Salmond’s festive send-up is big hit online

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Linlithgow’s Alex Salmond has become a festive online favourite after showcasing a well-timed reworking of a Hogmanay institution.

The former First Minister included a clever skit of the Reverend IM Jolly on his festive RT International show

An it has attracted twice the YouTube audience of his 2013 Christmas message when he was in office.

The comic broadcast has been seen by more than 7,000 viewers on YouTube in just a few days over Christmas – and by 125,000 more viewers on Facebook.

Mr Salmond said: “There may be a lesson here in the art of festive political communication. The character is still remembered with affection as a New Year institution.

“The reverend pokes gentle humour at just about everybody, especially myself. At any rate there has been a great reaction to the Christmas special.”

And it looks as if Mr Salmond might get even more online reaction after it emerged that the minister’s appearance was not a one off.

He said: “For the second show yesterday (Thursday) we gave the reverend another outing. Last week he looked back to the old year with his Campaign Complete Doom. This time he looked forward in total despondency!”

“That show also featured Judy Murray, artist Gerard Burns and Des Clarke joining in the fun with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik and was based at the Principal Edinburgh George Street Hotel. I appear throughout in full Highland regalia – except of course when I don that famous dog collar!”

Meanwhile Mr Salmond has rubbished claims printed in a Sunday newspaper that he would be willing to throw his hat into the political ring for another time – with regard to the Aberdeen Donside seat which is currently occupied by under-fire MSP Mark McDonald.

Mr McDonald quit the Scottish Government amidst claims that he had acted ‘inappropriately’. He is under investigation and suspension by the party.

The paper said it has spoken to ‘‘friends’’of Mr Salmond who had stated that he was keen to fight for the seat if Mr McDonald was ousted.

Mr Salmond, who was not quoted in the story, has now told the Linlithgow Gazette: “I have expressed no interest to anyone in being a candidate in a non existent contest.”