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Highland-born Hollywood actress Karen Gillan given New York Tartan Day Parade honour

By Val Sweeney

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Karen Gillan will lead the New York Tartan Day Parade in April.
Karen Gillan will lead the New York Tartan Day Parade in April.

Inverness-born Hollywood actress Karen Gillan has been named as this year's Grand Marshal for the famous New York Tartan Day Parade.

The popular Scottish-themed event, in its 24th year, will be held in midtown Manhattan on Saturday April 9 – marking a return in person for the first time since 2019.

Ms Gillan will lead the parade followed by a procession of pipe and drum bands, Highland dancers, Scottish family clans, Shetlander Vikings and more.

The annual celebration of Scottish heritage and culture brings together a broad of participants along with thousands of spectators.

Ms Gillan said she was "absolutely delighted" to represent Scotland in the parade.

"I’m honoured to help celebrate Scotland in America, and I look forward to playing a part in broadening the public’s awareness of Scotland’s history and cultural contributions," she said.

The actress grew up in the Highland capital and attended Charleston Academy.

She first made her TV breakthrough in 2010 for portraying Amy Pond in the BBC One series Doctor Who and went on to star in Hollywood blockbusters such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Jumanji and Avengers.

Although she relocated from Scotland to the US, she has retained close links with her home city.

During a return visit to the Highlands, she wrote, directed and starred in the film, The Party’s Just Beginning, which looks at the sensitive issue of high suicide rates in the region.

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