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I can’t wait to clock off at 5pm every day during Euros – it could get dangerous

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MARTIN Compston and Gordon Smart will be partying with the Tartan Army fans all in the Line of Duty – after strict European laws mean they’ll only be allowed to work from nein to five.

The showbiz pals will be fronting BBC Scotland’s Late Night at the Euros from Germany as they follow the fortunes of Steve Clarke’s men.

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The pals can’t wait to head over to German
They'll be finding out about fans' experiences

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They’ll be finding out about fans’ experiences

But with the European Work Directive, the show will actually be recorded by 5pm every day, with a compulsory 12-hour minimum break before they can be back in front of the camera.

And that means there will be plenty of time afterwards to “soak up” the atmosphere.

Gordon says: “The European Work Directive means we have restrictions on when we can work. Even though we’re filming for the BBC, we have to obey the law while working in Germany.

“When the producer told us we’d be finishing work at 5pm, I have never seen Martin so happy in my entire life.”

Martin adds: “I had the fear that we would be doing the show live every night at 10.30pm, which meant I’d have to behave myself a bit, because we’d be on the telly later that night.

“But now they’ve told me I’ll be finishing at 5pm every day, it could get dangerous.”

The pair have been best buds for more than 15 years, since they shared a flat in London before Martin found fame as anti-corruption cop Steve Arnott in the BBC smash Line of Duty.

Two years ago, they launched a popular podcast called Restless Natives — named after the cult 1985 Scots film.

Martin says: “The podcast led up to this point of going to Germany. This is the absolute pinnacle.

“The fact that we can go and work and hopefully bring a bit of joy to people at home makes it all the better.

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“It’s not just going to be a football show, it’s about everyone’s experiences out there and the whole journey.”

And Gordon hopes they’ll be following in the footsteps of Ally McCoist and comedian Fred MacAulay, who famously broadcast their chat show from Paris on the eve of our last curtain raiser against Brazil at France ’98.

Gordon, 44, says: “We’ve been inspired by McCoist and MacAulay. So we’ll have big guests on and it will be a postcards-to-home show for the people who can’t make it out there.

“Susie McCabe is going to be our roving reporter, so she’ll be right in amongst it. We’ll also go to games and film a bit of mischief — and I have no doubt we’ll end up in lederhosen at some point too.”

The pair have been inspired by McCoist and MacAulay

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The pair have been inspired by McCoist and MacAulay

Martin adds: “I don’t think playing the opening game will happen again for generations to come.

“The eyes of the world will be on us. I still vividly remember the team walking out with kilts on at France ’98 and what a sight that was.

“But when the Tartan Army sings Flower of Scotland inside the Allianz Arena it is going to be so emotional.”

The lads were still in school when Craig Brown’s Bravehearts went down 2-1 to Brazil in a game that kicked off at 4.30pm on Wednesday, June 10, 1998 — but they still remember it well.

Gordon from Kinross, Perthshire, who was 18 at the time, recalls: “I worked in my local doctor’s surgery from four to seven and they wouldn’t give me the time off.

“But with no mobile phones or internet, I had to record it and then go home and watch it without knowing the score.”

Martin, from Greenock, adds: “I was 14 and watched all the games.
“The one I remember the most was Craig Burley’s goal against Norway, because my mum bought me his top in a large and said I would grow into it — it still doesn’t fit me.”

But although Scotland qualified for Euro 2020, the pair believe the atmosphere was hampered when it was held a year late because of lockdown restrictions.

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Martin, who will warm-up for Germany by playing for the World XI in the Soccer Aid match at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge today, says: “The Covid rules meant the stadiums were half empty and playing a couple of home games then going to Wembley just didn’t feel right. So this is the dream. Germany is our France ’98.”

However, Martin, who splits his time between homes in Greenock and Las Vegas with his American actress missus Tianna and their son, had some negotiations to do on the home-front before heading to the continent.

The actor, who turned 40 in May, explains: “I had just got back from three months’ filming.

“The last job I did was Fear, which was filmed in Glasgow for Amazon.
“But it meant I hadn’t seen the wife during all that time — then I had to say to her that I was about to disappear again.

“The thing is, she had asked me what I wanted to do for my 40th. Did I want to go away on holiday?

“And I was like, ‘Babe, I want to go away and see my country’. I’m very lucky my wife is so understanding.”

The die-hard Celtic supporter adds: “I think, as an American, it’s hard to understand what it means to us.

“I just love it when you go to Scotland games and you see banners from the likes of Arbroath Supporters Club — that’s what Scotland is all about.

“No matter what team you support, there is just that brilliant moment when you all come together and you’re just Scottish — that’s all you are.”

EUR VIEW

WE asked the pals some quickfire footie questions:

GORDON SMART

Favourite Scotland player of all time — Gordon Strachan.

Favourite current Scotland player — Billy Gilmour.

Favourite Scotland manager — Craig Brown.

Best Scotland memory ­— Played Brazil at the Emirates in London. (2-0 friendly loss to Brazil in 2011.)

Worst Scotland memory — Scotland vs New Zealand at Tynecastle Park. Abysmal. (1-1 friendly in 2003.)

Prediction for Germany match: 1-1.

Prediction for the group: Qualify.

MARTIN COMPSTON

Favourite Scotland player of all time — James McFadden.

Favourite current Scotland player — John McGinn.

Favourite Scotland manager — Steve Clarke.

Best Scotland memory — Scott McTominay’s winner against Israel in the last minute. (3-2 win 2021 World Cup qualifier.)

Worst Scotland memory — Play-offs against England when Paul Scholes scored twice. (2-0 win for England at Hampden in 1999.)

Prediction for Ger- many match: 0-0.

Prediction for the group: We’ll come second.

But Hibs-supporting Gordon, who lives with wife Kate and their two children Jimmy, 14, and Laurie, 11, believes there may be some more domestic grief on the horizon for them both if Scotland make it out of the group stages for the first time in history.

He says: “We’re out there until Scotland are out.”

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Martin adds: “Even if we’ve run out of BBC budget by then we’ll just film it on our phones — we’ll be there with the Tartan Army until our last kick of the baw.”

  • Late Night at The Euros with Compston and Smart begins on Thursday, June 13 on BBC Scotland and iPlayer at 10.30pm.

Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers at the Scottish Sun football page

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