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01st Oct 2021

‘Trainspotting’ spin-off TV series about Begbie in the works

Danny Jones

Begbie spin-off in the works

We can always do with more Robert Carlyle

We’ve gone from wanting a Trainspotting sequel, to then actually getting one with 2017’s T2: Trainspotting (alongside rumours of a potential third film) and now there’s talk of a spin-off TV series about the notorious Begbie. Aren’t we a lucky lot?

Speaking to NME in an interview promoting the second season of Sky drama, COBRA, Robert Carlyle, the actor behind the character, revealed that: “Irvine [Welsh] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story].

For all those unfamiliar with Begbie – he was the loose cannon character who caused havoc for Ewan McGregor’s drug-addled addict Renton in Danny Boyle’s 1996 classic and its long-awaited follow-up in 2017.

Originated by author Irvin Welsh, this quintessential Edinburgh hard-man first appeared in the original novel on which Boyle’s movie was based, before popping-up again in its 2002 literary sequel Porno which partly inspired the filmmaker’s Trainspotting sequel.

A 2012 prequel story Skagboys followed before Welsh gave Begbie his own stand-alone story in the 2016 book The Blade Artist and penned another sequel, 2018’s Dead Man’s Trousers.

Carlyle is a very familiar face in British film and television thanks to films like The Full Monty, 28 Weeks Later and There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble – but you can’t really beat him as the utterly barmy Begbie, can you?

For those not clued into the original source material, the 60-year-old explained how “there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story”, adding that: “It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually.”

He described the prospective project as a “six one-hour ‘television event piece’, as they say nowadays,” suggesting that this will be limited one-off series, also noting that it wouldn’t really do the fifth book in the series justice to cram it all into an hour and a half feature film.

He went on to say that we can hope to hear more about it sometime next year.

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