Alex Salmond’s ‘Solero girl’ identified at last

Then-SNP leader Alex Salmond with Kate Adamson, the so-called 'Solero girl'. Picture: Donald Macleod/TSPL
Then-SNP leader Alex Salmond with Kate Adamson, the so-called 'Solero girl'. Picture: Donald Macleod/TSPL
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The identity of a woman to whom former first minister Alex Salmond was famously pictured feeding a Solero ice cream has finally been revealed.

Kate Adamson, who lives in Australia, has now been identified as the “Solero girl” in the 1999 photograph that has gone viral after resurfacing on irreverent website Buzzfeed.

The picture has been a political talking point in recent months and inspired a copycat picture involving Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson a few weeks ago.

So how did 33-year-old Ms Adamson, who now lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter in Melbourne, come to have the photo taken with the former SNP leader?

Then 17, she recalls going to Stirling University with her father, who was campaigning for the Nationalists in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999. There, she was approached by a photographer who asked if she would be willing to have her picture taken with Mr Salmond.

One of the photographers produced an ice lolly, and in her words, the “Solero girl was born”. She says: “The photographer said they needed someone wearing white – I’m not sure why or if that was even true. They asked me to stand near the tree and lots of photographers were shouting.

“At the time I thought it was amusing as I couldn’t even vote… It was definitely a lesson for me in trusting the media and not believing everything you read or see online or in the papers. It taught me how news can be manipulated.”

Ms Adamson, originally from Hamilton, says she has mixed feelings about the reaction to the photograph since it caught the imagination of thousands online, leading to a series of Solero-based jokes, with some of the most senior politicians in the land getting in on the act.

She adds: “Of course I can see the funny side of the picture but I think its recent resurfacing has given me a new perspective, as I’m older now and have a daughter I am concerned about how women are portrayed in the media.

“Some of the comments made online about it are misogynistic, sexist and aggressive, which is unnerving but sadly not surprising. It is unusual to have strangers make assumptions about me from one photograph.”

However, it has not put her off supporting the SNP.