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Irvine Welsh The Big Issue International Network of Street Papers

Trainspotting's Francis Begbie finds art and love in new Irvine Welsh short story exclusively for Big Issue and global street papers' Christmas boost

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

November 17, 2013 | 3 min read

Trainspotting fans are set for a Christmas treat from author Irvine Welsh, who has penned a short story about the book’s psychotic character Francis Begbie for the Big Issue and 121 other street papers around the world.

Story: Francis Begbie, played by Robert Carlyle (Pic: Film4)

Welsh is an ambassador for the International Network of Street Papers, which is based in Glasgow, and he created the story exclusively for the organisation in an effort to help thousands of homeless people over the Christmas period.

The short story is set to surprise readers with a tale of the violent and unpredictable Begbie’s rehabilitation through art and falling in love. The character was famously portrayed by Robert Carlyle in the 1996 screen adaption of the novel, which was published in 1993.

Welsh said: I’m not sure where this (story) came from. I never really know. I just think the character has to be full of surprises and I quite like this little twist in his (Begbie) life.”

Paul McNamee, editor of the Big Issue, added: “The Christmas period is a key time for The Big Issue and our vendors. As we push for sales to help vendors at the most difficult time of the year, we run a series of bumper seasonal editions. We start next week, in fact, with a Doctor Who special. And we're delighted that Irvine Welsh, who has long been a big supporter of The Big Issue and street papers in general, has come up with a new piece of work for us.”

The plot of the story, called ‘He Ain’t Lager’, centres on Begbie visiting his family at Christmas after getting out of prison and features his brother Joe, who is homeless.

Irvine Welsh The Big Issue International Network of Street Papers

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