JACKIE Bird has replaced controversial broadcaster Neil Oliver as the president of the National Trust for Scotland.

The veteran BBC journalist, perhaps best known as the longstanding presenter of the corporation’s Hogmanay programme, has been confirmed as the new head representative of the conservation charity.

Her appointment was endorsed by members of the organisation at its annual general meeting in Glasgow on Saturday.

David Mitchell, the Trust’s deputy chair, said: “Jackie Bird is already a committed friend to the National Trust for Scotland, doing a wonderful job at presenting our Love Scotland podcasts.

“We are delighted that she has strengthened the connection, taking on this valuable ambassadorial role for the Trust and the work we do across Scotland.

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“Jackie’s deep interest in Scotland’s heritage, and her skills at communicating that, will be a huge asset to the Trust.

“We’re grateful to Jackie for accepting the role, delighted that our members confirmed her appointment, and very excited about working with her to tell people about Scotland’s magnificent heritage and the work the Trust does to protect, care for, share and speak up for it.”

Bird added: “When I started hosting the National Trust for Scotland podcast during the pandemic, my eyes were really opened to the value of its people, its places and the breadth of its activity to protect Scotland’s heritage.

“I knew the Trust cared for some of Scotland’s most historic buildings and landscapes but I hadn’t fully realised its vast remit in terms of protecting our natural world – from flora and fauna to the stewardship of entire islands.

“More than ever, I know the importance of the Trust’s work to all parts of Scotland and to all generations who live or visit here.

“I’m absolutely committed to, and excited about using my role as President to communicate that importance to different audiences, and I’m flattered to have the opportunity to do so.”

The role was vacant for two years after the departure of former Coast presenter Oliver, who now hosts a show on GB News.

The Trust stood by Oliver when he claimed that the removal of statues such as that of the slaver Edward Colston was the first step to tyranny and when he expressed support for David Starkey in 2020, at that time embroiled in a racism row over comments he made about slavery.