Big Brother winner chairs Holyrood’s young people’s debate


Big Brother competition winner John Loughton is set to take part in the Scottish Parliament’s Young People’s Day on 20 August as part of its annual Festival of Politics.

More than 150 young people from across Scotland will take part in ‘Get the Picture!’ – a day of hard-hitting political debate on issues affecting the under 25s.

The highlight will be a debate chaired by the Big Brother Celebrity Hijack winner in Holyrood’s main chamber.

Against a backdrop of recent civil unrest and discussion on youth crime, the young people will choose three topical issues to discuss from a range put forward by the Scottish Youth Parliament including:

  • Increasing the amount of lesbian and gay education and information in all schools to reduce stigma and homophobic bullying.
  • Solving the problem of knife crime by working with young people to tackle the root causes, not by imposing mandatory jail sentences on those that get caught carrying a blade.
  • Making sure no child or young person should have to report regularly at reporting centres or police stations due to their immigration status.
  • Taking immediate action to ensure the success of Scotland’s students is not compromised by financial worries, and that they don’t face poverty and hardship in pursuit of their education.

A key focus of the day’s events will be an innovative media competition open to each of the groups to report on a local issue or story important to them.

With a prize of expert media mentoring by STV, a video camera and a year’s subscription to journalism magazine Press Gazette up for grabs, the groups can submit their report in the form of a blog, film, audio, photo journalism piece or as a newspaper or magazine article.

All the entries will be judged by an expert panel comprised of:

  • Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie;
  • STV’s Alastair Tibbitt;
  • Carnegie UK Trust Special Projects Officer, Anne Marte Bergseng;
  • Scottish Parliament’s Head of Communications and Research, Michelle Hegarty.

The winning group will be announced at the end of the live debate in the main chamber.

Full list of the groups taking part:




Aberdeenshire Youth Council

East Dunbartonshire

East Dunbartonshire Youth Senate

East Lothian

  • East Lothian Youth Council
  • Addressing the Balance (Helping ADHD adults in Scotland)



Accelerate (Volunteer Centre Edinburgh)


Running: Other Choices (ROC)

British Deaf Association


LGBT Youth Scotland

National Deaf Children’s Society

The Princes Trust

Youth Society of St Vincent de Paul


Highland Children’s Forum

North Lanarkshire

Youth Buzz


Inverclyde Youth Council


The Bridges Project

South Lanarkshire

The Den (Peer Educators)


Skye and Lochalsh Youth Forum


Stirling Youth Voice

Earlier in the day the groups will take part in workshops run by STV, Conzo Studios, PhotoVoice, Scottish Cartoon Art Studio, Peer Education Network and the Scottish Youth Parliament.


The Festival of Politics runs from 20 - 27 August at the Scottish Parliament and presents a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate.

On their way to and from events, visitors will be able to view one of the largest and most prestigious photographic exhibitions - the World Press Photo exhibition 2011. Photographic events for the public will take place alongside this year’s Festival sessions.  

Contact information

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