AN IRVINE man who teaches young people across Ayrshire media and video skills has been recognised as one of Scotland’s People by the BBC.

Unsung hero Eddy Gemmell, frontman behind Ayrshire Film Company, was praised for giving so many youngsters hope and confidence in working in media.

Jackie Bird presented the festive show to celebrate and thank people across Scotland who have gone above and beyond – and in order to surprise Eddy, they invited him and wife Julie to Kilmarnock Odeon to judge a fictional film festival.

Jackie Bird then told Eddy: “You’re here because you have been judged one of Scotlands People 2021. You have given hope to countless young people across Ayrshire.”

“When I was reading about some of the things you’ve done, some of the young people have gone on to work at Pinewood Studios, work on blockbusters, major BBC dramas – often the media attracts people from a more privileged background.”

Eddy Gemmell said: “In an area like North Ayrshire in particular we don’t have opportunities in media.

“One lad there, Dylan Shaw, who has got cerebral palsy came to me nearly about a year ago and his mobility and speech was poor and he was always told he couldn’t become a radio presenter, but now he’s got his own show on a community radio station of a Friday.

“We spent a lot of time with him and he’s doing it, that’s what its all about.

Line of Duty star Martin Compton said: “Growing up on the West coast of Scotland, its not that anyone told me I couldn’t be an actor, it just wasn’t something you did where I was from. Ever since then I’ve realised just how important it is to have positive influences in our areas to let kids know that they do have a voice and their stories deserve to be told without people like you there definitely wouldn’t be people like me, so thank you.”

Gary Lineker added: “The confidence and opportunities you’re giving these young people is really inspiring – who knows we might see them on Match of the Day in the not too distant future.”