Local Characters in Glasgow’s West End: Ali Abbasi: Radio Scotland Travel Desk

Alli Abbasi

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.
(Mussie Abbasi Harrison was heartbroken when her young brother Ali (Mono) died. Very sadly Mussie has now died too after contracting Covid. You can see all the lovely comments she wrote about her brother at the bottom of this page. R.I.P. Mussie. Like her brother she was vibrant and warmhearted. She will be very much missed.) 19 April, 2021.

mussie abbasi harrison

Mussie Abbasi Harrison

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.aliatdoor3small Eight years ago, when he phoned BBC Scotland to discuss the quality of programmes aimed at the Asian community, he swiftly found himself catapulted from his job as a guard at Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum to a position with the BBC. Now his humorous 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 comedian!). 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?

Archived Comments

Just want to say thanks to all who still have fond memories of my brother Ali Abbasi, please don’t stop sending in emails it keep me going, I miss him every day I can still hear his laughter he had a real crazy laughter filled with joy n happiness. I see his pictures everyday going down the stairs saying good morning to him n going upstairs saying goodnight, and I swear he is smiling at me with a twinkle in his eyes its the only thing that keeps me from going insane holding on to that wee hope knowing that we will meet again as a family along with dad n my elder brother Reno….. Call me crazy only somebody who has lost a loved one will know the pain of losing somebody who you loved dearly and grew up with, I don’t think I really grieved for Ali I didn’t have time I was too busy helping my other younger brothers, mum, and my twin daughters to keep it together……. I wrote Ali Abbasi our memories as my way of grieving for my beloved wee brother, if you haven’t already have a copy , order one the proceeds go to Teenage Cancer Trust,Thank You, May God Rest His Soul in Peace……………Mussie xx
Mussie Abbasi Harrison | Wed Mar 16 2011

I see that you have a lot of comments about the Abbasi family here well I want to add another one I’ve ordered a Little Book of Fairy Tales written by Celine Abbasi Harrison and I was wondering if she was related to the Abbasi clan its written with a lot of talent for a 11 year old child and it made a great gift for my 7 yrs old niece she loved it, all I can is well done Celine you are inspiration to all young and old specially when the money from it is going to Teenage Cancer Trust. thank you Celine……… Farhan
Farhan Hussain | Sun Feb 07 2010

still dearly missed by all his friends in Skye who still have many fond memories
allan | Sun Oct 11 2009

knew his family for long time great chap dearly missed khalil’s @ botanics
khalil’s | Wed Nov 30 2005

my uncle mono you were really a great uncle. I still laugh at the photo of you holding me for the first time. with my head on the one side and with your mouth open as if you were going to put my haed in your mouth.I also remember you throwing the chappatti in the air and catching it in your mouth,and then bursting out laughing me and Sophia and Shreen laughing along with you.I know God is good to you because you proberly making him laugh as well because you were a very cheerful, loving, caring, man and you cheer everybody up. I remember you as the happy uncle always telling us funny jokes and making us smile I love and miss you uncle Mono,God Bless You all my love your loving youngest niece Celine 8yrs old
mussie abbasi harrison | Tue Nov 08 2005

I knew Ali like an uncle and he was a a really good person. He had a heart of gold and he would help anyone. Im glad i got to know him pretty well and he showed me what a good uncle should be like.
shahid anwar | Fri Aug 12 2005

Ali Abbasi sadly died on the 30th July 2004 age 42 Ali birthday date is 6th August Ali came from Karachi Pakistan as a baby in his mother arms in 1961 Ali`s birth name is Ali Qamar Abbasi Qamar means the Moon I’m sure everybody who knew him would agree to saying that Ali brightened everyone`s lives up with laughter,joy,fun,and friendship. Mussie Abbasi Harrison
mussie abbasi harrison | Thu Jan 20 2005

