By a Newsnet reporter

Acclaimed Holywood actor, Brian Cox, is to be the voice behind the new cartoon character Duggy Dug it can be revealed.

The Dundee born filmstar, famous for his roles in the Jason Bourne trilogy and Planet of the Apes, will be the voice of Newsnet Scotland's radical new cartoon creation, which is based on a highland terrier.

The project, a collaboration involving a professional artist, animator and filmmaker, will see Duggy explore some of the key issues of the independence debate in a humorous and informative mix that will both entertain and educate.

Duggy Dug, is a scruffy yet likeable old Scotttish terrier whose eyesight isn't the best - but who uses his nose to sniff out fact from fiction as he wanders through some of the more controversial areas of the debate, wisecracking along the way.

Explaining the reasoning behind the character, Newsnet Scotland's communications officer Lynda Williamson said: "The independence debate is currently dominated by fear and pessimistic claims from the No campaign. 

"We believe a loveable cartoon character is just the thing to counter the relentless negativity and scaremongering."

Ms Williamson added: "Duggy Dug isn't just likeable though, he also knowledgeable and those watching the cartoons will be taken on an enjoyable yet informative wee journey."

Commenting, Brian Cox said: "One of the most effective ways to combat fear is through humour.

"If we can provide a few laughs, at the same time as showing just how ridiculous some of the anti-independence scare stories actually are then it can only help.

"I think Duggy Dug has the potential to inject a bit of fun into the referendum debate, and that's surely good thing."

Ms Williamson added: "To get the services of someone of the profile and calibre of Brian Cox is quite a coup for us.

"Currently we are developing a custom site where people will be able to view all of the animations, the first of which is under development and will be released in July. 

"Duggy also has his own twitter account @Duggy_Dug and his own Youtube account where you can see the first pilot animation.

"We are currently trying to raise funds for the project and would urge people to donate in order to maximise its impact and allow us to bring the independence facts to as wide an audience as possible."


Those wishing to donate can do so by clicking the image:


# Red Squirrel 2013-06-24 23:16
Brilliant news - looking forward to Duggy's next appearance.
# jdman 2013-06-25 04:58
just watched the wee taster, love duggy already
# mealer 2013-06-25 07:07
The bairn says Duggy is a Scottie dug.She loves his voice and the way he walks.I'm looking forward to seeing more.I'll send a donation when its your turn on the rota!Keep up the good work.
# WRH2 2013-06-25 07:23
Just scraped myself off the floor and now back on my seat having heard the news about Brian Cox and Duggy Dug mentioned on BBC Scotland news at 8am. I look forward to seeing Duggy's contribution to the debate. My contribution will be on its way to you later this week. Great project.
# heraldnomore 2013-06-25 07:46
And Lynda on GMS blethering about the dug now - balanced debate, and a fair hearing, so far.....
# FREEDOM1 2013-06-25 08:27
I still cannot believe that Duggy Dug got a mention on the BBC. What is going on?
I shouted to my wife to come and listen to the radio to confirm what I was hearing.
# Old Smokey 2013-06-25 08:35
Brilliant idea and an excellent coup (as apposed to a 'coo)having the services of Brian Cox to do the voice of Duggy Dug. As for featuring on GMS's peak time (after 8am) slot, you could have knocked me over with a feather on that. Was a good interview with Lynda Williamson. Now the trick will be to get this info out on TV news and other programmes to get wider publicity (my glass is always half full!)
# X_Sticks 2013-06-25 09:37
BBC Have even got an article on the website with a mention for the dreaded "cybernat" website NEWSNET SCOTLAND mentioned!

Does this mean Newsnet has made it? I sincerely hope so.

Big thanks to Brian for his support and to Newsnet Scotland for helping many of us maintain some sanity!

Good luck to Duggy!

I'll be voting for a better Scotland in 2014!
# Barbazenzero 2013-06-25 09:53
Quoting X_Sticks:
BBC Have even got an article on the website with a mention for the dreaded "cybernat" website NEWSNET SCOTLAND mentioned!

Not just a mention but an actual LINK to this site's home page in the Related Internet links section at the bottom of the article.

A truly astonishing change when today's "top" story was the usual scary stuff: Businesses 'need referendum clarity'.

The man from aunty must be getting worried.

PS: The BBC also now have the taster and the GMS interview online at, which also gives Project Fear the first mention I've spotted on the BBC.
# rabkae 2013-06-25 16:23
Don't be in such a hurry to think that this being aired by the BBC changes anything.

Might I suggest you look at tomorrow's Herald, Scotsman, Mail, Express, Record, etc. plus the Sunday equivalents, for I guarantee if this gets mentioned at all, it'll be in the context of desperation, dumbing down and insulting the intelligence of the electorate on the part of the Yes Campaign.

The BBC were quietly laughing up their corporate British sleeves when they decided to run with the story, no doubt thinking it an own goal on the part of the supporters of Independence.

Well here's hoping that the 'Dug' has the last laugh.
# X_Sticks 2013-06-25 19:21
Aye, rabkae! I did occur to me that this was perhaps just a sop which will allow the bbc something to point to in support of their claim of neutrality. I suspect they are under some scrutiny (not just by us cybernats), and they know it.

