James Martin

After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut!)


James Martin was born in the west-end of Glasgow and now resides in East Lothian, so, as the Americans say, he has worked 'Coast to Coast'! At 17 he joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker Mechanic (actually he went to join the NAAFI but spelled it wrong.) and served from 1949 to 1956 when he joined the Glasgow Fire Service - thus going from stoking fires to putting them out!

James was involved at the Cheapside Whisky Bond Fire Tragedy where 14 Firemen and 5 Salvage Corps men lost their lives. Sometime later he had to be rescued by his colleagues from a 30-foot ladder when his cartilage locked - much to the amusement of his colleagues and the Glasgow Public.


After his cartilage operation he was sidelined for nearly 12 weeks and it was during this time he accidentally came into Acting. Freddie Young, of 'Young Casting Agency' asked him to show a London TV Producer some of the River Clyde landmarks as she was about to make a Kenneth McKellar Production called 'Songs of the Clyde'. James received a nice little cheque for doing so and Freddie kept James on the books as a client doing Bits and Pieces on TV. In 1972 he went full time.

Once, while playing a murdered burglar in 'Sutherlands Law' James was placed in a Mortuary Drawer at Gartnavel Hospital. The drawer was to be pulled out and James identified. However, they were about to go for a take when the refrigeration motor cut-in. James waited patiently but when the motor stopped and nothing happened he started knocking which resulted in an unearthly scream. Due to a lighting fault the Assistant Director had called a coffee break (forgetting about James), leaving a young Production Assistant on her own who got the fright of her life when the knocking started.

James has played characters from 'Flashers' to 'High Court Sheriffs'. His TV work includes Monarch of The Glen, Dr Findlay's Casebook, Murder Not Proven and Sutherland Law to name a few. He has worked for the Royal Lyceum Theatre Co, Dundee Rep, Tron Glasgow and the Pit Prop Theatre Greater Manchester. He has played Shakespeare and other classics but is more celebrated for 'peeing' himself in the BBC Comedy Show 'Still Game', playing the unfortunate 'Eric'. The only character in the show that doesn't go to make-up!

During the war, James was evacuated to Mauchline where his interest in Burns took root. He is a superb Burns speaker who is happy to 'Toast the Lassies' and he does a stunning 'Immortal Memory'. James is also happy to do after dinner speaking with his 'Tales of a Thespian', a hilarious speech, gleaned from his anthology of fun filled facts from the stage.

To book James Martin, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via mark@emkayentertainments.net. Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.


Please note; Emkay Entertainments act as a booking agent for any engagements for this artiste. Bookings are processed through our partner agency, SpeakOut!.