Glenrothes famous hippos star in new TV documentary by Guilt actor Mark Bonnar

Glenrothes’ famous hippos are set to feature in a new TV documentary about public art in Scotland’s new towns.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 8:17 am

It is presented by actor Mark Bonnar whose dad, Stan, made the famous sculptures which have become synonymous with the town.

‘Meet You At The Hippos’ airs on BBC Scotland.

Mark said: “Thanks to my dad, Stan, who worked as a town artist in Glenrothes and East Kilbride in the 1970s, art - particularly town art - has been in my life since I was a wee boy.

Scottish Actor Mark Bonnar and his dad Stan who helped create Glenrothes' famous hippos (Pic: Stewart Attwood)

"Glenrothes residents across the generations know dad’s concrete hippos well, while in East Kilbride and in Stonehouse, his concrete elephants are also a familiar landmark.

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“I’ve been on a safari through Scotland’s five new towns to find out how the art came into the world and became an integral part of these post-war towns.”

Mark spent several days filming in and around Glenrothes during the summer, and speaking to people who know the hippos well, including former MSP Tricia Marwick, who campaigned to have some of the public artworks listed by Historic Environment Scotland, and Glenrothes town artists David Harding and Malcolm Robertson.

Meet You At The Hippos is Mark’s first foray into presenting - he is best known for his roles in the BBC dramas Guilt and Shetland.

He takes a trip down memory lane, and a sideways look, at how Scotland's new towns filled up with concrete animals, totem poles, decorated underpasses and mysterious "standing stones".

The documentary is broadcast at 10:00pm on on Tuesday, November 30.

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