Brown Senior was Fame Student's mentor
The quiet Borders village of Denholm is already famous for being the home village of SBS frontman Steve Brown, but it has now produced another famous son, in the form of Fame Academy student Ainslie Henderson. Not only that, but Ainslie was introduced to the world of showbusiness by none other than Steve Brown's Dad, Bob Brown.
As producer of the Denholm Drama Group, Brown Sr. was the first person to spot young Ainslie's talent when he first appeared in the chorus line as a precocious 8-year-old. "He was always able to establish a good relationship with his audience", recalls Bob. He watched Ainslie mature over the years and, when he was 15, felt he was ready to be cast in a leading role, in the Drama Group's production of Robinson Crusoe. But in an exclusive interview with the Vic, which has the added value of being true, Bob revealed that young Ainslie needed some coaxing to come out of his shell.
"He accepted the part when I first offered it to him, but then after a while he stopped coming to rehearsals. I asked him to get in touch with me to explain these absences, and the next evening he came round to my house and told me he didn't think he could do it. I told him that he was the only person capable of carrying it off, and eventually I persuaded him to come back to rehearsals. Needless to say, he was fantastic, and he hasn't looked back since."
It was in the Denholm Drama Group that Steve Brown also cut his teeth as an entertainer, performing in numerous pantomimes and Scots comedies. But his Dad seemingly had no trouble persuading his son to go on the stage. "When it comes to showing off he's never needed much encouragement", laughs Brown Sr.
"AINSLIE HENDERSON has been in Denholm pantomimes since he was in Primary 3. Since then he has grown into one of the Group's best comic actors ever. Who knows where he'll end up when he leaves the village, but it will be on stage if he gets the chance."
This excerpt from an old programme shows what Bob Brown said of Ainslie in 1996. How right he was.
Mr Broon 14/10/2002