DUNDEE-BASED Verdant Dry Gin has been named Scotland's gin of the year. We only mention is as we saw a woman in Glasgow's Buchanan Street with one of those hessian bags over her arm on which was printed "Gym? Oh I thought you said gin."

ARCHIE Knox, who was assistant manager with Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Walter Smith at Rangers, told the audience at a Waterstone's author event at The Avenue in Newton Mearns that the first game after his arrival at Ibrox was Rangers losing to Motherwell. Recalled Walter: "They were rebuilding the main stand at Ibrox at the time and when I walked in on the Monday morning one of the workmen on the stand shouted down, 'Hey Knox! You've made a big difference, haven't you?"

THE 70-year-old Archie, who was promoting his autobiography The School of Hard Knox, said that Paul Gascoigne was the best player he had ever worked with, although he did have his moments. Said Archie: "At the 96 cup final he arrived without his club suit and we frantically searched for one which turned out to be three sizes too big for him. I had an old pair of shoes in the back of a locker that had been there for years and cost about ten bob, which he put on.

"When he went out on the pitch beforehand Jock Brown the commentator announced that there was Paul Gascoigne in his £400 Gucci shoes."

When Rangers won the final, Gascogne didn't go to the drinks reception but instead grabbed a case of beer and took them to a pensioners' club in Howwood as he had promised them a few beers if Rangers won.

JUDI Dench being praised for playing Queen Victoria in the film Victoria & Abdul reminds us of her big screen breakthrough playing the monarch in Mrs Brown. John Miller's biography of Judi relates that one scene shot in Scotland for Mrs Brown took over 20 takes. Explained director John Madden: "The process of getting Judi off the house with the voluminous skirts took care of about ten takes, horse-farts took care of another five, one horse bit another, then it pushed Judi out of shot. We thought we had it perfect until Judi walked away and her costume caught on Billy's radio mike."

WE mentioned the Glasgow bar named after the old Evening Citizen newspaper, and reader Jim Young recalls the surreal moment when Spike Milligan was appearing at the old Alhambra Theatre in Glasgow. Says Jim: "The curtain opened to find him sitting reading the Evening Citizen. After a moment or so he laid it down with the words, 'Mmm - wonder what he does during the day'."

A READER on the train from Mount Florida to Central Station yesterday heard a young girl look up from her mobile phone and tell her pal: "Did you see that Selena Gomez got a kidney from her best pal?"

After a pause, she added: "And you wouldnae even lend me yer student ID card."

DAFT gag of the day comes from a Milngavie reader who emails: "Went into a shop and said I wanted to buy a pair of stockings for the wife. 'Sheer?' the assistant asked. 'No, she's at home,' I replied. 'Does it matter?'"