STILL Game TV star Greg Hemphill has championed a charity mission that was close to the heart of the late Harry Potter actor Robbie Coltrane - whilst on a cruise taking in Greenock.

Greg attended a special cruise on the PS Waverley on Friday, June 23 marking the 90th anniversary of former fleet-mate TS Queen Mary, which Robbie supported as patron.

In 2016, the Rutherglen-born actor launched a fundraising appeal for the restoration of the turbine steamer Queen Mary shortly after the ship was towed back to the Clyde following years languishing out of use in Essex.

Greenock Telegraph:

Charity Friends of TS Queen Mary is undertaking its £6million restoration, with more than £4.8m of that having already been raised. In April, the project received a huge boost thanks to a £1m anonymous donation.

During Friday’s three-hour return cruise from Glasgow’s Pacific Quay to Tail O’ The Bank in Greenock, Greg, who plays Victor in the BBC comedy, mingled with passengers, posed for pictures, and spoke about why he’s “carrying the torch” on behalf of his former co-star.

Greenock Telegraph:

Greg told the Tele: “Well, I first heard about the ongoing restoration project from Robbie Coltrane many years ago.

“We did Still Game together and then we kept in touch and he told me I'm doing some videos for them, I'm trying to raise some money for it.

“And I said to him: ‘Well, that's amazing, yeah, the Queen Mary, I love the Queen Mary. I was on the Queen Mary’.

“And he went: ‘Were you? When were you on the Queen Mary? Where was that?’ “And I said: ‘Oh, it was in Long Beach, California.

“He said: ‘That's not the Queen Mary. That is a Queen Mary but it's not the Queen Mary’.

“He was like, oh, I'm horrified. And then then he gave me the sort of the history of the boat.”

Greenock Telegraph:

Greg added: “So it's got a fantastic history and Robbie was always so fascinated by engineering and innovation and particularly in heritage, and I think that's what drew him towards this project.

“He was a very, very passionate supporter about it.

“Sadly, when we lost him last year, I sort of wanted to come along tonight just to kind of carry that torch a little bit for him.

“And it's a great honour."

Greenock Telegraph:

Greg also revealed Friday’s cruise marked a first for him.

He said: “It's been great fun tonight hearing stories about the boats and whatnot and it's my first time in the Waverley, too, so I've been in Glasgow since 1988, and it's a bit of a crime that this is my first time on the Waverley.

“I'm having a good time.”

The TS Queen Mary was built on at William Denny shipyard in Dumbarton and she hasn’t sailed under its own steam since 1977.

The ship is berthed at the Glasgow Science Centre and the plan is to return the vessel to steam and to offer cruises on the Clyde in the coming years.