mearns musher Wattie McDonald has embarked on his latest adventure - filming as the subject of an American documentary. Mr McDonald (47), who lives at Criggie Smithy, near Stonehaven, will be one of several mushers featured in the documentary, which will follow the preparations for the Iditarod - billed as the last great race on earth - in Alaska in March 2012. This will be Wattie’s third time taking part in the race.
The Scottish musher - the only one in the competition - was approached by US television producer Rachael Seymour, who works for Seymour Productions in Beverly Hills, and asked to take part in the ten-part documentary.
Mr McDonald began filming last month, as he visited the K9 dog training and therapy centre at Findon to begin training his dogs for the new season. The production team will continue to film Mr McDonald for eight weeks once he arrives in Alaska and prepares his dogs for the race.
Ms Seymour said: “Wattie is such a huge attraction in Alaska. He brings a huge part of Scotland over with team Wattie, as they are known, with their kilts and the bagpipes at the start line in downtown Anchorage. We also feel he will bring an extra angle to the series due to the extreme lengths he has to go to just to get here for the race. When we noticed Wattie had entered the 2012 race we knew that there would be a great opportunity for both of us. There is an increasing interest in the Iditarod around Europe and although the series will be produced initially for mainstream US television we will be marketing this production worldwide, including Europe.”
The Iditarod sees competitors race across 1150 miles of frozen Alaskan terrain, in temperatures of -55C.