According to the gadgie Robert Carlyle himself, Trainspotting psychopath Francis Begbie is to be the star of his own spin-off series.


It’s been announced that a TV adaptation to Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel, The Blade Artist, is in the early stages of development, with Carlyle already having been confirmed as a member of the cast.

While promoting the second season of his political drama COBRA, Carlyle said:

“Irvine Welsh and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about continuing the Trainspotting story.”

“As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually,”

“I think we’re thinking about doing it as six one-hour ‘television event piece’, as they say nowadays – whatever that means. But it seemed to me to be right to look at it like that, and Irvine loved that idea. It’s such a massive story – it’s all Los Angeles back and forth to Edinburgh – and it’s difficult to do all that in an hour and a half! Especially if you want to keep the basis of that book pure.”

“I think nowadays people like the event thing too – they like ‘six hours of this… bang.’ They can boxset it. They can binge it. So after a few chats, we thought that’s the way forward. So that’s the plan. Sometime in the next year and a bit we’ll hopefully be talking again and we’ll be talking about the return of Begbie,”

Welsh has written five books about the Trainspotting characters, of which The Blade Artist is the fourth.

After the first novel came out in 1993, Welsh went on to publish the 2002 sequel Porno, the 2012 prequel Skagboys, The Blade Artist, and then Dead Man‘s Trousers in 2018.

The Blade Artist focuses on Begbie’s life since the Trainspotting days. In the book he is reformed and now known as Jim Francis, living in California with his wife and two daughters.


No official release date has been announced yet.

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