GUEST BLOG: A Christmas message From Bob Servant
31st October 2011 - Bob Servant
Bob Servant is the star of three books, one radio series and a lifetime spent securing his undisputed status as the Hero Of Dundee. The 64-year-old local business giant and universally respected ladies man first found fame with the acclaimed Delete This At Your Peril: The Bob Servant Emails before thrilling his followers with his unflinching autobiography, Bob Servant: Hero Of Dundee. Now a new collection of emails Why Me?: The Very Important Emails of Bob Servant should secure his legacy as Scotland's most respected man of letters.
For Servant, however, this is just the latest chapter of a life not short in recognition. In the 1970s his window cleaning round was generally accepted as being the largest in Western Europe while his key role in Dundee's Cheeseburger Wars of the 1980s saw him pushed to national prominence. With Servant defying medical opinion by the day, all bets are off for the man's future direction.
Here at Foyles we were honoured to meet Bob when he came into sign copies of his terrific new book last week and we're delighted that he's agreed to contribute to our blog. Here he shares his thoughts on the true meaning of Christmas: charity.
Well, this really is an honour, being asked to give a few words of wisdom for the Foyles website. Foyles is one of those great English institutions like the Boat Race, cucumber sandwiches and Terry Wogan. Last week, I was invited down to sign all Foyles' stock of my blockbusting new book Why Me?: The Very Important Emails of Bob Servant and it was one of the greatest days of my life.
I got off the train from Dundee and had a wee wander about the sights. Regent Street, Oxford Street, Bond Street - all the Greens basically. Then I found a cracking little local pub run by a guy called Wetherspoon where the atmosphere was absolutely terrific. After a couple of liveners I headed to Foyles and laid down my mark on the books. You'll find them right in the action zone near the counters, and quite right too.
I'm looking forward to Christmas. I run a cheeseburger van up here in Dundee with my pal Frank and we always have a decent staff night out. Last year Frank had read about how office parties often end up with people photocopying their bottoms. We tried it out and it was OK but we didn't have a photocopier so we just sketched each other instead and, as our parties often do, it ended with an argument. Like I told Frank at the time, the whole point of a caricature is that you emphasise someone's weaker points and if they suffer from insecurity then they shouldn't put themselves forward in the first place.
Christmas is also, of course, about charity and I've dropped a few coins in a few plastic dogs in my time. As Dundee's most successful and respected local businessman, I always like to throw my considerable weight behind charity. I remember in the Eighties when Geldof did his Band Aid stuff. Me and Frank were inspired and a few days later we launched Fife Aid with a poorly attended press conference on Dundee's Tay Bridge. Fife Aid provoked a number of reactions. In Dundee there was understanding and support (a lot of it unsaid) whereas in Fife there was widespread anger.
The Tay FM switchboard nearly blew up. One Fifer came on and said he had a bigger house than me so why was I offering him aid? I phoned in and said that having a big house in Fife is like having a big lump on your head. People might be impressed by the size and want to know the story behind it but they wouldn't want to be attached to it themselves. In both cases, I added, people would also presume you had a violent wife.
My point, I think it's pretty clear, is that charity works. And on that note, Merry Christmas and buy my books.
Bob Servant would like to thank Neil Forsyth, author and journalist, fellow Dundonian and a friend for over 20 years.
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Bob Servant; Neil Forsyth
Bob Servant; Neil Forsyth