Answer Comes on a Wing and a Prayer; THORNS FROM THE THISTLE

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Byline: ALASTAIR ROBERTSON

THE world of religious broadcasting may have found itself a new talking head in the form of Oban Cathedral's personable young curate, Father Roddy Johnston, who spent three days helping Princess Diana's mother, Mrs Frances Shand Kydd, in the days prior to the funeral of her daughter.

Father Roddy found himself being flown, all expenses paid on his day off, from Scotland to Germany to appear on TV. Initially, the company offered to send a helicopter to Connel airstrip near Oban but this plan collapsed when it transpired that Father Roddy was in Edinburgh without his passport.

Nonethless, he was bundled onto a flight and on his return via London was nobbled by the BBC - whereupon he found himself being interviewed by veteran reporter Tim Sebastian along with the editor of Vogue and The Duchess of Norfolk.

Faced with the sticky question: 'Do you think Diana will be made a saint?'

I understand the forthright ex-forester, who converted to Catholicism, satisfied the audience with an answer worthy of any politician: 'Ah well, the path to sainthood requires a long and rigourous period of examination.'

Flushed out in parrot fashion

NOWADAYS, just to make sure nobody is left out, there are awards for absolutely everything - best kept garden gnome, cattle with the cleanest bottom and dogs with the waggiest tails. However, the greatest accolade of all has been heaped upon the award-winning public conveniences at Kyle of Lochalsh by local councillor Bill Fulton rather rudely known by The West Highland Free Press as Banana Bill for unexplained reasons.

He has revealed in the council chamber that when his parrot ran away from home it fled to the public privy, apparently enticed there by the high standards. …