How Grant Stott helped to make [gawr-juhs] gorgeous

Derek Green Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Like many people across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, my Monday morning was settling down into a nice groove. The radio was on in the studio. Email had been checked. Weekly analytics for clients’ websites had been checked, and it was full-steam ahead with projects on my “to do” list.

Then the announcement happened. It was one of those rare moments, that in future years, we’ll be able to tell others exactly what we were doing when we heard the news. Just after 11 o’clock on Monday 16 January 2017 Grant Stott – radio, panto, hosting, voiceover and acting person – told Forth One listeners that he was taking a break from radio. He would be leaving the station at the end of the month, after 27 years of working there.

I have to say, it took me quite a while to actually assimilate this information. There was a sudden feeling of denial. Morning radio without the dulcet tones of Mr Stott? Nah! That’s not going to happen. He’s just having one of his jolly japes. But no. Soon Twitter and Forth News confirmed what he had told us on air. He’s offski.

For those who don’t know, my connection with Grant goes back several years now.

When I was a lecturer in the Graphic Design department at the Edinburgh College of Art, one project we ran was the award-winning “Agency Project”. Briefly, this involved final year students setting up their own design agencies, presenting their work and manifestos to the other graphic students, who then completed job application forms to join the agency of their choice. In summary it was replicating what happens in the real design world, post-art school.

A student asked me if I were to set up an agency, what would I call it? My response was “Oh I don’t know, something confident like Brilliant or Fantastic.” I didn’t realise it at the time, but this question had been subliminally planted in me.

One sunny summer morning in 2010 I was at home listening to Stottie on the radio when I heard him say “…and the weather outside today is gorgeous! Gorgeous! That’s spelt g-a-w-r-j-u-s!” Hmm! I thought. I like that word. So I immediately hopped online to see if the .com domain name was available. It wasn’t. Damn!

Then I thought, “How did he spell it?” I reached for a dictionary and looked up the word gorgeous. The phonetics showed it included an additional h. [gawr-juhs]. I did a quick check for that domain name. Bingo, it was available! So I bought it there and then. Within the space of an hour I’d registered gawrjuhs with most of the popular social media sites, and just parked everything for a year until I was ready to set it up.

Fast forward 18 months and I’m looking at Twitter when Grant posts “I’ve just set up my own company today.” Never being someone who is backward at coming forward, I cheekily respond with “So you’ll be wanting a fancy logo then!” Mr Stott replies, “Oh, that’s a good idea!” And so the person who was the catalyst in helping me to choose [gawr-juhs] as the name for my agency, suddenly becomes a client. I always felt there was some nice karma at work there.

Since that initial online exchange, we’ve had a lot of laughs and quite an adventure developing Grant’s Panto Villain site together. I’m always mighty impressed that he updates it himself on a regular basis, and the input required from me is minimal. So it will feel rather strange not having Stottie on the radio in the mornings. However, as design consultants, we know that things don’t stay the same forever and change has to happen. Certainly taking his excellent one-man show, Tales from Behind the Mic, on tour is going to keep him occupied over the next few months.

So I would like to say “Thank-you Grant” for helping [gawr-juhs] become gorgeous, and for providing us with such a brilliant story behind our name. I’ll always be indebted to you for that one sir!

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