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Why Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli wants to live the rock ’n’ roll dream… playing Jimmy Page in a Led Zeppelin biopic

Sanjeev Kohli, with his Led Zeppelin vinyl and t-shirt (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Sanjeev Kohli, with his Led Zeppelin vinyl and t-shirt (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

IT’S a rocking revelation that would have The Clansman’s regulars spluttering into their pint…

Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli has revealed he has a whole lotta love – for heavy metal music.

And the actor, who plays shopkeeper Navid alongside his pensioner pals in the hit BBC comedy, has revealed he would even love to take a stairlift to heaven – and play legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in a rock biopic should the chance ever crop up.

Sanjeev – fresh from a starring role in Still Game 2, the sell-out stage run of the TV show – is a fan of ’70s rockers Rainbow, Deep Purple and, of course, Led Zep.

“I love Jimmy Page,” he enthused last night.

“I had a heavy metal upbringing, more Deep Purple than Led Zeppelin actually.

“I would probably be better playing Jon Lord, the keyboard player from Deep Purple, and I would love to play an Asian heavy metal star.”

The star has revealed his eldest brother got him into heavy metal music when they were growing up in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow.

One of his earliest musical memories was going to see Rainbow play at Edinburgh’s Playhouse venue with his brothers.

“They were deeply unfashionable at the time and I’m not sure they have ever been fashionable,” said Sanjeev.

“Trust me, when Since You’ve Been Gone came on at the school disco, the pretty girls looked the other way.”

Sanjeev would love to play Jimmy Page (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Sanjeev would love to play Jimmy Page (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

Sanjeev, 46, added: “I have a love affair with heavy metal. I have fond memories of it.

“Purple were my band. I went to see them in 1985 at Knebworth. They weren’t at the height of their powers, but I can say I saw them on the stage.

“In our circle of family friends in the ’80s, we’d see each other at weekends when we all went visiting and, for some reason, all the kids were into prog rock.

“We didn’t get a chance to get disillusioned with rock because my family didn’t have those records in the house.”

Sanjeev, who also plays Amandeep “AJ” Jandhu in the BBC soap River City, admitted he was amazed by the public’s response to the second Still Game adaptation for the stage, including the romantic storyline in which Navid contemplates an affair with busybody, Isa, played by Jane McCarry.

He said: “It was very generous of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill to give us a big romantic storyline and then to have the big pay-off at the end.

“That was amazing having the whole of the Hydro waiting for this 61-year-old Asian shopkeeper to kiss this pensioner.

“People were shouting, ‘Get her drunk’, so loudly in one case that I had to deal with it. I said: ‘Give me a minute’. It was great fun. Of course, the moral aspect is compromised by the fact that Navid is married.”

Sanjeev will also be speaking about the books that made him at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the Aye Write! book festival, today.

“Aye Write! Approached me to talk about the books I enjoy, which made me realise I am not as well read as I should be,” he said.

“It was a struggle to find five books that had an impact to my eternal shame, but it’ll be fun.

“One of the books I will be talking about is Trainspotting. I enjoyed the book which took me into another world.

“Reading it, I felt like a junkie. I was there. I watched the film again because T2 was coming out and then saw the play at the Citizen’s Theatre.

“Irvine Welsh still has the ability to shock and is so funny.

“To think that Mark Renton is the hero of Trainspotting and he is horrible character, yet you manage to empathise with him.

“That is a pretty good trick Irvine Welsh has played there. It is a masterpiece.”