Nominated for the Great Scot (Sport) Award, Pen attended the 19 April awards ceremony at the Boisdale Restaurant on Canary Wharf, along with fellow nominees from Sport (Sam Torrance), Entertainment (Lorraine Kelly), Charity (Annie Lennox) and Lifetime Achievement (Bill Martin). Golfer Sam Torrance picked up the Sports Award, and Sir Tom Hunter, Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire, this year’s Great Scot Award. Pen enjoyed much hilarity over dinner with comedian Arthur Brown (one of Pen’s favourite BBC Radio 4 contributors over the years). The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Great Scot Awards
Presenting Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards at Holyrood Palace
Invited to present Gold Awards to young Scots, I found myself overnighting the night before, just a few hundred yards from Holyrood Palace and the adjacent Scottish Parliament building. Skies were overcast and threatening liquid deployment. More happily HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were in the middle of their annual Royal Week based in Holyrood, and spirits were un-dampened amongst the 300 Gold Award recipients, each with their two guests.
When I was invited to introduce this sumptuous volume of Sidetracked, a familiar kaleidoscope of thoughts and images revolved around the ineffable question, why?
Why do we make these journeys? And why do we find them so enthralling?
Listen to hear Pen on the iconic BBC show, Desert Island Discs