Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson is born in Glasgow, Scotland to Campbell (a physician) and Molly (a physicist) Ferguson.
Both my grandfathers fought in wars: my father’s father fought in the first world war, where he was shot and gassed and suffered permanentlung damage, while my mother’s father fought the Japanese in Burma and contracted tuberculosis. It was my mother’s father who was the biggest influence. He was a journalist. He was the one who encouraged me to write. I used to write plays and short stories at school, giving him things I had written as Christmas presents. The relationship between us was intense. We were on the same wavelength about so many things. He had three great rules: trust no one, tell them nothing and to thine own self be true. Those were his three great principles. The west of Scotland is a tough place.
My father gave me a very strong sense of self-discipline and the moral value of work. As a doctor who worked long hours and who was dedicated to his job, he signalled to me that work was a noble thing. My mother encouraged my creative side…That combination of my father’s strict discipline and my mother’s sense that if something really valuable was to be had, then you could bend the rules a bit, was really valuable.