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Paolo Nutini and David Tennant honoured with Walk of Fame slabs in hometown



Paolo Nutini and David Tennant honoured with Walk of Fame slabs in hometown

By Jamie RussellBBC Scotland News • Pauline McLeanArts Correspondent

Digital Pict Photography, Paisley/Getty Images White and golden marble plaque on the ground with feet standing around beside Paolo Nutini singingDigital Pict Photography, Paisley/Getty Images

Scottish singer Paolo Nutini is one of the first stars to be honoured

Watch out Hollywood! Paisley has placed the first stones in its very own Walk of Fame.

The town is honouring its famous Buddies with square marble plaques placed on important landmarks linked to its famous sons and daughters.

Residents of the town were encouraged to vote for who they wanted to see featured on the first 10 stones of the project.

Who are the famous Scots honoured by their town? BBC Scotland News went to find out.

Paolo Nutini

Getty Images Paolo NutiniGetty Images

Paolo Nutini received more votes for the Walk of Fame than anyone else.

The musician, who is known for his blue-eyed soul and indie rock style, is one of Scotland’s most celebrated musicians.

But before he toured the world with his music, the Last Request and Candy singer grew up working in his family’s chippy, Castelveechi.

Digital Pict Photography, Paisley Alfredo and Linda Nutini holding a small black award with a white paisley pattern on it that reads in white "buddie hall of fame, paolo nutini".Digital Pict Photography, Paisley

Alfredo and Linda Nutini were delighted to accept an award and stone on behalf of their son

“It was in this shop Paolo told me he wanted to be a musician”, his dad Alfredo said.

“I just told him you have nothing to lose. It’s paid off,” he added.

Nutini avoided the limelight for eight years between his third and fourth albums, but in 2022 he returned by headlining Scotland’s biggest festival TRNSMT.

Alfredo and Linda Nutini unveiled the walk of fame stone in front of their shop.

“We have so much pride,” his dad said.

Gerry Rafferty

Getty Images Gerry Rafferty in sunglasses and a red suit while playing the guitarGetty Images

Rafferty’s song Baker Street features one of the world’s most recognisable saxophone solos

Behind every great song is an even greater musical mind and for Gerry Rafferty’s fans he was exactly that.

Rafferty’s 1970s hit Baker Street features one of the world’s most recognisable saxophone solos.

But at the start of his career, Rafferty impressed the Glasgow scene playing alongside Scottish comedy legend Billy Connolly in the Humblebums.

He then went big with his hit song Stuck in the Middle with You as part of band Stealers Wheel, with his school friend Joe Egan.

Digital Pict Photography, Paisley Martha Rafferty holding her dads album cover stood in front of a mural on side of building of same muralDigital Pict Photography, Paisley

Marth Rafferty thinks there’s something in Paisley’s water producing star talent

Rafferty’s daughter, Martha, told BBC Scotland News that “there must be something in the water” in Paisley as it keeps producing star talent.

“He was always very proud of his roots, it’s amazing that Paisley honours his legacy,” she said.

Rafferty died in 2011 but his memory and work is embedded across his hometown.

A nearby street was named “Gerry Rafferty Drive” and a mural was painted on the side of a building to honour the performer.

David Tennant

Getty Images David Tennant smiling in a black suit with a bejewelled collar Getty Images

Doctor Who and Good Omens star David Tennant is one of Paisley’s most recognisable stars

There are few actors who can grow up to play their dream role but Doctor Who star David Tennant did just that.

A lifelong fan of the British sci-fi series, he secured the biggest break of his career when he was unveiled as the 10th Doctor in 2005.

Despite not being born in Paisley, Tennant grew up in the town and fostered his passion for theatre in school productions at Paisley Grammar School.

Tennant’s Walk of Fame plaque is now embedded metres from his school’s gate.

Throughout his career, Tennant has starred in Harry Potter, Broadchurch, Jessica Jones and Good Omens.

He said: “I’m honoured to be included in the Buddie Walk of Fame and thanks to everyone who voted for me.

