Animated character created to help tourists visiting the popular Isle of Skye

Skye today will get its own answer to Postman Pat and Noddy as Donald welcomes visitors to the misty isle, acting as a friendly face and offering advice.

The animated character is the star of a short film about the island, who, alongside his trusted companion Fergie the Tractor, will offer advice on where to stay and what to do, to how to drive safely on the roads and where to park.

The project is the brainchild of local businessman Calum MacDonald, who hopes to build on the creation of his animated character with his trademark ginger beard, kilt and quirky catchphrases.

Mr MacDonald said: “It has been a year in the making with a lot of work, so it is good to be at launch day. Donald was created in response to the negative publicity Skye was receiving which I felt needed to be addressed.

“I was inspired by a drawing my niece did of a character called Donald. I came up with the idea to make Donald into a friendly face for the island and having him help solve the problems Skye was facing.

“Since then Donald has developed into an animated character and is the star, along with Fergie the Tractor, of his own film.”

A website has also been launched as a platform for questions to be put to Donald through a dedicated online chat service.

Mr MacDonald said: “The Donald from Skye website acts as a hub of information for visitors, with business listings, a ‘recommended by Donald’ list and clips of Donald and Fergie.

“I am trying to localise Google for Skye and have everything in a neat, one-stop-shop for everything that is going on on Skye.

“Donald and Fergie answer any questions visitors might have about Skye on the website and we hope to add further episodes of Donald from Skye soon. I hope Donald from Skye will be informative and entertaining for both tourists and locals and enhance their experiences on this beautiful island.”

The voices for Donald and Fergie have been voiced by local men with two full-time jobs being created as a result of the characters launch.

Mr MacDonald added: “We have managed to secure two staff as a result of the launch of Donald who will be based at our local office on Skye. Staff will be assisting with the packaging of merchandise and manning the online chat as well as a whole array of other tasks going on behind the scenes.”

The video is available through Donald from Skye’s dedicated YouTube channel with Mr MacDonald hoping to add more episodes in the future.