Courier Impact 100: Oor Wullie takes the top title!

© DC Thomson
Whoop whoop! Oor Wullie topped The Courier's 2016 Impact 100!

Jings, crivens, help ma boab – Oor Wullie has topped The Courier Impact 100 list for 2016.

The cheeky character tops the table at number one in our countdown of those who have made the biggest impression in the past 12 months.

The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail was a phenomenal success, capturing the imagination of people from across the country while raising vital funds for charity.

And to top it all off, Oor Wullie made it on to the front of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s 2016 official Christmas card.

It was a truly special year in which Oor Wullie and The Broons celebrated the 80th anniversary of their first appearance in the Sunday Post.

Suzanne Scott, art coordinator for Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail with one of the sculptures.© DC Thomson
Suzanne Scott, art coordinator for Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail with one of the sculptures.

At number two on this year’s list was the incredible tennis ace Andy Murray, while Tory leader Ruth Davidson came third, chief executive of The Black Watch Castle and Museum Anne Kinnes was fourth, and brave Ava Stark from Lochgelly was fifth.

Other well-known faces to feature in this year’s list include Ewan McGregor, Mark Beaumont, Professor Sue Black, Peggy Hughes and Geoff Ellis.

But it wasn’t just about celebrating big names. While it’s the major moments that hit the headlines, it’s the people behind them who really matter.

Behind the scenes, there are vital and very often unsung roles being played out on a daily basis.

And that’s what Impact 100 is all about – recognising those who have inspired others, helped others or created wealth; who have brought about changes or achieved success, fame or even notoriety.

The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail injected a huge sense of fun into the summer of 2016, while raising funds for the Archie Foundation’s appeal for a new twin operating theatre paediatric surgical suite for Tayside.

Artists, communities and businesses from across Tayside chipped in with ideas for themes for 70 sculptures of the popular DC Thomson cartoon character, Oor Wullie, which were then each given a unique design and identity.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiling the Oor Wullie Christmas card. © Supplied
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiling the Oor Wullie Christmas card.

Designs included High School Wullie, designed by pupils of Dundee High, Little Hands Wullie, designed by Emma White and the children of Tayside Children’s Hospital, and Oor Artefacts, designed by sculptor Andy MacVicar.

There was also Oor Golfer, which was signed by some of the biggest names in the sport. The sculptures were displayed around the city – and some went on tour – prior to being auctioned in September, raising more than £883,000 for the Archie Foundation.

One of the local buyers was Euromillions winner Gillian Bayford – who took home five of the sculptures at a cost of £103,000, including Oor Golfer, which she promised to keep in her hometown of Carnoustie.

Volunteer Linda Meiklejohn and fundraising manager Hannah Clark at the Oor Wullie shop.© DC Thomson
Volunteer Linda Meiklejohn and fundraising manager Hannah Clark at the Oor Wullie shop.

Other buyers included Andy Lothian, CEO of Insights, and video game entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl. DC Thomson also secured three statues.
The bucket trail also boosted Dundee’s fortunes, attracting 124,000 extra visitors to the city.

VisitScotland reported a 24% increase in the number of people visiting its information point in Dundee during the trail, with retail sales up 45% between June 27 and August 17.

So many were involved in making the campaign happen but the biggest success was arguably the way the people of Dundee came together to support a great cause.

See Saturday’s Courier for the Archie Bucket Trail team’s reaction