Brian Marjoribanks an early pioneer in the player-to-presenter role

Former Hibs man went on to work on BBC Scotland’s football coverage

Sunday, 2nd August 2020, 7:30 am
Brian Marjoribanks and Morag Forsyth in The Happiest Days of Your Life, December 1964.
Brian Marjoribanks and Morag Forsyth in The Happiest Days of Your Life, December 1964.

Marjoribanks an early pioneer in the player-to-presenter role

In my interview with Stephen Thompson on page 8 I don’t quite call him the first Scot to go from playing football to presenting it on TV because he’s not.

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That was Brian Marjoribanks, who scored on his Hibernian debut in a 1961 Edinburgh derby, turned out 
four more times for the Hibees, moved on to Hearts and then Aberdeen, then reverted to the original plan, which was acting. In Dr Finlay’s Casebook he was quickly back on the pitch, playing a footballer suffering from bone disease. The episode was filmed at Alloa right after the home team had been thrashed 7-2 by East Fife with some of the crowd staying to watch. One Wasps fan, feeling none too charitable when our man was being attended by a make-up girl, shouted: “Away ya big pansy!”

Marjoribanks joined BBC Scotland, presenting football on the radio and also Sportsreel, the Saturday tea-time round-up which could show young viewers like me no highlights in that Presbyterian age but was still a must-see. Alistair Dewar reporting from Edinburgh was pulpit-dour even after 5-5 draws. Fraser Elder on Tayside wore zazzy jackets which interfered with the picture. Then there was the hilarious occasion when the sound of a smashing lightbulb in the Aberdeen studio caused the correspondent to leap out of his chair with a girlish scream. Tragically I’ve forgotten his name, but Marjoribanks was a calm presence on a hectic show.

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