With the romance of Valentine’s Day in the air, it’s time to take your pick of Scotland’s suavest, fittest men and our most enterprising, alluring women – all of whom can surely want for nothing, except a significant other, writes Ruth Walker
1 Chris Millington, 23
Scouted on the streets of London last April, Millington was immediately thrust into the world of fashion. At the same time he was applying to join the police. He has shot for brands such as River Island, Gap and Topman, and is brand ambassador for Ruffians barbers and Fudge Urban hair supplies. He has now branched out into menswear design, and his clothing supply company Alaska will launch later this year. His loves include good food, watching films and drinking banana milkshakes.
2 Hugh Fulton, 50
International elections consultant
A self-proclaimed international man of mystery, this former tank commander managed Kosovo’s first multi-level election, facilitated the Serbian presidential elections in Kosovo and was responsible for the elections in western Afghanistan in 2005. A failed auditioner for The Weakest Link – and proud of it – he helped inspire Gillian Philip’s latest novel, Bloodstone. Phew!
3 Scott Brash, 28
The Olympian from Peebles, above, will probably never be allowed to forget his London 2012 soundbite. Asked how he thought the gold medal might change his life, he quipped: “Hopefully it will help me pull more women.” But Brash isn’t really that brash; a first encounter reveals a thoughtful, down-to-earth, even shy sportsman, totally dedicated to showjumping and horses. He spends longer in equine than in human company, and admits: “My horses are my best friends for sure – they’re all I know.”
4 Blair Bowman, 23
Whisky ambassador and entrepreneur
Bowman’s passion for whisky began in 2008 when he co-founded a whisky society while studying for an MA in hispanic studies at the University of Aberdeen. In 2011 he took that a step further by creating World Whisky Day, which celebrates Scotland’s national drink. Bowman, right, splits his time between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, but his world view goes much further than these shores, and he speaks Mandarin, Spanish and French.
5 Dòl Eoin MacKinnon, 28
Originally from the Hebridean island of Scalpay, MacKinnon is now based in Glasgow. An in-demand performer in the Scottish music scene, as part of the band Macanta, he is also an award-winning actor, filmmaker and photographer.
6 Paul James Corrigan, 30
Lanarkshire-born Corrigan turned to acting in his twenties, after quitting his job in a Hamilton cake factory and overcoming a stutter to pursue his dream. Now he plays one of River City’s most loved characters, former-junkie-turned-good-guy Stevie Burns. He toured the US, Australia and Toronto with Black Watch, and starred in the comedy series Gary Tank Commander. This year he starts work on the independent film IQ You, about a man trying to make himself more attractive by stealing people’s intelligence.
7 Chris Hunt, 37
Founder and owner, Scotland Re:Designed
A passionate champion of all things Scottish, Hunt travels several times a week, working all over the UK and internationally on events, launches and exhibitions, often with a celebrity or two on board. In the spare time he doesn’t have, he is also shirt sponsor and firm supporter of Scotland’s gay rugby team, the Caledonian Thebans. A great lover of travel, his trips involve hitchhiking, parasailing and kayaking.
8 Michael Jamieson, 25
Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer
Glasgow-born swimmer Jamieson became the new star of British swimming following his stunning silver medal at his first Olympic Games, London 2012. It took a world record to get the gold. He is an athlete ambassador for the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games and has even turned his hand – and fit bod – to modelling for St Andrews luxury clothing brand Tom Morris.
9 Kyles Dignall, 39
With Villager, Dragonfly and The Voodoo Rooms, Dignall has helped Edinburgh stand out in the UK bar scene over the past ten years. Ask him nicely and he might even mix you a banoffee martini. An accomplished DJ and drummer, his old rock band Plum Duff has recently reformed and is enjoying a lively revival. Other loves include a fetching line in snakeskin footwear, and he claims to have run over a million metres in less than two years. His ideal date? Dinner at Rhubarb then a Whitesnake gig.
10 Jason Wright, 27
Head chef, Steak
Before moving to the newly opened Steak in Edinburgh, Wright worked in the kitchens at the city’s Ondine, during which time he represented the restaurant at Taste Of Edinburgh and on STV’s The Hour, and ran private dining events for the likes of Alex Salmond, Hamilton & Inches and Table In The Sky. His hobbies include skateboarding, snowboarding, rock climbing, hill walking and anything else outdoors and dangerous. He also has a pet hedgehog called Wolfgang. We love him already.
11 Steven McLeod, 39
Founder and chief executive, Aurora Hotel Collection
McLeod’s seven-strong luxury hotel group includes the grand Airth Castle and Glenbervie House, both in Stirlingshire. With a turnover of more than £15 million and employing 400 staff, he is one of Scotland’s most successful hotel entrepreneurs, and is known for throwing the most fabulous parties. But it’s not all 13-hour working days and conference calls – McLeod likes to give something back and is a dedicated supporter of various charities. Next month he’ll be cycling a gruelling 520km around Vietnam in aid of Help for Heroes.
12 Frankie Murray, 33
Murray started his career at Gleneagles in 2002, then moved to the Australian Gold Coast, where he combined golf coaching with learning to surf. Next was Mallorca, where he is golf professional/coach at the prestigious Golf de Andratx, where the likes of Boris Becker and Claudia Schiffer get in the swing. Being fluent in three languages helps with his clients, but it’s not all golf: he loves to travel, surf, sail and wakeboard, and when this builds up an appetite, this foodie loves to eat in Mallorca’s amazing restaurants.
13 Alan Jenkins, 27
From honing his skills at Radio Tay, Jenkins made his dream move to STV last year – his Dundee beat has seen him cover stories as varied as fighting to keep Perth City Hall standing and the arrival of four Humboldt penguins at St Andrews Aquarium. He’s now moving north to Inverness, and his supporters believe it’s just a matter of time before he’s a household name.
