Highlands & Islands

Tourism hopes after Whisky Galore remake

Whisky Galore Image copyright Graeme Hunter Pictures
Image caption The remake and original Whisky Galore film are adaptations of a book written in the 1940s

Tourism bosses hope a remake of Whisky Galore will boost visitor numbers to some of the lesser-known parts of Scotland.

The films are adaptations of a book by Compton MacKenzie, whose story was inspired by the sinking of the cargo ship SS Politician off Eriskay in 1941.

The cargo included more than 250,000 bottles of whisky, hundreds of cases of which were hidden by islanders.

The remake, starring Eddie Izzard, was filmed across Scotland.

Tourism body VisitScotland has now created a map of the filming locations, from the Aberdeenshire villages of Portsoy and Pennan; to St Abb's Head in the Borders; Loch Thom in Greenock; St Monans in the East Neuk of Fife; and the Central Bar in Renton, West Dunbartonshire.

'Dazzling best'

The original film was shot entirely in the Outer Hebrides.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: "Since the novel by Compton Mackenzie was published back in 1947, Whisky Galore has been raising laughs for 70 years.

"Celebrating not only this nation's love for the 'Water of Life' but also demonstrating the warmth, humour and spirit of our people, this new film shows off Scotland at its dazzling best.

Image copyright Graeme Hunter Pictures
Image caption Eddie Izzard is among the stars of the new Whisky Galore

"Our handy map will allow visitors to explore the Whisky Galore locations and enjoy a set-jetting holiday around Scotland."

Gregor Fisher, who plays the postmaster, said: "I've been in this business for 40 years and I can honestly say this was one of the nicest, if not the nicest, job I've ever had.

"There were no negatives about it. On a seven-and-a-half-week shoot in Portsoy, it rained for half a day max, and even then it was very light drizzle.

"Normally when you take over a town, which we more or less did at Portsoy, there's a bit of aggro because you're closing roads and so on, but there was none of that."

Lobster delivery

"We were welcomed with open arms to the point that when I expressed an interest in buying some lobster, four lobsters were delivered to my door the next day, free of charge.

"I couldn't believe it. Half the community is in the film. It was a joy."

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Scotland is widely recognised as an excellent location for film and TV productions.

Image copyright Graeme Hunter Pictures
Image caption The film was given its premiere in Edinburgh last year

"Whisky Galore has been added to the growing list of films shot here. This map allows visitors from home and abroad to walk in the footsteps of the actors and actresses that appeared in the film, and they can also enjoy the spectacular scenery that Scotland has to offer."

The film is released in Scottish cinemas on Friday.

The SS Politician was headed for Jamaica when it ran aground on the northern side of Eriskay, in the Western Isles, in bad weather.

Scottish author Mackenzie published the novel Whisky Galore in 1947. It was adapted for cinema in a 1949 Ealing comedy.

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