Full list of Spirit of Scotland Award nominees

Picture: William Grant & Sons
Picture: William Grant & Sons
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The nominees for The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland 2013 Awards can be found here. The list will be updated over the coming weeks as more nominees are profiled in the Scotsman’s Weekendlife magazine.



Eilidh Child


Perthshire-born 400m hurdles specialist Eilidh Child made it to the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics and has been enjoying a remarkable season this year. 2013 saw Child claim a silver medal in the 400m flat at the indoor European Championships in Gothenburg. This was followed with a gold in the 4x400m relay and a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Moscow. Child will compete in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where she hopes to win a gold for Scotland in the 400m hurdles.

Andy Murray

Tennis Player

Dunblane-born Andy Murray needs little introduction. Murray has been ranked as one of the world’s best tennis players since 2007 and currently holds the world number four spot. His 2012 Olympic Gold and first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year seemed tough acts to follow, but Murray rose to the challenge. On 7 July, in an unforgettable sporting moment he won his first Wimbledon championship and became the first male British Wimbledon champion in 77 years and the second Scot in history to achieve this accolade.

Ryan Mania


Since Ryan Mania was a young boy riding his first Shetland pony it has been his dream to race in the Grand National. On the morning of 6 April, 2013 Mania, his dad, girlfriend and his agent drove from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders to Liverpool for his first ride in the Grand National at Aintree. He had the choice of horses from trainer Sue Smith’s Yorkshire-based yard, Mr Moonshine and Auroras Encore. He opted for Auroras Encore and the rest is history. Mania became the first Grand National-winning jockey from Scotland in living memory.


Bill Nixon

Maven Capital Partners

Maven Capital Partners is one of the UK’s leading private equity businesses and manages the Scottish Loan Fund, providing finance to SMEs that have difficulty accessing more traditional forms of bank funding. Bill Nixon is the principal fund manager for the Maven-managed Venture Capital Trusts with overall responsibility for all aspects of the Maven business. With more than 30 years’ experience in banking, corporate finance and fund management, he is one of the most experienced smaller company private equity practitioners in the UK.

Joe Frankel


Joe Frankel founded Edinburgh’s Vegware, the only compostable packaging firm operating globally. Unlike conventional disposables, Vegware’s low-carbon coffee cups, tableware and cutlery can simply be recycled with food waste. Vegware started in Frankel’s Morningside garage in 2008. Now employing a UK team of 30, it has enjoyed 15-fold growth in five years. Officially the UK’s best small business, Vegware won the Scottish Green Awards and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development 2013.

Gareth Williams


Gareth Williams is founder and CEO of Skyscanner, one of the world’s leading travel search sites. Skyscanner receives over 60 million visits a month and its flight search app has been downloaded over 25 million times. Headquartered in Edinburgh, it is a truly international business, employing more than 250 people and over 35 different nationalities across its five global offices. Not content with building the best flight search product in the world, Skyscanner has a clear ambition to become the world’s leading travel search site.

Lewis Family


Located in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the Lewis family business Mhor includes Monachyle Mhor Hotel and Farm, Mhor Bread, Mhor Fish and new addition, Mhor 84 Motel. Tom and Lisa Lewis, Tom’s brother Dick and his partner Mhairi Taylor (Café Delzique) joined forces in 2013 to open Mhor 84, the perfect pit stop on the A84. With a £10,000 capital budget, they transformed a dated roadside hotel into a value-for-money stopping place with bar, restaurant and low cost rooms aimed at people on the move.


JK Rowling

(AKA Robert Galbraith) author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy. Introducing war veteran turned private investigator, Cormoran Strike, The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first crime novel written under the pseudonym and was published in April 2013 to critical acclaim. It has gone on to become a No 1 bestseller. JK Rowling will continue to write further books as Robert Galbraith. She has recently finished writing the second, which is due to be published some time next year.

William Dalrymple, historian/author

William Dalrymple is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and Nine Lives. He has won numerous accolades, including the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In his latest work, Return of a King, he re-tells a history which resonates today and reads like a novel. Using previously undiscovered Afghan sources, Dalrymple exposes the full picture of Britain’s disastrous adventure in Afghanistan in 1839 when British forces invaded the country for the first time.

David Greig, playwright

David Greig is an award-winning Scottish playwright. His work has been performed at all the major theatres in Britain, including the Traverse, Royal Court, National Theatre and the RSC, and has been produced around the world. In June this year the stage musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written by Greig and with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, opened at the Drury Lane Theatre, London. His 2013 Edinburgh Fringe play The Events is currently on tour, as is Dunsinane, his sequel to Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

William McIlvanney, author

William McIlvanney, born in 1936, is an award-winning writer of novels, short stories, poetry and journalism and is often described as the father of Tartan Noir. This year he is enjoying a revival of interest in his work with Canongate’s re-publication of his Laidlaw trilogy, which has led to him extensively touring Scotland and England.

