About | Billy Kay | Odyssey Productions


 Born in Kyle                    Lochgelly, April 25

 Born in Kyle                      Perth, April 27.

 Born in Kyle                     Cupar, May 2nd

Born in Kyle           Boswell Book Fest May 11

Born in Kyle           Mitchell Library May 18th

Born in Kyle                    Dundee, May 29.

Born in Kyle                     Book Details

A Time for Reflection      Scottish Parliament

Indymatters                      Youtube


Born in Kyle The Lochgelly Centre    April 27

The Fife launches of my book will take place in Lochgelly

And Cupar.




Born in Kyle                       Perth April 27

More details to follow. This will take place in the

A.K. Bell Library in the morning as part of the William

Soutar Festival


Born in Kyle                       Cupar, Fife May 2nd  

This will take place in the  Library in Cupar at 7pm in the evening.




Born in Kyle           Boswell Book Fest May 11.


This will take place at 18.15 in the

gorgeous surroundings of Dumfries House in





Born in Kyle                Mitchell Library May 18th

The Aye Write Festival More details to follow. This will take place in the

Mitchell Library in Glasgow at 16.15. I will

be joined by the great traditional singer Robyn



Born in Kyle           Coldside Library, Dundee May 18th

In the afternoon  at 2pm More Details to follow


The book Born in Kyle is now published and is available in Paperback & Hardback and on Kindle & Audible.


If you would like a signed copy and can pay by BACS transfer, please e mail me

with your details: billy@billykay.scot  

For an address in the UK, the cost would be £12 for the paperback and £18 for the hardback.


You can see them all by visiting my Author Page on Amazon:







A Love Letter tae an Ayrshire Childhood


Naebody has duin mair than Billy Kay tae mak fowk awaur o the pouer an beauty o their guid Scots tongue, an tae gie it its richtfu place at the hert o the national culture. In Born in Kyle, Kay gaes back tae his ain linguistic ruits in the toun o Gawston in Ayrshire's Irvine Valley, an scrieves vieve memoirs o growin up there in the saicont hauf o the 20th century. But he duis mair than that in a steirin mell o creative non-fiction an gleg short stories that create a sense o place wi a historie gaun back hunners o years an a sense o belangin for aw the fowk that appear here; fae glaikit gomerils tae wice worthies, fae guid sowels tae sleekit nyaffs, fae braw lassies tae gallus laddies, fae heidbangers tae fitba pioneers! Billy Kay lues the airt an the fowk he cam fae, sae the lowe o this shines bricht in this, his celebration o wha we are.



One of the most important figures in the Scots revival of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is Billy Kay. Through radio, television, plays, creative writing and especially his hugely influential book Scots The Mither Tongue, Kay's work helped change people's negative perception of Scots and paved the way for its acceptance as a key element in Scottish cultural identity. In Born in Kyle Kay goes back to his own linguistic and cultural roots and celebrates a sense of place and belonging in his native Galston in Ayrshire's Irvine Valley. Looking back, Kay realises that his was the last of the pre-television generations, and life was lived in a strong Scots-speaking environment which would be eroded when television in English was beamed into every household from the early 1960s onwards. In a vivid, gutsy and realistic Scots prose shot through with humour, Kay brings alive the characters he grew up with, some in personally recalled memoirs, others in short stories which bring out a history and a literary history inherited by local folk going back hundreds of years. This is his love letter to working class life in small town Scotland.


Hardback ISBN  978-1-9993309-4-1                                   £16.99



"He has shown us images of ourselves that don't conspire with the prevailing media coverage – half pantomime, half Hollywood – and he has shown us that we can and do speak naturally and easily in a language of grace,dignity and power. Much of his work has been moving, delightful, even inspiring."


Cover images: Author pic by Louis DeCarlo; other photos courtesy of the author.   Cover design:  James Hutcheson




PAPERBACK  EDITION    £9.99   ISBN     978-1-9993309-3-4






Time for Reflection               Scottish Parliament  April  26th


I wis gey vauntie tae be invitit tae gie the Time for Reflection speech in Scots by Emma Harper MSP. It created quite a stooshie, wi the majority luein it, an ultra unionist Scots deniers foamin at the mooth ower it's inclusion! Their ignorance is as deep as Loch Ness.  Tae thaim I gie ye the words o Burns.


The mair they talk,

I'm kent the better,

E'en let them clash;

An auld wife's tongue's a feckless matter

To gie ane fash.


It was a privilege to lead the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament on April 26th, and to create a bit of history. This was almost certainly the first speech delivered in Scots since the pre Union parliament of 1707.


Ye can see whit I said by clicking here:




Here is the Scots text:


Thenk ye, Presidin Officer, for giein me this honour o addressin oor National Pairlament.

I'll stairt wi a kenspeckle quote fae Hugh MacDiarmid, ane o the skeeliest makars in Scots leiterature's thoosan year history:

Tae Be Yersel's an tae mak that worth bein/Nae harder job tae mortals has been gien. 

It's maybe even harder for MSPs – for you cannae jist be yersel for yersels – but for aw the sels, aw the sowels, aw the brither an sister Scots fae Maidenkirk tae Johnny Groats and ayont, that ye represent, amang whilk theres ower 1.5 million Scots speakers. 

Noo's the day an noo's the oor tae rax oot an bring their words scrievit on the waws ootside the pairliament intae the hert o this chaumer, words perfit for debate like 

SPEIR  inquire THREAP assert JALOUSE suspect, TAK TENT take care OR IT'S TINT its lost, OR gin ye dinnae want tae be douce ye can hae a FLYTIN – for it's a leid hoatchin wi gleg insults - glaikit gawkit  gowk

In daein sae ye'll raise the international profile o this airt wi words fae fremmit leids that touch us hame - French se facher - dinnae fash yersel –

Dutch hunkers, Scandinavian lugs, an Latin dispone.

Ye'll be howkin as weel fae a gowden seam in yer ain histories

MacDiarmid wis a foundin faither o the National Pairty 

- Fellae makar Cunninghame Graham an his frien Kier Hardie the Labour Pairty

The chiel wha first defined oor democratic intellectualism wis the Conservative Walter Elliot….

The Liberal Gladstone – wis oreiginally Gled Stane, Gled bein Scots for the bird o prey the kite.

An the Greens are thirled tae oor ayebydand land whaur Scots words like smir, caller, haar or gloamin seem tae arise oot the yird itsel an haud oor herts.

But mair important than thon ye'll gie a signal tae weans in the schuil that the culture o their hame is valued bi fowk electit by their mithers an faithers.

Bairns like the quaet wee lass in P2 in Fawkirk wha ran an lowped intae her teachers airms lauchin an greetin wi joy when she furst heard her mither tongue in cless,

or the sweirt learners in Dundee, dour teenage boays wha gaed tae the tap o the cless for the first time when the langage they yaised ilka day cam intae the schuil in books they then devoured

…an never luikit back.

 Scottish weans transformed learnin a Scottish leid.   

A nation whaur naebody's excludit and awbody kens they belang – shuirly, dear Members o the Scottish Pairliament, thon's weel worth bein yersel for.





Anyone in search of my programmes when they are no longer available on BBC Sounds, should head over to the Youtube channel Indymatters. They have uploaded a number of my archive series, so you might well find what you are looking for there: