Published: 26/12/2007 00:00 - Updated: 30/11/2011 14:18

Spin doctor casts around on the fly

Charlie Whelan
Charlie Whelan

A NEW radio show is to hit the airwaves in the new year, with a keen Strathspey angler teaching celebrities a thing or two about the pastime. 'Strathy' columnist Charlie Whelan is to present a new series all about fishing which is to be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland. The show, entitled 'Charlie Whelan's Gone Fishing' captures the ups and downs of a host of star names as they attempt to bring home the catch of the day. Among the budding fishermen is 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' host Chris Tarrant, who was hoping to hit the jackpot on the River Tweed in Kelso with the help of Mr Whelan. Mr Tarrant's exploits, good and bad, kick off the series, and will be broadcast next Wednesday (January 2). The programme gives listeners an insight into the celebrity's private life, his charity work and his love of fishing. Other highlights in the seven-show series include Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart revealing that his first forays into fishing were strictly illegal – he poached his local river with his father. Mr Hart's revelations can be heard on January 16. The week before, it is the turn of newscaster-turned flycaster Fiona Armstrong, who reveals her embarrassment over being unable to cast when she opened the exclusive River Tay season. Other star guests include House of Bruar owner Mark Birkbeck (January 23), Lord Steel (January 30) and author Robin Armstrong (February 6). The series concludes on February 13 when actor Robson Green receives Mr Whelan's tuition. The shows were recorded earlier this year at a number of the country's best fishing locations. Mr Whelan, who lives in Dulnain Bridge, is a stalwart of the Strathspey Angling Association's waters. He said he hoped the run of shows would be successful enough to lead to a second series devoted to fishing in and around the River Spey. Mr Whelan, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's former spin doctor, said: "I am really looking forward to hearing the shows broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland. "I had a great time out on the water with the celebrities, and managed to get a unique collection of interviews in the process. "The fishing centred on waters outwith the Bade-noch and Strathspey area. We took in some of the most beautiful and exclusive beats in the country. "However, I am now hoping that I will get a second series, so that I can take a new group of celebrities out on the fine waters found in and around the strath. "Personally, I feel there's nowhere better to fish than right here in Badenoch and Strathspey." Each of the seven programmes will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 11am on Wednesday.

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