He has also recorded an audio version of one of his books – Laidlaw and set up personaldispatches.com, “a haphazard autobiography of thought and feeling on experience both personal and public”.


Peter Mullan, actor/director

Peter Mullan is a renowned actor and filmmaker notable for roles in films including Trainspotting and My Name is Joe and as the director of Orphans, The Magdalene Sisters and Neds. In 2013 Mullan starred as Matt Mitcham in the New Zealand-set mini-series Top of The Lake. The acclaimed show earned Mullan Best Supporting Actor nominations for the Critics’ Choice TV Awards and Emmy Awards in the US. He also stars in new movie Sunshine on Leith based on the stage musical written by Stephen Greenhorn and featuring the songs of The Proclaimers.

Kate Dickie, actor

Kate Dickie is an award-winning actress notable for Scottish-based independent films such as Red Road (Best Actress: BIFA, BAFTA Scotland and Montreal; UK Shooting Star, Berlin) and For Those in Peril (highly acclaimed at Cannes and Edinburgh film festivals 2013) as well as international film and TV productions Game of Thrones, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Now is Good, The Pillars of the Earth and the BBC’s Five Daughters. She also stars in Filth, By Any Means and The Escape Artist. Kate is also patron of the Renfrewshire Women’s Association.

Claire Mundell, producer

Claire Mundell is an acclaimed producer whose credits include Not Another Happy Ending starring Karen Gillan, (closing film of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013); BIFA-winning Weekend; and BAFTA Scotland-winning Crying with Laughter. Current projects include Rise, starring Ben Whishaw; psychological thriller The Devil’s Staircase; and Marianna Palka’s new project, Glasgow Kiss. Alongside film, Claire develops TV drama with and for the BBC. She was formerly a senior manager at BBC Scotland and is Chair of BAFTA Scotland.

Paul Wright, director

Paul Wright has directed several multi-award-winning shorts including Hikikomori which received a Scottish BAFTA, Believe which won a Golden Leopard for Best International short at the Locarno Film Festival, and Until the River Runs Red, awarded a BAFTA in 2010 for best short film. He has recently completed his first feature film For Those in Peril which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Set in a remote Scottish village, the film follows Aaron, a disturbed young man wracked with guilt for surviving the shipwreck that killed his brother.


Michael Smith, The Three Chimneys

Michael Smith, chef/director of renowned restaurant The Three Chimneys on Skye has represented Scotland, its hospitality and its exceptional natural larder many times. In the past 12 months the Inverness-born chef has showcased Scottish gastronomy in London, New York, Toronto and Monte Carlo. In 2013 Michael also became the first Scottish chef in seven years to win the BBC’s hugely popular Great British Menu. His ethnic African-influenced main course was judged to be the perfect interpretation of the Red Nose Day-inspired brief.

Ian Baird & Tommy Dale Knowes Farm Shop

Tommy and Ian took over Knowes Farm Shop in East Lothian in October last year with the dream of supplementing its free-range eggs, home-grown vegetables and preserves with produce from their own farms and friends to create a real food hub. The shop now boasts a live shellfish tank stocked with lobster and brown crab caught by Tommy’s dad and a game fridge for pheasant, partridge, wigeon and teal shot by friend Neil. A cheese counter, Pick Your Own Veg and Soup-in-a-Bag are some of the successful additions to the shop.

Tony Singh, chef/presenter

The irrepressible Tony Singh, an established star of the Scottish restaurant scene, has had an extraordinary year. Already a popular guest on The Great British Menu, he joined the show again in 2013, before pairing up with his old friend and fellow chef Cyrus Todiwala as The Incredible Spice Men and embarking on a mission to spice up some of Britain’s favourite dishes. This immensely popular BBC2 prime time series has been hailed as truly original programming, and is accompanied by a best-selling cook book.

Dale Mailley & Edward Murray The Gardener’s Cottage

Co-owned by chefs Dale Mailley and Edward Murray, The Gardener’s Cottage opened in Edinburgh in July 2012 to acclaim from leading critics and guide books. Committed to creating and serving excellent food using the best local produce, while nurturing sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and producers, the focus is on seasonal cooking and social dining. A six course set menu is served in the evenings, lunch is à la carte and brunch is served at weekends.


Gordon Buchanan, cameraman/presenter

Originally from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scottish wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan has spent the last 20 years promoting conservation through filming the animals that share our planet. His passion for raising awareness of the world’s endangered species and habitats, has led him to participate in expeditions around the globe. Recent projects include the BBC documentary series The Polar Bear Family and Me, broadcast earlier this year, which followed a wild polar bear family over three seasons in the Arctic.

