Sadly, Ali died on 6th August, 2004 after a short illness. Details can be read in the report in the Scotsman. A charismatic personality, who will be very much missed.
Ali Abbasi - employee of BBC Scotland - Radio Presenter of Travel, Traffic and Weather with Radio Scotland starts his day at 4.00 a.m. He is out there gathering information about uncheerful topics such as delays, road works, line ups, rain, snow and jams.
It seems unlikely that road rage will melt away when motorists listen to his reports, on their way to work, on dreich Scottish mornings. Nevertheless, this is the case and smiles appear when he cracks his corny and, soon to be infamous, jokes.
Ali works hard behind the scenes to gather information from his network of contacts to deliver precise and succinct information and has refined the art of telling his audience "exactly what they need to know" - traffic, travel and weatherwise. He also comes prepared to provide daft quips and enjoy some banter with the fully paid up comics, who are smart enough to encourage his endearing silliness.
His ability to create opportunities is illustrated by his route in to radio work. Eight years ago, when he phoned BBC Scotland to discuss the quality of programmes aimed at the Asian community, he swiftly found himself catupulted from his job as a guard at Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum to a position with the BBC. Now his humourous approach is pushing him into the realms of celebrityhood and he has been sought after by Neil Wilson the publisher to produce a book of jokes - this work will be in the shops by Christmas. I am convinced it will be a big seller and Ali is fair chuffed regarding his pending authorship, not least of all, because all the proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Kenny McIntyre Trust Fund. Kenny, who died last year aged 54, was a great friend of Ali's and one of Scotland's foremost and most respected journalists.
The Trust Fund is a subject dear to Ali's heart and together with Pauline McLean he is co-organising an event in Cottier's Theatre in the West End, 2nd, July, with top class performers Contact Ali for tickets BBC, Queen Margaret Drive, 0141 339 8844. There will be an impressive programme and it promises to be an enjoyable event. I did not ask Ali if he would be participating but is entirely likely that someone else will put this to him. An afternoon event, this has all the makings of a great day out so watch out for more information in forthcoming Jess's Jaunts.
When Ali is not catching up on his sleep or preparing for his radio programme he is hosting "the best curry parties in the West End" where he produces mouthwatering meals using his Mammy's recipes. In a couple of weeks he is the caterer for a get together of members of the Scottish Executive.
Donald Dewar is certainly benefiting from Ali's skills as he informed me that he provides the First Minister with jokes - (yet another unlikely comedien!). Hopefully, they will be politically correct unlike some of the most popular of Ali's repertoire which includes 'the single woman joke'. Apparently told only once on the air (despite many requests for further airings) this one could ruffle a few feathers. Ali provided me with a copy but I think I'll leave it up to you to seek it out yourself when the Joke Book is published.
In the meantime you can tune in to Radio Scotland around 9.00 a.m. and you can catch some of the banter between Ali and Fred McAulay on The Fred McAulay Show.
His next move could be into television: How about The Ali, Ally and McAulay Show?