Trainspotting star reveals how he conned tourists on spooky tours


By Paul Thornton

AS SPORTY, clean cut Tommy in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting Kevin McKidd was far behind his co-stars’ scheming characters in the scamming stakes.

But McKidd, 37, has revealed how before he was an actor he would make money feeding American tourists made-up stories about Edinburgh on tours of the capital.

The Scots star said he earned a living before his rise to fame by running spooky walking tours of the city’s Old Town while a guide with the Witchery Tours.

Started in 1984, the tours have been scaring people from all over the world and have become one of Edinburgh’s must-see attractions for visitors.

Before his break-through role in the Irvine Welsh cult-classic, McKidd turned his hand to construction and bar work before the tours and admitted he did not shy away from some self-produced patter.

He said: “I worked in a distillery in Scotland and I worked on building sites and in pubs.


“But being a tour guide for the Witchery Tours in Edinburgh was my most memorable.

“Occasionally I’d make something up just for fun – there were a lot of American tourists, so you could tell the American anything and they’d believe it.”

McKidd also revealed that as a young boy he was reduced to tears after being exposed stealing treats.

The Small Faces star said: “I got caught shoplifting when I was little. I got caught stealing a packet of mini cookies and was dragged up in front of the whole school.

“They called a special assembly and it was announced that ‘there was a thief in our midst’. I cried all the way to the stage.”

But McKidd – who is now living in Los Angeles as he stars in Grey’s Anatomy – insists that since he has become an actor he has been a complete professional and has never been drunk on the job.


However he revealed that a brief appearance on a Christmas episode of Father Ted left him “clouded”.

He said: “When I did Father Ted, we drank so much Guinness my experience is clouded. I was told they never cast anyone who was not Irish, but I was the exception because the people that made it really liked Trainspotting.

“It was brilliant, I went to Ireland and shot there for two weeks but I don’t have any memories.”

McKidd plays Poseidon in the hotly-tipped Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief which is out this week.

But despite being a Hollywood A-lister, he insists he is keeping himself and his family grounded with regular visits home.

McKidd – from Elgin – said: “I live in LA so I worry my kids aren’t that connected to Britain. I suppose I don’t want them to become American kids.

“We try to get back three or four times a year.

“When they go to school they speak with a British-American accent but when they come home to us they go back to their British accent so I can deal with that.”

See more of our pictures at our Flickr site and videos at our dedicated channel,  Deadline TV.


  1. Last year I rented a flat that was a few doors down from the start point for Witchery Tours, and was surprised at their huge popularity!
    In my opinion, some of the people on those tours really want to believe – scary stores are just something to add to the enjoyment.

Comments are closed.