Battered cabbie graduates at 75
A CAPITAL cabbie who lost his livelihood and confidence after being assaulted at work has graduated as an aspiring screenwriter – aged 75. Pensioner George McDougall was left traumatised after being savagely attacked in his cab by a passenger. The beating, which broke his jaw, left the Edinburgh taxi driver scared to leave the house and unable to work.
Eight years later, the Broxburn great-granddad has rebuilt his life and this week graduated with a postgraduate qualification in Screenwriting from Edinburgh Napier University. He said: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life without a doubt. I’m doing something I never thought I’d be able to do.”
After the attack George’s son, also George, encouraged his dad to take screenwriting night classes to get him out of the house and rebuild his confidence.
“I spent about six months not going out of the door,” said George. “My son took me right up to Edinburgh University to do night classes and after six years of that I’d run out of courses to do.”
He applied for the PgCert course at Edinburgh Napier and “was chuffed” to be accepted.
“I got to university and everyone was so helpful – no-one was saying I was too old for this or anything like that.”
Now that he’s graduated George plans to start pitching over 20 short and feature-length screenplays he’s already written.
And he’s even turned the memory of the assault to his advantage – by starting to pen a new screenplay inspired by his own experiences.
Professor Robin MacPherson, Director of Screen Academy Scotland, said: “George’s story is an inspiration to anyone who, for whatever reason, has put off following their passion in life. It shows that you are never too old to learn and we all wish George the very best of luck with his future endeavours.”
Notes to Editor:
For more information, or to arrange an interview with George, please contact Patrick McFall on 0131 455 6314 or email