Irvine Welsh’s ‘Filth’ inspiration was a council employee

FilthIrvine Welsh has revealed that an Edinburgh City Council employee was the inspiration for his controversial book Filth.

Quizzed about the thought-process behind his 1998 book, which was adapted into a film in 2013 by Jon S. Baird and starring James McAvoy, Welsh said: ‘I worked in Edinburgh Council and there was a crazy guy who hated the world. He hated his bosses, and his subordinates. I thought: make him a cop, then he can do some real damage. There is always a lot of stuff in the papers about dodgy coppers, because it’s far damaging than dodgy council workers.’

The novel depicts the life of vice-addled detective sergeant Bruce Robertson, one of the most corrupt, misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction, and his involvement in a racially-motivated murder in Edinburgh. However, the book predominantly focuses on Robertson’s addition to drugs, sex and alcohol.