AN award-winning cameraman who has filmed beneath the waves in some of the world’s most picturesque locations said Scotland’s scenery is “unsurpassable”.

Doug Allan, from Dunfermline, has worked on series including Blue Planet and Planet Earth, winning five Baftas and four Emmys, among several other industry awards.

He reflected on his extraordinary career as he was announced as the new ambassador for Old Pulteney single malt whisky. The 68-year-old had years of experience working with the British Antarctic Survey before embarking on an entirely new career path as a freelance filmmaker.

He he been diving since 1968 and said Scotland is the ideal place to learn: “I think if you learn to dive in Scotland and then you pile into several hundred dives to experience the weather, the cold all these kind of things then ... everything else is almost straightforward. Except of course diving under the ice.”

Allan explained that spending more time in his home country was what excited him most after years spent diving in locations such as the Red Sea, South Pacific and Antarctic. “I’ve seen the world encompass some big changes but I’ve also seen the world at its very best and it’s funny you know, I sometimes get asked what’s on your bucket list, where would you like to go next,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time in the UK ... particularly Scotland and the west coast of Ireland. When those two are at their best they are unsurpassable. It really is the most beautiful scenery on our doorstep.”

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Allan has also ventured into TV ads, documentary-making, writing and public speaking – and pinpointing the origins of his wildlife filmmaking career, he refers to a “chance meeting with David Attenborough”.

After graduating from Stirling University, he did diving work with biologists in the Red Sea, as well as with Bill Abernethy, Scotland’s last full-time professional pearl fisherman.

But it was when he travelled to the Antarctic that Allan discovered photography. He explained: “It was a chance meeting with David Attenborough, of all people, in 1981. He turned up in our base with a small film crew.

“I helped him for a couple of days and quite literally at the end of those two days I looked at the cameraman and thought ‘you know, you are doing all the things I like doing’,” he said.

“Photography, albeit movies rather than still, travelling the world, obviously having a great time, shooting wildlife, diving.

“Even though at that point I had not picked up a movie camera that’s more or less where I thought that’s what I want to be. David and the others were really helpful, gave me a bit of advice and things.

“The next trip to the Antarctic I bought a 16mm movie camera and in the wonderful naiveness of youth I went and did some filming of emperor penguins and sold the footage to BBC when I went back.

“That’s where it all started.”