Filespotting: Irvine Welsh nearly lost new novel in Amstrad disks


TRAINSPOTTING writer Irvine Welsh has revealed he nearly lost the upcoming prequel to the hit novel, because it was stored on ancient Amstrad computer disks.

After failing to buy one of antiquated computers, built by Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar’s computer company,  Welsh, 53, hired a specialist technician to retrieve the 100,000 word file for Skagboys, which is due to be released later this month.

Trainspotting was published in 1993 and Welsh said the new book will be based on unused material from the story, set in the Leith area of Edinburgh.

Skagboys reveals the past of Mark Renton and his fellow drug addicts, who became world famous when the 1996 film of Trainspotting was released.

Welsh used 100,000 unused words from the start of Trainspotting to write Skagboys


He said: “When I wrote Trainspotting I had 100,000 words at the start and another 100,000 at the end that I didn’t use.

“The stuff at the end I put into other books. The stuff at the beginning I had on some old Amstrad disks.

“I thought, I’ve gotta get this sorted. I tried to but an Amstrad on eBay, then I found a guy who could transpose the stuff on the disks.”

The novel delves into how Renton and his friends fell into their heroin addictions.

A film is also being made on another of Welsh’s novels, Filth.

The author, who lives in America for most of the year, also said he had ‘every drug except heroin’ at an Edinburgh New Year party.



Welsh said he parties less than when he was younger, but described his Hogmanay blowout as a ‘controlled explosion.’

He said: “Well it’ll sound deadly boring, but the passion now is working and writing. If I party, it takes me a couple of weeks to get over it.

“The older you are, the less inclined you are to lose days doing f*** all.”

He says he tries to stay fit in America, and has joined a boxing club inMiami, where he spends the winters.

“At New Year here, I had every conceivable drug except heroin. But it’s a controlled explosion, not a lifestyle.”

He was addicted to heroin when he was younger, and his father’s death at the age of 52 fuelled his habit.

But he added: “In London or America, all my friends are girls or couples.

“I love mah pals here [in Leith]; I grew up with them.

“But my natural orientation is to hang out with girls.

“Critics see me as this tough, very male working class writer, but here they think I’m a ponce.”