Host of household Edinburgh names on the Queen's Birthday Honours list
A leading scientific adviser on Covid-19, Scotland’s top whisky writer and Edinburgh’s council chief all had something to ‘shout’ about as they joined singer Lulu and a string of household names who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
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Professor Linda Bauld, Charles MacLean and Andrew Kerr joined a trailblazing female finance leader were each given an honour by Her Majesty.
Glaswegian Lulu - who shot to fame aged just 15 when Shout, a cover of the Isley Brothers track, became a hit - has been made a CBE.
The singer, 72, has turned her hand to musical theatre, television and more across a six-decade career and is recognised for services to music, entertainment and charity.
Other notable Scots include Ex-Aberdeen, Scotland and Rangers full-back David Robertson, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in war-torn Kashmir
Professor of public health Linda Bauld, of Edinburgh university, is made an OBE for "guiding the public health response to, and public understanding of, Covid-19".
Prof Bauld, a behavioural scientist, has been a regular face on TV screens throughout the twists and turns of the pandemic.
She said: “I just got a letter from the office that manages the honours system. I had no idea and I was delighted.
"I think everybody working in public health has had to step up during the pandemic and try and figure out how they were going to contribute, what their skills were.
"I have, for quite some time, engaged with the media and done a lot of science communication - trying to interpret data and communicate it to the public and decision makers.
"I think the OBE is for two things, it's for contributing to the response to address the pandemic and public understanding."
She continued: “Scientists have never been in the public limelight on television and radio to the extent that they have been over the past 15 months.
"That's because the public needed to hear from the scientists doing the research or understanding the research."
Prof Bauld also said she hopes the pandemic will show universities and other research bodies the value of scientific communication, while also helping to improve scientific literacy.
Interest in the public health field, she said, has also increased in the last year.
"There's absolutely no doubt to me that epidemiology, public health, virology, all the disciplines associated with trying to find solutions to a crisis on the science side are more accessible to pupils now," she said.
"I just hope there's more interest in science. In medicine, in public health and also in population health.
"Let's try and find good things to take from this."
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said the OBE awarded to the city council’s chief executive Andrew Kerr reflected his ‘dedication to public service’.
He added: “Over the last year alone, Andrew has led the council through events that have severely tested the city, navigating Edinburgh through a global pandemic – something no one has had to do before – and ensuring our services were able to continue to support our citizens in the most challenging of circumstances.
“From his beginnings as a leisure manager for Falkirk Council back in 1983, he has gone on to become one of the longest serving Chief Executives in the UK. His many achievements include the creation of the National Network of District Sports Councils, delivering the world indoor athletic championships while Corporate Director of Leisure and Culture Birmingham and securing two City Region Deals for Cornwall and here in Edinburgh.
“I would like to congratulate Andrew on behalf of the council but also the people of Edinburgh.
“I would also like to pass on my congratulations to all those named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list today – but particularly to those from Edinburgh.”
Meanwhile, Charles MacLean, an author of 18 books whose specialist subject is Scotch, becomes an MBE for services to Scotch whisky, to UK exports, and to charity.
The 69-year-old, of Stockbridge, said he was "gobsmacked and honoured", adding: "The recognition like this means so much to me - it's a wonderful thing to have been awarded."
Mr MacLean said: “It wasn’t planned, but whisky is a passion for consumers and those who get into it. I was lucky to be there at the beginning – unwittingly.”
He claimed to not have a favourite dram and said he judges each on its own merits compared with similar styles.
The writer’s career has seen him sample some of the most “rare and expensive” Scotch in the world, but he said he prefers blended whiskies over single malts.
He was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1992 for “his services to Scotch over many years” and elected Master of the Quaich, the industry’s highest accolade, in October 2009.
His sons – Ewan, Lachlan and Jamie MacLean – set a record for rowing across the Atlantic in 35 days last year and their dad helped raise around £250,000 for the Children 1st charity.
Anne Richards, the chief executive of the Fidelity International investing firm, said she was "delighted" to be made a dame and hopes it "highlights to women the wonderful opportunities that a career in financial services can offer".
The 57-year-old, from Edinburgh, who initially studied electronic and electrical engineering, said she went to a "great local comprehensive school" and had "no exposure to financial services".
She went on: "When I later started my business degree, I had very little understanding of how the world of finance worked but I quickly developed a love for financial markets.
"All of these opportunities helped to open the door to a long and rewarding career where I've worked with many fantastic friends and colleagues.
"I'm grateful to work in an industry where every day we can say we are helping people to build better financial futures."