Outlander fans told they are 'not a clan'

The success of Outlander, starring Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe, has been a boon to Scottish tourism with the show attracting legions of fans to the Highlands and beyond. PIC: Sony Television/Starz.
The success of Outlander, starring Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe, has been a boon to Scottish tourism with the show attracting legions of fans to the Highlands and beyond. PIC: Sony Television/Starz.
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Their passion for all things tartan, romance and Jacobite runs as deep as a Highland glen.

But now fans of the smash hit time travelling drama Outlander have lost their bid to be recognised as a Scottish clan.

Fan group Heughlians, set up in honour of the show's lead actor, Sam Heughan, have been turned down in their attempt to join the Association of Highland Clans and Societies, according to reports.

Graeme Mackenzie, chairman of the clan group, said an approach had been made by the fans group to join the organisation, a report in The Times said.

READ MORE: Outlander: The real Highlanders of North Carolina
Mr Mackenzie said: "We were sounded out about what we would think about 'Clan Outlander' joining the association.

"However, they are not a clan and, I'm afraid, the idea that they would be able to join is a non-starter."

READ MORE: Diana Gabaldon on superfans, whisky and the miracle of Outlander
Mr Mackenzie stressed that the fans would still be very welcome to join the association in their tent at Inverness Highland Games, the newspaper said.

He added: "They come dressed in their costumes and are a big attraction.

"We put them between the Mackenzie and the Frasers, which are the two clans which feature most prominently in the series."

Mr Mackenzie said that American fans of the show sometimes struggled the distinguish between fiction and reality, the newspaper reported.

But he added: "It's a great boost to tourism, so we can't complain too much."

Numerous businesses in the Highlands, as well as other parts of Scotland where the show is filmed, have felt the 'Outlander effect' on their takings.

Such is the impact of the show on tourism, Visit Scotland is working out the value of the series to the economy.

The television series, which is shown on Amazon Prime, is based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon.

The writer has sold some 35 million copies worldwide.