Irvine Welsh

1958 -

Author and playwright. Born in Leith, Welsh has a reputation as a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, ex-heroin addict. Having left school as soon as he could, he held down a series of jobs, including TV repairman, kitchen porter, training officer for Edinburgh Council, property speculator, DJ and musician. He later studied for an MBA at Heriot-Watt University.

His first novel, Trainspotting (1993), explores the dark-side of Edinburgh never seen by tourists, examining a culture based on unemployment, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse. Welsh came to international prominence following the Oscar-winning film made from this book in 1996. Shot mostly in Glasgow, Trainspotting starred Ewan MacGregor (b.1971) and Welsh himself in a cameo role.

Welsh's other novels include best-seller The Acid House (1994), Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995), Ecstasy (1996), Filth (1998), Porno (2002), The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs (2006), If You Liked School You'll Love Work (2007) and Crime (2008). His first play Headstate was followed by You'll Have Had Your Hole. Welsh writes occasional newspaper articles and has made a documentary for Channel 4 television.

Welsh's income in 1998 exceeded £1 million, making him one of Scotland's best-paid authors. He now lives in London, but maintains a home in Edinburgh's New Town.

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