King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Wednesday, September 5

Robbie Coltrane

This guy amazes me. He's nothing more deep inside then a grease monkey, but obviously cares passionately about anything engineering. His acting roles are diverse, anything from a police psychologist to a sort of caretaker in a school for wizards. Apparently when J. K. Rowling was writing the first book of Harry Potter, she had the image of Robbie Coltrane in her mind for the character Hagrid. When she was approached about making a film of the book, she said she'd only be happy if Robbie Coltrane was hired, no matter what the cost. You can be sure that the film makers were shrewd in approaching him, otherwise he would have taken advantage of the bottomless pit of money that was being offered for him, but let's face it, who wouldn't?
What's really made him interesting to me is some of his documentaries he's done. Being of engineering mind, and obviously with a passion for *real* cars, he's previously done a programme all about transport, called cleverly "Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles." In this series he'd take a different subject each week, and do an hour long piece about that particular subject that would feel rushed because he'd make it so interesting and cram so much in. He'd also include his own inimitable sense of humour into the mix, meaning people with no desire to learn about engines still enjoyed the show. He covered such delights as the steam engine, the diesel, the two-stroke (with the best verbal impression of a two-stroke engine I've ever heard) and the V8. It was whilst singing the praise of the V8 and that he was explaining the diversity and uses of it, he got onto the subject of some of Florida's Air Raid Sirens in case the Russians launched an attack from Cuba. These sirens were powered by said V8s, and it turns out he finds one in a garage. The owner sets about with him getting it working, and once it's fired up, just watched the reactions. One comment on youtube sums it up with "That horn would make your kidneys explode."

Meanwhile, I carried on looking for one of my all time favourite movie clips. In the early 80s a series of films were made featuring Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, French and Saunders, and loads of other famous funny people from that era. One of the films was about a young twat with no friends, who realises he'll become popular if he 'grasses up' some fictional drug dealers in a sleepy little seaside town. The Police take him seriously, and he becomes the supergrass. Whilst in the throes of the investigation, a slightly unhinged Drug Squad officer (played by Coltrane) turns up with a cello case (which we later finds out contains a chainsaw). They learn that the boat is turning up that evening in the harbour, and Coltrane sets out to capture the dealers before they "infect the world with their filth."