The gathering is Scotland’s biggest highland games and attracts up to 23,000 spectators and over 3500 competitors from all round the world with more than 500 highland dancers and 3000 pipers competeing to win championship titles.
The role of the Chieftain is a ceremonial one whose main duties include presenting prizes to the winners of the Cowal Pipe Band Championships & the World Highland Dancing Championship. The event comes to a climax when the Chieftain takes salute during the pipe band march past when the massed bands, which make up 3000 pipers & drummers, form and play the salute to the Chieftain.
Sylvester McCoy, who was born in Dunoon, said:
I am absolutely delighted to be attending Cowal Highland Gathering at the end of August especially considering that as a child I grew up for 18 years watching the pipers marching up Argyll Street. I so look forward to revisiting the location and the happy memories. I am thrilled and honoured to have been asked.
Malcolm Barclay, Event Manager for Cowal Highland Gathering said:
I would like to thank Mr McCoy for accepting our invitation to be our honorary Chieftain at this year’s event. It is a privilege and honour to welcome Mr McCoy into this role and both myself and the team at Cowal Highland Gathering look forward to bringing him home to Dunoon this year.
McCoy played the Doctor from 1987 - 1989. He has recently been rumoured to be playing a major role in feature film The Hobbit.