There does seem to have been an improvement, but that may be due to their negativity having become all too noticable. It may just be a bit of a cover up job.

Perhaps they are beginning to realise that the writing is on the wall?
# Breeks 2013-06-25 20:05
I agree 100%, but I also think wee Duggy is a already a strong concept and likeable icon, Brian Cox's voice-over is a masterstroke, and it also has seized the initiative in term of campaign mascot. Think about it, if Better Together want to have a similar 'mascot', they're already playing catchup to Duggie. Cue the next Better Together train crash. Well done Newsnet.

Some of these mascots are a bit formulaic, Clyde for the Commonwealth games is fine, not very subtle maybe, but I think he's a kiddies invention, but the two blob things for the Olympics? Wedlock and Hemlock or something - don't waste the data checking. Dire.

But Duggie isn't naff at all, far from it. I think he's disarming and instantly likeable, and I suspect we'll find he's quite a sophisticated wee beastie. Well done again Newsnet; playing to win.
# GogsyBroon 2013-06-25 09:47
This is desperate stuff - treating people like idiots, if you need them to watch a cartoon to get information across.Simply shows how comical the YES campaign has become. And voiced by Brian Cox, who doesn't even get to vote either. You couldn't make it up.
# Macart 2013-06-25 12:30
Speaking of treating people like idiots. How are the donations coming along at BT these days? Cleaned up its act I'm sure. Or how about the reprints, or was that pulping, of all those triple A warning leaflets? Then there's the recent 'Project Fear' revelation, 500 questions, umpteen thousand treaties ....(etc)

Yep, sounds like a well oiled machine right enough. :)
# Joker 2013-06-25 20:17
Quoting GogsyBroon:
This is desperate stuff - treating people like idiots.

The ignorance of this comment is unbelievable.

This is visual communication, which is one of the most effective forms to engage people in large numbers. It is used everywhere in life to convey everything from news to instructions to public service announcements, or even supported living for those with learning difficulties.

The "cartoons are for idiots" nonsense says more about your own narrow and limited understanding than anything else.

If this idea informs and educates sections of the population on the referendum who otherwise would have been left in the dark, whether they vote YES or NO, then it is a good thing. Period.
# GogsyBroon 2013-06-27 15:41
Sorry - have to disagree with you. It is illustrative of how poor the separatists have been getting their message across that they have to resort to dumbing down the message to that in a cartoon.
# cuckooshoe 2013-06-28 08:33
This project has had a lot of reaction from the mainstream media since it was announced. The publicity will ensure a lot of viewers for the first broadcast.
# mealer 2013-06-25 10:44
Remember when YES unveiled their campaign theme tune? And NO launched theirs,which was pretty much the same tune?
I'm waiting for Basil Bulldog to make an appearance.
# D_A_N 2013-06-25 11:03
great news, wonder if any of these could perhaps be aired on TV near referendum time.. Now that would be awesome

Oh and donation sent
# km 2013-06-25 12:48
Hopefully Duggy can shine some light on this headline in the Evening Express:

"Taxi drivers bound by law to carry guide dogs"
# Teri 2013-06-25 14:39
Well done to NNS. Not only is Duggy the Dug going to be a great cartoon, but you have now officially made the grade with an article on BBC Scotland. They'll need to erase 'Newsnet Scotland' from their list of unacceptable words when responding to a blog post.
# Macart 2013-06-25 15:24
Bit of misrepresenting going on over at the Guardian though. Apparently Duggy is the new nationalist mascot. Not that that would be a bad thing, I'm sure the FM would love him just like we will. :)
# ButeHouse 2013-06-25 17:31
Well played Newsnet Scotland. From nothing to this in a year or two? Fantastic.

Like most Nats, Newsnet is my first port of call for news, followed by BBC to get into the Scottish Papers.

The Dug is an excellent idea and getting Brian cox has already assured it getting off to a flying start.

let's hope it will gain access to news venues no Nat Politicians can presently go.

VOTE YES next year
# From The Suburbs 2013-06-25 17:54
For some reason I couldn't log in earlier this afternoon when I was going to say that

I bet BBC TV does not feature The Dug or Newsnet Scotland on Reporting Scotland as this is far more influential than a radio spot.

I was going to put £200,000 on it.
# Willow 2013-06-25 19:55
Excellent idea to reach out to non political folk. Well done Newsnet team & it's great to have Brian Cox on board.

Donation on it's way.

Come on folks lets make this work, every penny counts.
# call me dave 2013-06-25 20:09

The Labour Party has said it will take over the selection process for the Falkirk seat at Westminster.

The move to put its Falkirk constituency party under "special measures" came after allegations that some unions were packing membership lists to influence the decision.
# cardrossian 2013-06-26 06:34
If its a heilan' dug, should it no be called Dougie?
# BillCo 2013-06-26 10:14
Could the team behind 'Duggy Dug' possibly create a cartoon of the blustering arch-unionist Blair McDougall in the garb of 'John Bull'.

He has many of the required features and characteristics :

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