Ali as the world knew him was known to me and my family as Mono who was a perfect,loving,intelligent,talented,happy young man.A very precious son and brother.A special uncle to nieces Sophia and Shreen and a very good friend to all he met. A great character he had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. Mono was a brother in a million and very giving he made time to write 2joke books and a cookery book for charity. Ali(Mono)was a BBC BROADCASTER WHO WAS ONE OF THE VOICES OF SCOTLAND.From the moment Ali Abbasi passed away a famous voice of Scotland was silenced.Ali was Scotland’s first Gaelic speaking champion which we will always be proud off.Ali would take the shirt off his back if he knew it would keep somebody eles warm.Ali would walk into a room with quite grumpy people crack a few jokes,laugh along as he told them and leave the room lit up and full of laughing people drying their eyes.Ali came into this world crying,bringing tears of joy to our eyes and left this world smiling bringing tears of sorrow, sadness, and unhappiness to our eyes.From the moment I wake up to minute I go back to bed my body suffers terribly from pain I suffer from sciatica which attacks the outer side of the leg and foot.The sciatica nerve is the biggest nerve in the body which makes it very difficult for me to walk or stand up without suffering pain. Painkillers can ease this pain for a while. But the pain I am suffering at losing my brother? No painkillers in the world can ease that pain!The pain of losing my brother is constantly in my heart.I have thought of and cried for my brother every single day since the day he left us.A big hollow space has been left in my live which can never be filled.Ali(mono)was a happy fun loving man who loved playing jokes on his family and friends.Ali always had the last laugh he’ll be looking down on us and laughing at us, telling jokes and playing pranks with our Dad and his friend Kenny. Ali(Mono) my brother,uncle to Sophia,Shreen,Celine,and great uncle to Anais,son to my mum Fatima,and a great friend to your colleagues you might have left this world but you’ll never be far from our minds and heart. GOD BLESS YOU WE ALL LOVE AND MISS YOU ALI(MONO) All my love till we meet again your loving one and only sister Mussie xxxxxxx
mussie abbasi harrison | Thu Jan 20 2005

Myself and my daughter Anais miss our daily visit with Mono. I still can’t believe my sweet uncle is no longer with us,I miss him terribly.He was and always will be one in a million.Anais (age 3)asked me “mummy is my uncle mono in his house, is he in my house?” I replied he was everywhere now, to which she asked “is he away to the shops then” Later that day she firmly stated “my uncle mono’s in the wind becuase he’s an angel now!” That he truly was.All my love always your adoring neice Shreen & your’re cheeky wee great neice Anais xoxoxox
Shreen Abbasi | Thu Aug 26 2004

I just wanted to say how proud I am of my uncle he was a great guy and I miss him so much. But one thing is for sure he touched alot of hearts and will remain there forever, he will not be forgotten in a hurry. Rest in peace my sweet uncle Love Always Sophia xxx
Sophia Abbasi | Fri Aug 13 2004

I was in England when I heard of Ali’s death. I tried to explain to that he was a Scottish Travel Reporter, from Pakistan who spoke Gaelic and told jokes and was always laughing. I couldn’t quite get over to my English friends what he really meant to the Scottish. He’s that mate you always want for company.
Sophie | Wed Aug 11 2004

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One response to “Local Characters in Glasgow’s West End: Ali Abbasi: Radio Scotland Travel Desk”

  1. Maggie Wood says:

    Just having some lovely recollections of my time working with Ali when I worked at the RAC PR Department and he was at the BBC.
    He was quirky and hilarious and I still laugh out loud when I remember his really bad jokes, and the joy with which he told them. Oh and his rigorous honesty too!
    I spent a couple of Hogmanays with him in the BBC OB van at the M74 services, doing live crosses and watching cars head into Scotland for celebrations as the sun came up. He was as kind and charming with the ladies serving us rolls and sausage as he was with government ministers.
    I didn’t know him for very long, but his joy certainly continues to light up my life,and I’m sure many others. Wherever you are, Ali, thanks mate.

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