How Irvine Welsh's Begbie is Coming Back to Support Homeless People

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When Irvine Welsh released Trainspotting back in 1993, it became a cult classic. And this wasn’t despite the harrowing subject matter, accented pros and consistent drug abuse, rather because of them. Now, after the film received similar adulation, Begbie is back, and he’s here to help the homeless.

Irvine WelshBegbie came from this man's head - Irvine Welsh

The sociopathic Begbie - played by Robert Carlyle in the film - isn’t exactly the charitable sort – more interested in incredibly violent episodes and hamming up stories when the truth is somewhat different. But his creator, Irvine Welsh, despite conjuring up many twisted souls in his stories, reignited the character to feature in The Big Issue and help homeless people.

Set somewhere between Trainspotting and Porno, Begbie visits his family, which includes his homeless brother Joe, ay Christmas following his release from prison. "I'm not sure where this (story) came from. I never really know,” said Welsh of the latest chapter in his larger-than-life character’s story, according to The BBC. “I just think the character has to be full of surprises and I quite like this little twist in his life. Homelessness issues are now sadly ubiquitous across the western world, and very much a product of the weak priorities our political leadership has set."

The story was written for the Glasgow-based International Network of Street Papers. Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue, said: "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."

Welsh, who now lives in Chicago, said he become an ambassador of the INSP because he saw "so many friends struggling to keep a home together, or trying to rebuild one". The new story will, hopefully, encourage people to buy The Big Issue, and in turn help homeless people as the U.K approaches another freezing winter period.

Robert CarlyleRobert Carlyle played Begbie in the film version of Trainspotting

“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,” added McNamee.

"On the back of the success of Filth, interest in the great contrarian outsider of modern Scottish literature is heightened and we hope that people will be queuing at their local Big Issue vendor to read what he has created when we run it in a couple of weeks."


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