director and writer


Tina and Bobby starts this Friday

Behind every great man… is a world-class defender! Michelle Keegan and Lorne Macfadyean star in the three-part miniseries, directed by John McKay, starting this Friday in the UK on ITV1 at 9pm.


Watch the trailer here


Introducing 1745

imageJohn McKay makes his debut as producer with 1745, a New Talent Short recently commissioned by the Scottish Film Talent Network. Written by Morayo Akande, and directed by BAFTA Scholar Gordon Napier, 1745 tells the harrowing story of two African slave sisters who escape into the wilderness of 18th century Scotland…

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Wrapping on TINA AND BOBBY












Director John McKay wound up in the ocean last week on wrapping 3 hour miniseries TINA AND BOBBY with Michelle Keegan and Lorne McFadyean…




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John McKay is to write the screenplay of a major new ROBERT BURNS biopic for Lionsgate UK via Gerard Butler and Alan Seigel’s G-BASE and Vadim Jean’s The Mob companies… A rollicking and scandalous tale of the poet’s time in the scottish capital Edinburgh at the height of the Age of Reason, the movie seems ideal for a handsome scots star in his prime…

Ordinary Lies Rocks the Ratings!









Michelle Keegan grabbed the nation’s attention in a breakout serious drama performance as Tracy, a young party girl out of her depth – putting on half a million viewers from week one, and prompting The Independent to say: “Keegan holds your attention for every single moment of this episode. Ordinary Lies is one of those rare shows where you really don’t know what to expect – this drama will definitely keep you on your toes.”

ORDINARY LIES starts tonight BBC1 9pm

624Award-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst’s latest portrait of very human failings and evasions debuts tonight on the UK’s biggest channel for drama.

The stellar ensemble cast, including  Jason Manford, Michelle Keegan, Max Beesley, Jo Joyner, Sally Lindsey and McKenzie Crook worked with director John McKay to present the daily lives and loves of a used car showroom in the North. Like a used car, our lives may be shiny on the surface, but what lies beneath?

Opening episode sees troubled salesman MARTY (Jason Manford) impulsively tell a lie to avoid dismissal. He expects terrible and immediate consequences. But the thing is, his life actually starts to get better, and he begins to enjoy the benefits his big lie has brought him…




photoShooting wraps on the premiere episodes of ORDINARY LIES, an intriguing new 9pm drama from Red productions for BBC1, written by Danny Brocklehurst and starring Michelle Keeghan, Jason Manford and McKenzie Crook – with a host of others.


John McKay and STICK selected for EIFF New Talent

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 12.34.42John McKay extends his work as a writer-producer, bringing his US-set horror-thriller script to EIFF as part of the New Talent Lab 2014, which taps up-and-comers for pairing with experienced partners and mentors on promising feature projects.

For more info and other participants see here

Victory for Scotland!

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.31.56Powerhouse 2-part BBC documentary The Quest for Bannockburn is previewing now ahead of its UK tx on 2nd and 9th of June – with epic battle scenes directed by John McKay and amazing post-FX from Glasgow coders Once Were Farmers. Catch a sneak preview of the action below:


NAHE lights up CIFF!

No photos please! Director John Mckay gambols with festival director Marcie Goodman and board president Mark Smith as Not Another Happy Ending makes its US debut in front of 2000 delighted festival goers in Cleveland

Not Another Happy Ending Opens CIFF

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Not Another Happy Ending has the honour of opening the Cleveland International Film Festival this Wednesday 19th March – see you there!




SHETLAND rocks the ratings!


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After a pilot story last year, brooding crime thriller Shetland returns to BBC1, with director John McKay drafted in to supercharge the bleak Scandi look and feel of the show ready for its first series run. Something worked, because the most remote archipelago of the UK grabbed the lion’s share of the nation’s viewers when it premiered on March 11th.

“A gripping police drama. And beautiful to look at.” said Sam Wollaston in The Guardian

Where to see NAHE from October 11th in the UK

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 22.26.45For details of where to see fabulous wee scots romcom Not Another Happy Ending from next weekend, click here – and bring a gaggle of friends!





NAHE wins UK distribution!

Following its gala debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival Not Another Happy Ending has signed a UK distribution deal with Kaleidoscope Entertainment.

The movie opens nationwide on October 11th – in what promises to be a bumper month for Scottish cinema.

Not Another Happy Ending Premieres!

The cast and crew of Not Another Happy Ending  joined Karen Gillan and Stanley Weber on the red carpet at Edinburgh’s amazing Festival Theatre on Sunday night, as the movie’s premiere gala closed the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013.

With a great response from two capacity screenings, they then went on to have a good time at the closing party – in the traditional scottish sense!

Not Another Happy Ending gets its first trailer

Headed for its world premier on June 30th, NAHE unleashes its first trailer, with storming music from soundtrack stars Huevo and the Giant and Teen Canteen

Not Another Happy Ending to close EIFF 2013!





















Just announced – breezy indie romance Not Another Happy Ending  is to receive the honour of being the closing gala film of this year Edinburgh International Film Festival…

We’ll Take Manhattan nominated for PRS Music Award

Composer Kevin Sargent’s elegant, swingin’ jazz score for We’ll Take Manhattan has been given the big nod from the PRS for their awards on 21st February – congratulations to the man!

We’ll Take Manhattan wins Prix Europa

In Berlin this weekend We’ll Take Manhattan scooped the award for Best European Drama at the Prix Europa 2012. Congratulations and many thanks to all involved in making this special film the success it has become!

We’ll Take Manhattan nominated for Prix Europa

John McKay’s drama about the love affair between David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton has been nominated for a Prix Europa – the Emmy of Europe – in the Best Tv Drama category. The winners will be announced in Berlin on 27th October.

Not Another Happy Ending ends happily

After a very happy whirlwind shoot in extremely sunny Glasgow, Not Another Happy Ending has wrapped principal photography and entered post. Stars Karen Gillan and Stanley Weber had a great time on the movie – now the the difficulty is choosing which of their wildest scenes to include in the cut…

Shooting starts on Not Another Happy Ending

Shooting started this week on scottish indie comedy Not Another Happy Ending – with Glasgow blazed in uncharacteristic sunshine – and a lot of boho chic minimalist decor. Here director John McKay and star Karen Gillan confer on set…


Stanley Weber joins Not Another Happy Ending

























As Not Another Happy Ending begins official prep for a late July shoot, news that hotshot French actor Stanley Weber has joined the cast as co-lead opposite Karen Gillan has set the pulse of scottish womanhood racing…

LAST CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ON INDIEGOGO! – go snap up some fantastic movie treats and perks here


Not Another Happy Ending in your pocket!

Among the first wave of treats for early supporters of the upcoming Scottish romantic indie movie’s Indiegogo campaign is this handsome iPhone skin – who is that red-haired girl hiding her talent under a brolly? Is she calling you?

Click here to connect with the campaign and give young Scottish hot-shots Karen Gillan and Emun Elliott their first movie leads!