‘Bute Noir’ boost from Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin, plumber, is sponsoring the Bute Noir crime writing festival.
Ian Rankin, plumber, is sponsoring the Bute Noir crime writing festival.

Top crime writer Ian Rankin has endorsed sponsorship of the island’s crime writing festival – by Ian Rankin.

But like all good crime tales, there’s a twist.

The acclaimed author is voicing his support for Ian Rankin, a Rothesay plumber.

The local businessman is putting his money behind Bute Noir, which runs at the Bute Museum, Rothesay Library and Print Point Bookshop between August 3-5.

Ian, who has been tending to the island’s plumbing needs for 35 years, said: “I am more than happy to support anything that promotes the island.

“Bute Noir does a fantastic job of that. And it does seem kind of appropriate, with my name, that I get involved.”

And the ‘real’ Ian Rankin is fully behind his namesake’s sponsorship initiative.

He said: “I’d known of the other Ian as I’d seen pics of his van online. Good on him for doing it. And good luck to Bute Noir, too. It looks like being a cracking festival.”

Crime writer Craig Robertson, the festival’s director, said: “We’ve had our eye on Ian as a potential sponsor for a while.

“We’re already backed by Live Argyll, CalMac Ferries, For Bute and Bute Island Foods, but Ian Rankin seemed a perfect resource for us to tap into.

“We were delighted when he agreed to sponsor us and were just hoping the news wouldn’t leak before now.”

Craig declined to put a figure on how much the famous plumber has agreed to put into Bute Noir.

He said: “That’s between us and Ian, but we’re very grateful for his support.

“Let’s just say he’s not paying us in washers.”

Among the authors on this year’s programme are Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Chris Brookmyre, Alex Gray, Graeme Macrae Burnet and James Oswald.