King’s on the Radio

Dec 24 2018 | By More

Radio Scotland Xmas Day visit to Leven Street

Stanley Baxter, Brian Cox and Ruth Madoc will be among the living legends sharing their memories of the Grand of Lady of Leven Street with panto baddie Grant Stott on Radio Scotland on Christmas Day.

The hour long show show airs at half-past noon, and will feature Stott chatting with veteran panto royalty Stanley Baxter, as he takes a nostalgic look back at the King’s history since it was opened in 1902.

Stanley Baxter. Pic: Capital Theatres
Stanley Baxter. Pic: Capital Theatres

The theatre is now embarking on the final steps towards a £25 million renovation project in 2021, which provides Stott with just the excuse he never really needed to look back over the years, from the famous Howard and Wyndham Five Past Eight shows, to opera, theatre, ballet and even a bit of rock’n’roll.

Those who have graced the King’s stage include Harry Lauder, Maria Callas, Margot Fonteyn and Led Zeppelin – not to forget pantomime stalwarts Stanley Baxter, Jimmy Logan, Ricky Fulton, Una McLean and, more recently, the triumvirate of Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Stott himself.

Stott will also be chatting with his own panto palls Andy Gray and Alan Stewart, as well as Ruth Madoc and King’s patron Brian Cox, who has his own memories of seeing shows there and appearing on its stage. However Scott’s clear delight is the opportunity the show gave him to chat to Stanley Baxter.

Having traveled to London to interview Baxter in his home, Stott relates: “Stanley’s first ever panto at the Kings in Edinburgh was Aladdin in 1951 and it was far from a happy experience for him.

Making an impact

“He was lined up to appear as Wishee Washee alongside English star of the stage George Lacy who was playing Widow Twankey. Stanley was told that such was George Lacy’s star power, he had little chance of making an impact.

The King’s auditorium as seen from the back of the stage. Photo Capital Theatres

“Lacey was far from pleased then when the Edinburgh crowd absolutely lapped up Stanley’s brilliant Scots patter and he totally stole the show. He still thinks ‘Edinburgh audiences are every bit as good as Glasgow audiences. Perhaps even better’. Unsurprisingly, I agree.”

As well as the stars, Stott also chats to the all-important loyal audiences who attend shows ranging from the Edinburgh International Festival programme, the Gang Show, the Pantomime and Edinburgh’s thriving local amateur musicals companies.


The Old Lady of Leven Street
BBC Radio Scotland 94.7FM & 810 Medium Wave.
Tuesday 25 December 2018: 12.30pm
Repeated: Wednesday 2 January 2019: 4pm.

Further details – including how to listen online after broadcast – are on the programme website:


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