14 Jacob Birge, 30
Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2012, Birge’s career has rocketed. His cutting-edge designs have garnered him a client base to covet – Lady Gaga’s stylist has him on speed dial. Nominated for Young Designer of the Year at last year’s Scottish Fashion Awards, Birge has landed himself in numerous fashion bibles across Europe. Known as “the renaissance man”, he takes his level of creativity to the limit, and designing collections is just the tip of the iceberg. He writes and directs short fashion films to showcase his clothing, sculpting every visual aspect that he can. If that isn’t enough, he has also managed to squeeze in a Masters in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology in Krakow.
15 William Letford, 36
Having worked as a roofer since he was 15, Stirling-based Letford is a handy man to have around in this weather. But he’s also a thinker, and graduated from Glasgow University with an MLitt in creative writing, before publishing his first poetry collection, Bevel, in 2012. Winning the Edwin Morgan travel bursary, meanwhile, enabled him to spend three months in the mountains of northern Italy helping to restore a medieval village. That’s what we call a man o’ pairts.
16 Fraser Moodie, 22
Company assistant, 21st Century Kilts
From social media to sales, assisting on photoshoots and events, to helping with garment production, Moodie considers his “the most fabulous job in the world”. A recent trip to Monaco found him dining with none other than HSH Prince Albert and HSH Princess Charlene. Now in his fourth year at Heriot-Watt, studying fashion communication, his final major project is a magazine with the theme “How politics influences fashion and style with the Scottish independence referendum in 2014”. His ambition is to have a life like Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, and to have an assistant like Bubble.
17 Gary Lamont, 30
River City’s resident hairdresser Robbie Fraser, Lamont has also been seen on the box in productions such as Rebus and Still Game and, while studying at RSAMD, he won the prestigious Duncan MacRae Memorial Award for speaking Scots verse and prose – previously awarded to the likes of Robert Carlyle and James McAvoy. When he came out in summer last year, after his character took part in a civil partnership storyline, he was given the Inspiration Award by LGBT Youth Scotland.
18 Mark Heritage, 28
Operations supervisor, Lothian Buses
Heritage likes to live life in the fast lane (but always within the speed limit, we hope), keeping buses running on time. In his spare time he prefers two wheels, competing in motorcycle road racing at Scottish championship level. An ex-motocross and downhill mountain bike champion, he was on the Great Britain cycling team in 2003, competing in the World Championships as part of Team GB. Other hobbies include going to the gym, cycling, skiing, running and catching up with friends. They must be REALLY speedy!
19 Ben Leslie, 25
Yes Scotland campaigner
An undefeated amateur boxer in a previous life, Leslie’s day job is now running Edinburgh Leaflet Distribution. But his campaigning for Scottish independence is taking up an increasing amount of his time, as he has been working on publicity for the Yes campaign, delivering annual reports across the city. An extremely sociable person, he says his key skill is his ability to talk to anybody about anything. Leslie in five words? Ambitious, compassionate, confident, intelligent and reliable.
20 Chris White, 26
Editor, Edinburgh Whisky Blog
In demand as a commentator on all things “spiritual”, White is a member of the tasting panel at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, where he is involved in selecting the whisky that will eventually be bottled and sold. He’s a bit of a brainbox too, and juggles his work in the whisky world with studying for a PhD in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a regular participant in Movember, and his team raised more than £2,250 last year. He is currently training for his eighth marathon.
21 George Anderson, 47
Writer and charity worker
One of the small team at the charity Sistema Scotland, Anderson helped establish Venezuela’s El Sistema orchestra movement in this country, launching the Big Noise Orchestra in Raploch, Stirling, in 2008, and in Glasgow’s Govanhill last year. But he doesn’t just transform the lives of children through music, he’s also a talented writer, and was a finalist in the Scotland on Sunday Macallan short story competition. His story was made into one of the last Tartan Short movies, winning a Scottish Bafta. We’re told he also looks hot in his kilt.
22 Graeme Probert, 27
Senior chef de partie, Cafe St Honoré, Edinburgh
When he’s not cooking or practising his butchery skills, you might find Probert up a mountain. Nevis to be precise. He’s also walked the West Highland Way and run a few marathons in his time, but that doesn’t stop him enjoying a bit of a lazy Sunday either – a trip to the cinema followed by a pint or two in the pub is his perfect recipe to unwind. He’s planning a trip to Australia in the near future, so better snap him up before the ladies down under get their paws on him.
23 Rob Murray, 24
Head of grassroots, Better Together
Recently single, Murray is a classy gent who longs for a companion. An enthusiastic conversationalist with a fondness for fine wine and even finer clothing, he’s a confident campaigner with a bubbly personality, looking to form a strong union. Geddit?
24 Andrew Gourlay, 31
Customer services and logistics manager, Innis & Gunn
The company’s first ever employee, Gourlay has been with I&G since 2008. He’s not afraid of a challenge, and has completed the Mighty Deerstalker race four times, once in a sumo suit. He tells us he’s pretty handy round the house – ie knows a Phillips from a slotted screwdriver – enjoys baking and is writing a book (part autobiography, part insight into male psychology). Activities include rock climbing and hillwalking, and he does a magic funky worm.
25 Robin Richmond, 35
Managing director, 8 Million Stories
A digital marketing whizz, Richmond represents brands such as the BBC, Glenfiddich and lastminute.com, but in his early days he moonlighted as a semi-professional poker player. In fact, he still heads out to Las Vegas every year for the World Series of Poker in June. He has run a marathon, stayed awake for four days and is currently training to cycle a BMX to the Highlands in under 48 hours. Oh, and he has what he would describe as “an unhealthy amount of trainers”. That’s 78 pairs and counting.