Jings, crivvens it’s the festive season for Oor Wullie on Nicola Sturgeon’s Christmas card

An icon of Scottish popular culture is helping to raise money for charity with a guest appearance on the front of the First Minister’s Christmas card.

Photograph by: Scottish GovernmentFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Peter Davidson and Morris Heggie

The image of Oor Wullie sitting on his famous upturned bucket and wearing his black dungarees is as familiar to Scots as Edinburgh Castle.

The little boy who’s never grown up is so loved by the Scottish nation that in a survey conducted in 2004 the character was voted ‘Scotland’s Favourite Son’, beating William Wallace and Sean Connery into second and third places, with Rabbie Burns a distant fourth.

This year’s official card depicts a snowy scene with Wullie sitting in front of his shed and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon peering round the side after leaving a present for him.

The Christmas card coincides with Oor Wullie, and fellow cartoon strip The Broons, celebrating the 80th anniversary of their first appearance in the Sunday Post newspaper in March 1936.

Peter Davidson and Morris Heggie have produced the weekly Oor Wullie and The Broons cartoon strips for many years, having started work with publishers DC Thomson in the 1960s.

“Oor Wullie is a much-loved national treasure, adored by both children and adults across Scotland,” said Ms Sturgeon.

“His witty banter and mischievous character have been keeping people entertained for generations, and the marvellous artwork and timeless storylines mean that everyone recognises a little of themselves in these classic tales.

“I am delighted that on Wullie’s 80th anniversary, Peter and Morris have created a unique illustration for my 2016 Christmas card.”

Generations of Scots have grown up with Oor Wullie and his gang, consisting of Fat Bob, Wee Eck and Soapy Soutar, as they get up to mischief in the fictional town of Auchenshoogle.

The original Christmas card illustration by Peter Davidson and text by Morris Heggie will be auctioned next year and the proceeds shared between four charities; The Archie Foundation, SiMBA, Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund and The Dixon Community.

The selected charities are involved with caring for sick children, helping people who have lost babies, a day care centre for disabled children in Sarajevo and a an organisation looking after the elderly.

“The adventures of Oor Wullie have entertained Scots for eight decades and in that time the mischievous scamp has become a much loved national treasure,” said Morris Heggie.“I am delighted that the First Minister wanted to include Oor Wullie on her Christmas card.  I feel very fortunate to be the cog that currently takes this iconic strip forward and am delighted that the wee laddie from Auchenshoogle is getting such recognition in the year of his 80th anniversary.”