'Doric Dad' social media star among those honoured at Scots Language Awards

A social media star whose "Doric Dad" videos turned him into a TikTok sensation, a stand-up comic and storyteller from Shetland and a former national poet have been honoured at an annual celebration of the Scots language.

Paul Hourston, who uses the name Doric Dad on social media, has been named Scots Media Person of the Year in the Scots Language Awards.
Paul Hourston, who uses the name Doric Dad on social media, has been named Scots Media Person of the Year in the Scots Language Awards.

Teachers, writers, performers and schools have all been recognised at the Scots Language Awards in Dundee.

The awards ceremony, which was first held in 2019, was live-streamed around the world from the Gardyne Theatre.

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Among the winners were the poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, who held the post of Scots Makar between 2011 and 2016, and was named the Scots Writer of the Year at the event.

Shetland comic and storyteller has been named the Scots Speaker of the Year. Picture: John Carolan
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Shetland comic and storyteller Marjolein Robertson, who has appeared on the BBC shows The Comedy Underground and Breaking the News, was named Scots Speaker of the Year.Paul Hourston, who uses the name Doric Dad on TikTok and Instagram, was named Scots Media Person of the Year, while fellow Aberdonian Alan Reid, who goes by the name Bundy, won the Scots Performer of the Year prize.

The Scots Teacher of the Year prize went to Amanda Dunn, from Shortlees Primary, in Kilmarnock, while Means Academy in Aberdeenshire was named Scots School of the Year.

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Speaking before the awards, Reid said: “I play guitar and work a loop pedal, playing aroon the pubs and clubs in Aiberdeenshire, Aiberdeen and Moray.

"I wiz a fisherman and noo am a teacher, but have been doing the gigging for 20 years. I play a range o covers and originals and wrote a Doric album ower lockdown. During this time, I was playing regular online gigs and had a wee community gan which brought together folk fae all ower the world.”

Poet and playwright Liz lochhead has been named the Scots Writer of the Year.

Robertson said: “I'm a comedian an storyteller, so I've spent a lock o my life knappin (speaking tae be understood, less Shetland mare English), hoowivir when hom or tellin folktales I let mysel use my midder tongue o Shetland, sometimes caad Shaetlan or even Shetlandic.

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“My Dad is native tae Shaetlan and my Mam is Dutch, so I've always spoken various dialects an wirds. But as I grew aulder, reading mare o Shaetlan's folklore, history an written wirk, I cam mare awar o da importance to preserve wir dialect.

"Fir me da best way is tae keep it alive in wir very mooths. An wi da internet, ders mare opportunity tae share wir dialect an wirds.

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"Shetland is a dialect comprising o wir auld language Norn as weel as Scots. So it's a boannie blend o ancient Norse tongue an Scots language.”

The Scots Language Awards were hosted from Dundee by witer and broadcaster Alistair Heather and poet Len Pennie.

Dunn said: “Growing up, we were always encouraged to 'speak properly' and I just couldn't. This was my voice.

“I remember coming across Irvine Welsh as a teenager and thinking 'this sounds like me.’ Now I do what I can to immerse myself in Scots lit and do what I can to bring it into my classroom.”

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Comic Janey Godley, authors Graeme Armstrong and James Robertson, and singer Iona Fyfe are among the Scottish cultural figures to have been recognised in previous years.

Simon Thoumire, director of arts organisation Hands Up For Trad, which organises the awards, said: “I’m thrilled by the growth of our ongoing Scots language campaign, to have held our live event in Dundee again, and at the calibre of this year’s brilliant winners.”

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Amanda Dunn, of Shortlees Primary, in Kilmarnock, was named Scots Teacher of the Year at the Scots Language Awards.



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