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“I really loved that story,” says Scott. “I thought that was really cool and interesting and sort of relevant. It’s an interesting side being shown to Ray who, from the background he came from, I guess may not have been someone who’s expected to be as accepting as he is. But he’s a compassionate person, he’s empathetic to a fault, it’s what makes him a great cop but also causes some pain.”

Crime, the novel, was set in Miami, in the aftermath of events depicted in the TV series. In adapting it for television, Welsh, one of the world’s most acclaimed modern novelists, had to adapt to working in a different way. “You have to think in a much different way,” he muses.

‘The downside of [working for TV] is it’s like having a proper job, which is kind of what you become a writer to get away from.’

Irvine Welsh

“If you’re writing a novel, you’re basically God. With TV, everyone’s got a say, it’s a very collaborative thing, it’s like you have the tea boy with a red pen saying change this, change that. You have to see it in a completely different way. You’re not writing something, you’re writing a kind of plan to get something made. So you have to see yourself in a completely different relationship to the material. The downside of it is it’s like having a proper job, which is kind of what you become a writer to get away from. The good side is you get to work with people and it’s quite a nourishing process really.”

Central to Crime is the collaboration between Welsh and Scott, whose friendship goes back decades. “We see the world very similarly,” says Scott. “We’ve got a lot in common and we enjoy spending time with each other. We’ve both got the same football team, that gives us a lot of pain.”

“Dougray is a great guy to work with,” Welsh enthuses, “because he’s absolutely relentless. We wouldn’t have got Crime made without him. The two of us together have forged quite a path.”

In forging that path, Welsh and Scott have added to the wealth of Scottish voices making a mark on TV recently, from Outlander to Shetland to Karen Pirie and more. For Scott, who has experienced the life of a Hollywood star with a resume that includes Mission: Impossible 2 and Desperate Housewives, bringing it all back home was a key motivation with Crime, on which he is also executive producer.

“I just felt at this stage of my career, I wanted to commit to telling stories from my own country, because I know it better than any other country. And I’ve spent my career working in other countries pretending to be other people, which is great, it’s part of my job and I’ll still do that. But I had this burning desire to connect to Scotland in a way I hadn’t quite done before.”

Welsh’s work, led by novels like Trainspotting, Filth, and of course Crime, has always been distinctively Scottish. “(Scotland) has always punched above its weight artistically,” he observes. There’s more writers and actors and artists in general per square mile than probably anywhere. There’s something about small countries, I think, that because they don’t have a big political voice on the bigger stage, they really invest in the arts. The arts are the way they make their mark in the world.”



“I really loved that story,” says Scott. “I thought that was really cool and interesting and sort of relevant. It’s an interesting side being shown to Ray who, from the background he came from, I guess may not have been someone who’s expected to be as accepting as he is. But he’s a compassionate person, he’s empathetic to a fault, it’s what makes him a great cop but also causes some pain.”

Crime, the novel, was set in Miami, in the aftermath of events depicted in the TV series. In adapting it for television, Welsh, one of the world’s most acclaimed modern novelists, had to adapt to working in a different way. “You have to think in a much different way,” he muses.

‘The downside of [working for TV] is it’s like having a proper job, which is kind of what you become a writer to get away from.’

Irvine Welsh

“If you’re writing a novel, you’re basically God. With TV, everyone’s got a say, it’s a very collaborative thing, it’s like you have the tea boy with a red pen saying change this, change that. You have to see it in a completely different way. You’re not writing something, you’re writing a kind of plan to get something made. So you have to see yourself in a completely different relationship to the material. The downside of it is it’s like having a proper job, which is kind of what you become a writer to get away from. The good side is you get to work with people and it’s quite a nourishing process really.”

Central to Crime is the collaboration between Welsh and Scott, whose friendship goes back decades. “We see the world very similarly,” says Scott. “We’ve got a lot in common and we enjoy spending time with each other. We’ve both got the same football team, that gives us a lot of pain.”

“Dougray is a great guy to work with,” Welsh enthuses, “because he’s absolutely relentless. We wouldn’t have got Crime made without him. The two of us together have forged quite a path.”

In forging that path, Welsh and Scott have added to the wealth of Scottish voices making a mark on TV recently, from Outlander to Shetland to Karen Pirie and more. For Scott, who has experienced the life of a Hollywood star with a resume that includes Mission: Impossible 2 and Desperate Housewives, bringing it all back home was a key motivation with Crime, on which he is also executive producer.

“I just felt at this stage of my career, I wanted to commit to telling stories from my own country, because I know it better than any other country. And I’ve spent my career working in other countries pretending to be other people, which is great, it’s part of my job and I’ll still do that. But I had this burning desire to connect to Scotland in a way I hadn’t quite done before.”

Welsh’s work, led by novels like Trainspotting, Filth, and of course Crime, has always been distinctively Scottish. “(Scotland) has always punched above its weight artistically,” he observes. There’s more writers and actors and artists in general per square mile than probably anywhere. There’s something about small countries, I think, that because they don’t have a big political voice on the bigger stage, they really invest in the arts. The arts are the way they make their mark in the world.”

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