Arts & Culture

‘Two men with two flip charts …. and an entirely made up history of the West End’

By Ian Marland at

The ‘Bard of Barnsley’ will help kick off the 2nd Byres Road Book Festival.

Poet and presenter Ian McMillan is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb and a host of TV shows.

He is appearing at the festival with his friend, creative collaborator and multi award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband (of Private Eye fame).

Byres Road Book Festival and Ian McMillan

Poster: Tickets are free but availability is limited

A Glasgow audience can expect quick wit, observation, irreverent nonsense, and ultimately entertainment when the pair appear at Hillhead Library this evening (Friday Sept 22).

Ian is poet-in-residence for The Academy of Urbanism and Barnsley FC.

He presents The Verb every week on BBC R3 – a showcase for best poetry, new writing and performance.

He’s also a regular on Coast, BBC Breakfast, Countryfile, Pick of the Week, Last Word and The Arts Show.

Previously he was resident poet for English National Opera, UK Trade & Investment, Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and Humberside Police’s Beat Poet.

He tweeted Glasgow West End Today to say how pleased he was to be appearing at the Byres Road Book Festival.

“Looking forward to the show very much; two men, two flipcharts and an entirely made up history of the West End.”

He added: “If you’re looking for facts you’ve come to the wrong place! Poems, stories, cartoons and improvisation!”

Showmen: Ian and Tony in action earlier this year

The festival is being staged by the local business group Byres Road and Lanes Business Improvement District (Bid).

Its partners are Byres Road venues Waterstones, Oxfam Book Shop and Hillhead Library.

Bid’s Deborah Murray said it was going to be a fantastic September weekend.

“We’re really pleased with how it’s going, we have some wonderful people appearing at the festival.

“We can’t wait to have Ian and Tony with us – the West End is in for a treat.”

‘Ian McMillan and Tony Husband: A cartoon history of here’ is on tonight (Friday, September 22) at Hillhead Library, 7.30 to 9pm.

Events are free and tickets (with a booking fee) are still available – but hurry they will go.

* For tickets go to

For a full programme of events see