Last night, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, presented the Edinburgh Award to Alexander McCall Smith at a ceremony held at the City Chambers.
The coveted annual award honours an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh. Recipients are nominated and voted for by the people of the City.
Alexander was surrounded by family, friends and his team. He commented:
‘I am immensely honoured by this award and by the kindness of the city in conferring it on me. I have spent my entire adult life in this city and would not wish to live elsewhere. It is a wonderful city in every respect and I am so proud to be one of its citizens’
Jan Rutherford spoke of her 30 year working relationship with the great man as his UK publicist and director of Edinburgh publishing house, Birlinn. Writer and current Makar for Edinburgh, Alan Spence, read a poem written for the occasion.
The Scotsman carry a full report this morning. Read it here.
First established in 2007, the annual Edinburgh Award honours an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh.
Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, Mr McCall Smith became a hugely successful novelist through his The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Sunday Philosophy Club and 44 Scotland Street book series, the latter of which is set in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
He is now one of the world’s best-loved writers for both adults and children and his books are published in 47 languages.
Alexander is the 14th person to receive the award, following in the footsteps of last year’s recipient Ann Budge (2019) and fellow writers Ian Rankin OBE (2007) and JK Rowling OBE (2008), as well as fellow academics Professor Peter Higgs (2011) and Sir Timothy O’Shea (2017).
Speaking ahead of the event, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross, said:
It’s an honour and a pleasure to present one of the Capital’s most prestigious accolades, the Edinburgh Award, to Alexander McCall Smith. His bestselling novels continue to draw positive, worldwide attention to the city and I’m delighted that fans of his work can now enjoy seeing his handprints immortalised in stone on our very own Edinburgh Award ‘walk of fame’.