Page 3 Profile: Beth Gilmour, Designer of the Commonwealth Games Mascot


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The Independent Online

Who’s this group?

Aside from Olympic swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Michael Jamieson, the purple-haired fella is Clyde. He’s the mascot for the Commonwealth Games – and 14-year-old Beth Gilmour is the girl who dreamt him up.

How’s that?

She first sketched Clyde when she was 12. Now, as the Games mascot, he’s taken over Glasgow: there are 25 statues of the character dotted around the city, forming the Clyde Trail, which has proved popular with photo-hunting tourists. And more than 46,000 Clyde cuddly toys have been sold – making him the most popular item of Commonwealth merchandise.

Did he have tough competition?

More than many of the athletes: he was up against 4,000 other entries. Beth entered Clyde for a Blue Peter competition and organisers decided he fitted the two main criteria perfectly: he’s both Scottish and, particularly, Glaswegian.

She must be chuffed.

Beth, now 14, said: “I love seeing the reaction from people. When I’ve been out and about and seen Clyde in Glasgow, and people running up to get pictures, it’s nice to see and I’m quite proud of it. I had no idea it would be this popular, none at all. I didn’t realise how much it would be used… It’s amazing to see something I did become that successful.” 

How’s Clyde enjoying the Games?

He’s having a ball. Since he was unveiled as the face of the Games, he has met thousands of schoolchildren, encouraging them to get involved in sport, as well as hanging out with the Duchess of Cambridge and Olympic diver Tom Daley.

Is he friends with Wenlock and Mandeville?

Ah, yes. The cyclopean mascots of London 2012, apparently symbolic of London taxis and Olympic history. Then there were the five Fuwa from Beijing 2008, whose names combined spelt out “Welcome to Beijing” in Mandarin. Top marks to Gilmour for keeping it simple: Clyde is an anthropomorphised thistle: a proud emblem of Scotland.