbuck.
“We all loved working on it and I think there’s a real warmth to it – my mum is horrified by the other DVD.”
STV produced the “other” DVD, which includes the popular documentary screened last Hogmanay called Toffee In His Pocket, along with footage from the STV archive.
However shoppers on the internet site amazon.com sided with the family, laying into the broadcaster’s version and describing it as “dreadful”.
One shopper left a scathing review calling it “quite disgraceful” while another said the STV DVD is, “by far the most dreadful tribute DVD I have ever seen” and a “sad concoction.”
One even wrote that they felt “conned by the people responsible for this release.”
Annabelle added: “One of those reviewers says STV should hang their heads in shame.
“That’s not the Murray family’s quote but it’s one we would concur with.”
Ken Maliphant of Alba Home Vision, said: “I was quite a good friend of Chic’s back in the 1970s when I was managing director of Polygram, he used to come in and see me when he was in London.
“About two years ago in the absence of any Chic Murray DVDs I decided to bring something out.
“But Annabelle got in touch and said the family had exclusive archive footage and they were going to put something out themselves.”
Ken then held off the DVD release, but continued the production when STV handed over the Hogmanay documentary to his firm to license and produce the DVD.
He added: “The timing wasn’t the best with both coming out so close together, but it was just one of those things.”
A spokeswoman for STV defended their DVD, saying: “Toffee In His Pocket is a high quality celebratory tribute to one of Scotland’s most unique and legendary comedians.
“The documentary was hugely popular when it aired on Hogmanay last year and we’re delighted
to make this fantastic STV archive footage available to a wider audience for the first time.”