A Scot who spent last Christmas working at a Covid-19 test centre is celebrating this festive season as his TV series goes down a storm on Amazon Prime Video.
Stephen Arthur, 31, tested locals at a disused bingo hall in Greenock, Inverclyde on December 25 last year.
His TV series, Weegies, was yet to be released as pandemic-related delays left cast and crew working other jobs, desperate to make ends meet.
Weegies follows the lives of Steve and George, played by Stephen and George Charles Stewart, 30, as hapless actors trying to make it in Glasgow.
Streaming giants Amazon Prime picked up the show and released it in August.
It’s been a roaring success so far, reaching over 200,000 households as far away as Australia, the US and Canada in just a few months.
Nobody is as shocked as Stephen, who created, acted and co-wrote the series with Matthew Joseph-Campbell, 26, who plays Paul.
The thespian from Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire told the Record: “Last Christmas I was lucky to have my health and employment at the test centre, but it was still a worrying time.
“Weegies had so many post-production delays with the pandemic, we just didn’t know when we would get it out.
“Money out of our own pockets had gone into Weegies, a lot was riding on it.
“To look back this festive season at how far we’ve come is brilliant.”
He added: “Weegies’ success has been amazing but also really surprising.
“We submitted the series to Amazon Prime, not knowing at all if it would get picked up. When it did we couldn’t believe it.
“To think people in Australia and the US have watched it and enjoyed it is unbelievable, considering they probably watched with subtitles.
“It makes all the hard work worth it.”
Weegies was made independently, and the production process took cast and crew around four years.
“I’m grateful for our naivety towards it all back then,” Stephen added.
“We’d be filming through the night all over Greater Glasgow, mainly using the east end of the city and Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
“Matthew and I would be acting, but also running to a local farmfoods for catering supplies then cooking, cleaning, the whole lot.
“It was a lot of work but the team were brilliant and it all paid off.”
Steven and George’s story of trying to make it as actors in ways mirrors the journey of Stephen and other cast members own lives.
“We all worked other jobs while filming Weegies, I was in a karaoke bar,” Stephen said.
“One was a tour guide, another worked in a call centre, another for a water company, you couldn’t have met a more different bunch.
“The past year and a half has been so difficult for the industry so it’s nice for our families and friends to see what we’ve been up to and that it was all worth it.”
The crew are now ready to start creating a second series and work has already begun to find a production firm to take Weegies 2.0 into the new year.
Head to Amazon Prime Video to stream the full series.
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