Emma Cooper, forest manager, Bute Forest

In 2010 the residents of the island of Bute were involved in a successful community buy-out of Rhubodach Forest, with the aim of seeing this special piece of land managed for community and environmental benefit. In late 2011, Emma Cooper became project manager, overseeing improvements to the forest, including native species planting. New recreational and educational opportunities have been established and jobs created, including a new forester-run sawmill where native timber is processed into sheds, fences and furniture.

Sandy Boyd Wormit, Hedgehog Care Centre

Started in 1994 by Sandy Boyd, assisted by Alice, his wife, Wormit is a voluntary and self-funded care centre based in Fife for sick, injured, orphaned and abandoned hedgehogs. Of the 33 hedgehogs in its care last winter, only one was lost. All the others were returned healthy back into safe environments. The centre plays an active role in helping future generations learn about the environmental issues facing the hedgehog population, which is in severe decline with numbers across the UK down by more than a third in the last decade.

Gordon & Lorna Milton, Élan Hair Design

Based in Inverurie in the north-east of Scotland, Élan Hair Design is an ultra-modern hairdressing business labelled ‘the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon’. The family-run company has flourished since completing a ‘green’ refurbishment project, with significant increases in turnover and customer numbers. Committed to cutting its carbon emissions by 90 per cent and reducing waste sent to landfill by 95 per cent, Élan is on track to meet both targets this year. It has 32 national award nominations and 11 wins for environmental innovation in the last 12 months.


Ross Sinclair, artist

Ross Sinclair has been a stalwart of the Scottish arts scene for the past 25 years showing in almost 200 exhibitions, nationally and internationally. His major commission for the 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival, Real Life and How To Live it in Auld Reekie, flooded the city with almost 45,000 artworks ranging from billboards and posters to signs, postcards and beer mats. Sinclair has been a lecturer and research fellow at Glasgow School of Art for almost 20 years and has recently been made a reader in contemporary art.

David Shrigley, artist

David Shrigley, born in 1968, grew up in Leicester and came to Scotland in 1988 to study at Glasgow School of Art. He has lived and worked in the city ever since. Shrigley has exhibited widely in Europe and North America and his drawings have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. He has produced animated pop promos for artists such as Blur and is also the author of over 30 books of drawings. This year he was shortlisted for both the Turner Prize and the Fourth Plinth commission in Trafalgar Square.

Richard Wright, artist

Richard Wright (born London, 1960), studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art, and now lives and works in Glasgow. His oeuvre includes intricate drawings on paper to large-scale works painted directly onto walls. He has shown in solo and group exhibitions worldwide including MoMA, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Wright’s new work for the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum in 2013 consists of two ceiling paintings of more than 47,000 black stars.

Ilana Halperin, artist

Glasgow-based artist Ilana Halperin creatively explores time through rocks and minerals. Halperin is the Inaugural Artist Fellow at the National Museum of Scotland. As part of the 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival, her solo exhibition The Library presented geology in a new and remarkable light – introducing visitors to a geological alphabet through agates that share the artist’s birthday, artworks formed in caves and hot springs and her most ambitious project to date, a 1.3 ton stone library featuring ‘books’ of the mineral mica.


Django Django, band

David Maclean (drummer and producer), Vincent Neff (singer and guitarist), Jimmy Dixon (bassist) and Tommy Grace (synth) met at Edinburgh College of Art, and formed Django Django in London in 2009. The band released their first self-titled album in January 2012. Reaching No 33 in the UK album charts and earning a 2012 Mercury Music Prize nomination, the album was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year 2013. This summer Django Django performed at festivals around the world including Glastonbury and the Bonnaroo Festival, Tennessee.

Mogwai, band

Scottish post-rock band Mogwai formed in 1995 in Glasgow. The band, consisting of Dominic Aitchison, Stuart Braithwaite, Martin Bulloch, Barry Burns and John Cummings, are reaching new audiences following the screening of acclaimed French TV series, Les Revenants (The Returned). First shown in France in winter 2012, the series debuted in the UK in June on Channel 4. Mogwai composed the soundtrack and released compositions from the show on a limited-edition 10” which sold out, prior to the full soundtrack’s release.

Calvin Harris, DJ, musician, producer

Calvin Harris recently performed headline slots at some of the world’s biggest festivals including Ultra, T in the Park, Summer Sonic, EDC and Wireless along with numerous sets around the world. This December he will headline his first sold out arena tour called “Greater Than”. He is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer, who was the first DJ to win the Ivor Novello Songwriter of the Year Award. He released his Number 1 album 18 Months last October, selling over 650,000 copies in the UK alone. The album features nine UK top 10 singles.

Donald Runnicles, conductor

Donald Runnicles is Scotland’s greatest living conductor. Born and educated in Edinburgh, he is a major figure in classical music, having conducted in the world’s great opera houses and with its leading orchestras. He holds major positions in Berlin and the US and in 2009 he was appointed chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Since then it has been his mission with the BBC SSO to bring world-class concerts (with leading soloists and singers) to packed houses across Scotland, the UK and Europe.