“I have some great memories of my time at the grammar and I will make a point of visiting the spot when I am next in the town,” he said.

Gerard Butler

Getty Images Gerard Butler face Getty Images

Gerard Butler grew up in Paisley where he attended a local theatre group

Paisley schoolboy turned Hollywood star Gerard Butler has starred in big name movies like Olympus Has Fallen and How To Train Your Dragon.

He came from one of Paisley’s most deprived areas, Gallowhill, and locals say they still spot him about the town when he comes back to visit family.

Digital Pict Photography, Paisley A group of theatre students touching Gerard Butler's marble plaque on the groundDigital Pict Photography, Paisley

Pace students came together to unveil Butler’s stone

Butler’s name now sits on a plaque outside Scotland’s first dedicated theatre for children and young people, built by local theatre company Pace Youth Theatre.

Pace student Jamie-Reece, 16, called the plaque a “beacon of hope to aspiring people who want to make a name for themselves”.

Now young people can look beside the theatre doors and read the name of a local boy who did just that.

John Byrne

Watch: The life and work of artist John Byrne

The late artist and writer John Byrne is one of Scotland’s most beloved and recognised talents.

He created the acclaimed TV series Tutti Frutti and wrote The Slab Boys Trilogy plays based on his own experience working in the colour rooms of a carpet factory.

He earned multiple Bafta awards for his work.

Byrne’s work even includes album covers for his friend and fellow Buddie, Gerry Rafferty, and a Beatles compilation.

Digital Pict Photography, Paisley Celie Byrne lying on the ground beside John Byrne's walk of fame plaque. She's holding Byrne's Slab boys booksDigital Pict Photography, Paisley

Artist Celie Byrne unveiled her dad’s plaque outside Paisley Central Library

Before Byrne’s death in December, he personally requested that his stone be placed in front of Paisley’s new library, according to his daughter.

Celie Byrne said: “I think [my dad] would have been blown away by this tribute to him in his hometown.”

Byrne always claimed he was made in Paisley but it was he who took the colours and music of the town he grew up in around the world.

Paisley’s Mill Girls

Getty Images Gold and cream swirling and floral paisley patternGetty Images

The Paisley pattern is still seen in fashion across the world today

The Mill Girls are the only group of people to be honoured on the Paisley stones.

The marble plaque was placed in dedication to the women who worked tirelessly in the town’s thread mills that brought extensive wealth to the town.

More than two centuries ago, Paisley was filled with vast mills that weaved exotically patterned, delicate woollen shawls.

The design was originally from Kashmir but European manufacturers produced cheaper versions to meet demand.

As Paisley become the world’s foremost producer of the design, it became known as the Paisley pattern.

The shawl went out of fashion in the 1870s, but the pattern that had decorated them is still popular around the world today.

Phyllis Logan

Getty Images Phyllis Logan holding a BAFTAGetty Images

Bafta-winning actress Phyllis Logan is best known for portraying Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey star Phyllis Logan has appeared in British TV and film for the last 40 years.

Logan portrayed the fan-favourite stern housekeeper Mrs Hughes from 2010-15 and in the 2019 film.

She was born in Paisley and went to school in nearby Johnstone.

But before Downtown Abbey, the actress was best known for a recurring role as Lady Jane Felsham in BBC drama-mystery series Lovejoy.

In 2022, Logan won a Bafta Scotland award for playing Maggie Lynch in BBC Scotland series Guilt.

She will also star in upcoming series Lockerbie based on the 1988 Lockerbie disaster.

Three other famous Buddies were awarded with a plaque.

  • Oscar-nominated actor Tom Conti, who most recently played Albert Einstein in Oppenheimer
  • Actor and playwright Fulton Mackay OBE, best known for playing prison officer Mr Mackay in 70s sitcom Porridge
  • “Local boxing legend” Norrie Sweeney

The project was funded by local business through the town’s business improvement district, Paisley First, and partly by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund.

Paisley First chairwoman Elaine Templeton said she hoped the project could continue in the future.

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