2009 : A Memorable Day for Games Chieftain
Actress Blythe Duff accepted an invitation to be the Chieftain of Bute Highland Games on 22nd August, 2009.
The Taggart star who has a holiday home on the island took centre stage at the busiest event on the island’s calendar.
Before presenting the trophies to the pipe band winners Blythe, wearing an appropriate and stylish designer creation for the occasion, was full of praise for the organising committee and all the competitors who took part in the Games. In her own words….
“It has been a wonderful day and it has been the most memorable of my life. If today you have pulled a muscle or cricked your neck, just imagine what its like to be a competitor. To the people of Bute, whose sense of community and hospitality has today made Scotland proud – may your spirit continue to flourish, and may your ferries always be full”.
Blythe now joins a host of Bute Highland Games Chieftains which have included HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay; entertainer Johnny Beattie; writer and trade unionist Jimmy Reid and most recently Johnny Bute, the 7th Marquess of Bute.
Blythe had always heard wonderful stories of magical holidays in Rothesay and on The Isle of Bute. Her mother Christina used to holiday here, as did thousands of others, so she is genuinely honoured to be Chieftain of this year’s Bute Highland Games, particularly in this special Homecoming Year. Having a second home on the island, she is delighted, that along with her family, she has had the chance to acquaint herself with all that the island has to offer. She is encouraged by the recent investment in the island with developments in the inner harbour, the new school campus, the emergence of a new marina at Port Bannatyne, and has seen at first hand, the generosity of the islanders in the creation of the wonderful Callum's Cabin. It has proved a wonderful haven of calm from her busy work schedule.
Blythe was born in East Kilbride and has lived all her life in the West of Scotland. It was as a teenager that Blythe found her love of drama, performing with various youth groups, and on leaving school she joined the Glasgow Arts Centre's Youth Opportunities Theatre Company, 'The Company' and gained the much needed experience, touring schools, prisons and community centres.
Having spent two summer seasons as a student with the Scottish Youth Theatre, she landed her first professional job in 1983, a joint production with SYT and the Traverse Theatre Company. Working in the Theatre has remained an important part of Blythe's career, touring the country with all the major Scottish theatre companies such as, The Lyceum, The Citizens, TAG, Cumbernauld, Communicado, The Traverse and Wildcat, during which, she had the privilege of playing the Rothesay Pavilion. It was in 1989 that she made her West End debut playing Shirley Kaplan in Scottish Opera/ENO's production of 'Street Scene' at The Coliseum. In 2003 she played Deborah in the European premier of the hit show 'Mum's the Word' reprising her role, for an extensive tour of New Zealand. Most recently she returned to London's west end and toured Britain, with the award winning National Theatre of Scotland/The Donmar Warehouse playing Mrs Poole in the highly acclaimed production of 'Be Near Me'
She has performed on the concert platform most notably in Sound Bites for Scottish Opera, The Burns Bicentennial Concert, and narrated The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra with the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcast live on Radio three. Having worked in radio drama in her early career, she has recently contributed to the Complete works of Robert Burns for the BBC.
Blythe's long list of television credits range from Travel shows to Antiques programmes and from 'Ready Steady Cook', to 'Songs of Praise', but, she is undoubtedly best known for her role as Detective Sergeant Jackie Reid in the ever popular series 'Taggart' the longest running detective drama on British TV, having just celebrated it's 25th year, and over 100 episodes.... that's a lot of dead bodies!
She is a patron of Scottish Youth Theatre and an Ambassador in Scotland for The Prince's Trust.
2012 Rhona Simpson Former Scotland and Great Britain Olympic Hockey Player
2011 Sean Batty Meteoroligst and STV Weather Forecaster
2010 David Hayman Scottish Film and Television Actor and Director
2009 Blythe Duff Scottish Actress
2008 John Colum Crichton Stuart 7th Marquess of Bute
2007 Peter K Timms CBE
2006 Matt Connell Honorary Vice President RSPBA
2005 Major General Graeme C M Lamb CMG DSO OBE
2004 John A Mackenzie President of Camanachd Association
2003 Jimmy Reid Journalist and Broadcaster
2002 Lennie C G Moffat Managing Director, TSC
2001 Sir Robert Smith Chairman and Chief Exec. of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity Ltd.
2000 Lt Commander Tim Forrester HMS Gannet
1999 Thomas Caldwell Deputy Director Scottish Police College
1998 Firemaster John Jameson QFSM; AIFireE; CIMgt Chieftain - Scottish Pipe Band Championships
1998 Col. Tom Lamb OBE MA CSt FSA (Scot) DL
1997 Johnnie Beattie MBE, Scottish Actor and Comedian
1996 William Petrie OBE., JP., DL.,
1995 Col. Ken Shepherd Commandant, Princess Louise Scottish Hosp. Erskine
1994 Leslie Sharp QPM., LLB., FIMgt, Chief Constable Strathclyde Police
1993 Commodore John Trewby ADC Royal Navy
1992 Tom B McMillan Honorary Secretary, Bute Highland Games
1991 Mrs Ray Michie MP Argyll & Bute
1990 Gerd Guisman, Burgermeister
1989 William Hunter JP Chairman of Argyll & Bute Council
1988 Commander W K Benbow Commander of HMS Rothesay
1987 Duke and Duchess of Rothesay – Prince and Princess of Wales
1986 Douglas Currie JP Chairman of Argyll & Bute Council
1985 Right Hon. Lord MacLean of Duart & Morvern Lord Lt. of Argyll & Bute
1984 Hon. John J J Mackay, JP MP for Argyll & Bute
1983 Sheriff J Irvine Smith
1982 Commodore G F Rallings
1981 Charles E O’Halloran JP, Chairman of Strathclyde Regional Council
1980 Frank Spiers, Chairman of Argyll & Bute Council
1979 John Corrie MP for Bute and North Ayrshire
1978 Lewis Laurie, St Catherine’s, Strachur
1977 James B Simpson Bute Estate Factor
1976 Donald McCallum Assist. Secretary BHG - Presented the Trophies
1975 E T F Spence Chairman of Argyll & Bute Council
1974 Sir Fitzroy McLean MP
1973 Provost Donald McPhail MM
1972 Lord David Crichton Stuart
1971 Gerald S Rehm Mayor Commissioner Florida, USA
1970 David Williamson Chief Constable of Renfrew & Bute Constabulary