Comedian Isla Nelson, 3, named one of Scotland's most inspiring women

A three-year-old girl who has become an online sensation with her verdicts on politics and current affairs has been named one of Scotland's most inspiring young women.

Isla Nelson
Isla Nelson

Isla Nelson has notched up nearly 100 million views with her series “News at 3” for BBC Scotland’s Facebook page.

The short videos she has made with her father Mark, a stand-up comedian, have earned her a place on a new “30 under 30” list.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Glaswegian toddler has tackled the general election, the American presidential race, celebrity culture, Valentine’s Day and Easter in her shows.

She won two major accolades, best actress and best online show, at the Scottish Comedy Awards in August, which saw her honoured alongside the likes of Frankie Boyle and Still Game.

Now she has been named alongside a prosthetics designer, a junior doctor, a football referee, a filmmaker and a professional wrestler as one of the nation’s new role models.

Among the high-profile names on the list, compiled by The Young Women’s Movement, a feminist campaign group, are Harry Potter star Katie Leung, singer Emeli Sande and Alice Thompson, co-founder of the social enterprise Social Bite.

The “30 under 30” list, which was launched last year after the group’s own research highlighted a lack of role models for youngScottish women, is drawn from public nominations. A different inspiring woman from the list will be featured every day in November on The Young Women’s Movement blog and social media channels.

Last year’s list included Amaz Azzudin and Roza Salih, two founders of the Glasgow Girls campaign against the treatment of asylum seekers, Mhairi Black, the youngest ever MP, actress Sharon Rooney, singer Lauren Mayberry and Great British Bake-Off finalist Flora Shedden.

The initial list of nominees also featured Cherry Campbell, the star of the CBBC series Katie Morag, who won a Bafta Children’s Award when she was just nine, and Emma Sutherland, a teenager who wrote a book about her mother’s cancer battle.

This year’s 30 under 30 also includes two young disability campaigners – eight-year-old Naomi Gwyne, from Hamilton, who demanded her local council provide a suitable swing for her disabled brother, and 12-year-old Grace Warnock, who was behind a bid to change attitudes towards “invisible disabilities.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kara Brown, director of The Young Women’s Movement in Scotland, said: “One of the things that we’ve noticed during the work we’ve done with women under 30 and also during our own research is that that they cannot think of many young Scottish role models.

“There seems to be a real gap when it comes to being aware of what young women are doing, who to look up to, and also who to even talk to for mentoring and support. It’s really important that we show that it is not just women in their twenties who are doing interesting things. When you are younger you have no inhibitions. You have not been told that you cannot do something and are not worried about stereotypes.

“Isla has already gained so much attention with her online videos. She is so young and people have been really inspired by that.”