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Bill Paterson plots move into comedy after collecting award

Published 16/11/2015

Bill Paterson and Hildegard Bechtler arriving at the Scottish Baftas
Bill Paterson and Hildegard Bechtler arriving at the Scottish Baftas

Actor Bill Paterson is aiming for a move into comedy after collecting a lifetime achievement award at the Scottish Baftas.

The 70-year-old, who has appeared in dozens of hit films and TV shows including The Killing Fields and Auf Wiedersehen Pet, collected the Outstanding Contribution to Film and TV honour at a ceremony in Glasgow.

Former recipients include Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane and Bill Forsyth.

Stars such as Alex Norton, David Hayman, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill paid tribute to Paterson as they arrived at the ceremony.

The Glaswegian, who stars in the soon-to-be-released Dad's Army remake, said he was "thrilled" to receive the award.

Speaking on the red carpet, he said: "It's great but the added burden is that you can't pretend you don't have something ready to say, so it's swings and roundabouts.

"But I'm absolutely thrilled, it's beyond a fantastic honour because it's from the people I've worked among for decades."

When asked for his highlights in Scottish TV and film this year, Paterson joked that he is eyeing up a role in BBC Scotland police comedy Scot Squad.

"I love Scot Squad, I think it's just fantastic," he said.

"I don't often burst out laughing watching contemporary comedy in the way that I used to but this makes me do it. It's great and if there's a part in Scot Squad then I'm ready."

Former Taggart and Pirates Of The Caribbean actor Alex Norton said: "Billy is one of my oldest and dearest friends and I've known about this for a while but I had to keep a lid on it.

"I think it's the most wonderful thing and richly deserved. I'm obviously consumed by jealousy but I can't think of anyone who deserves it more."

Young talent was also at the Bafta ceremony and Sunset Song actor Kevin Guthrie believes more opportunities are emerging for actors in Scotland as the reputation of the industry grows.

He said: "There's so much work hanging about up in Scotland now which is great because there has always been that tendency to move to London and look for opportunities but there's plenty of them up here now as well."

Edith Bowman hosted the ceremony and said: "This is my fourth time hosting and I love celebrating what Scotland has to offer.

"As the host I have to be impartial but there's a whole load of great stuff coming out of Scotland and Slow West is a great favourite of mine from a young Scottish director."

One of the night's biggest winners was The Legend Of Barney Thomson, which won the feature film award and best actress in a film for Emma Thompson.

Sharon Rooney won the best TV actress award for My Mad Fat Diary, while Ken Stott took the equivalent male award for his performance in The Missing and David Elliot was named best actor in a film for Kajaki.

Jude MacLaverty, director of Bafta Scotland, said: "It has been a wonderful evening and this year's winners highlight the diversity of international and national projects choosing Scotland as a filming destination and the rich seam of Scottish talent working throughout the UK.

"We offer our warmest congratulations to all our worthy winners."

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