Join Uig's very own 'mermaid' Kate MacLeod as she stars in a new BBC ALBA documentary.

A new TV series on BBC ALBA follows the adventures of a ‘real life’ mermaid on the Isle of Lewis as she indulges in her lifelong passion of swimming in the sea.

By John A. MacInnes
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 10:10 am
Kate MacLeod, Uig's very own mermaid
Kate MacLeod, Uig's very own mermaid

The four-part series Miann na Maighdinn-mara/Mermaid Tales offers the ultimate escapism as viewers join Kate Macleod (24) as she discovers hidden treasures in the beautiful turquoise seas on her own doorstep, in her homeland of Uig.

Brave Kate isn’t put off by the cold and often swims in the sea in winter, wearing her monofin - which is like one giant flipper. She also has several of her own Ariel-style tails, custom-made in Hawaii to fit over her Monofin.

Kate was raised in the Outer Hebrides by boat company owner dad Murray and mum Janet, along with brother Seumas. Her love of outdoor swimming began when she was a young girl taking part in the family’s own version of the New Year’s Day Loony Dook.

Kate explores the west coast of Lewis, and nearby smaller islands, by boat with her dad in this series and talks to knowledgeable locals about the fascinating history on her own doorstep.

Kate said: “I have such a strong bond with the sea and Uig. I think a lot of islanders feel the same. I feel so privileged to live in this part of the world.”

Her mum Janet says: “When Kate started swimming in the sea it would be too cold for everyone else but she would just keep going, she’d spend the whole afternoon in there then come out freezing. On holiday she’d spend all her time in the swimming pool, and she wouldn’t just swim, she would be underwater.”

Created by Stornoway based MacTV, head of production & executive producer on this series, Seumas Mactaggart, said : “Mermaid Tales offers a glimpse of another world, it’s full of fantastic wildlife and impressive scenery on the west coast of the stunning Isle of Lewis.

“This is filmed from the perspective of a young woman who has a strong interest in the natural environment and who is extremely proud of her maritime heritage. It is truly escapist, and such a tonic in these difficult times.”Miann na Maighdinn-mara/Mermaid Tales begins on BBC ALBA on Tuesday, March 16 at 8.30pm, with subsequent episodes airing on Tuesday each week at the same time.

All four episodes will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast.