THE SCOTS who created Francis Begbie have revealed a detailed list of the thug’s favourite things – and it doesn’t include cream-coloured ponies or crisp apple streudels.
Irvine Welsh, who created Begbie in his bestselling novel Trainspotting, joined up with Robert Carlyle, who played him on screen, in a tell-all interview about the character.
They took it in turns to answer questions about Begbie’s favourite things, including his top holiday, word, meal and album.
And the details of their chat, which was shared online by Vintage Books, may raise a few eyebrows.
To begin, Carlyle is asked what he believes the character’s favourite holiday would be.
He answers by puffing out his cheeks and replies “Got to be San Antonio in Ibiza…that would be the ideal spot for Begbie” – a far cry from the cobbled streets and rich history of Edinburgh where the novel is set.
The next question turns to music, and Welsh is asked what he believes to be the character’s album of choice.
He replies: “It would be K-Tel’s Greatest Christmas Hits…with Slade and Wizard and Gary Glitter.
“He would have this on all the time, constantly.”
Both Carlyle and Welsh cannot contain their giggles when asked what they think Begbie’s favourite past time is.
After a while Carlyle says: “Well…shagging would be very high up there. And probably beating people up that he probably doesn’t like. Taking the head off somebody he doesn’t like very much.”
The interview also touched upon his favourite meal – which Welsh believes is “fish and chips with pickled onions and a square sausage”.
The pair also agree that Begbie’s greatest fear would be his mother or sister, his hero would be Scottish football player Pat Stanton and a Pixar film would be the thing most likely to make him cry.
To round off the chat, Carlyle is asked what he thinks the thug’s favourite word would be.
Without hesitation, he replied: “C***.”
Begbie makes a comeback in Welsh’s latest novel, The Blade Artist.
In the new story, Begbie lives in California with his wife and two daughters, has changed his name to Jim Francis and has made a successful career for himself as a successful artist and sculptor.
The book description reads: “Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while other see him as a genuine visionary.
“But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge.
“But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.”
And when his wife Melanie makes a grim discovery in the Sunshine State that opens a door into Begbie’s past, things apparently take a turn for the worse.
Welsh has published ten novels, including Trainspotting and Filth, which both inspired successful films, and four short story collections.