MESSAGES of support have been pouring into Twitter for political blogger Gareth Wardell – aka @Grouse_Beater – who has been admitted to hospital.

Wardell, a former actor, TV producer and arts lecturer, and the first artistic director of the Scottish Youth Theatre, had told followers recently that he was ill and described how he had deleted a post on his blog “in error, hit by a wave of pain”.

In a tweet, former first minister Alex Salmond said: “Spoke to Gareth this morning to wish him well and make him aware of how much support and good wishes he has from so many. I can report that the Famous @Grouse_Beater spirit remains undimmed!”

Numerous Twitter users responded to Salmond’s news, including former SNP MP Corri Wilson who added: "Sending healing and positive vibes to @Grouse_Beater."

“Thank you so much for that. It doesn’t surprise me at all that you reached out to him,” wrote Tarisgal.

“Gareth deserves to know his efforts have been appreciated... We stand behind Gareth.”

Allison Graham added: “Alex, that’s lifted my spirits that you’ve spoken with Gareth and I’m sure it has his too. Thank you from me, and so many who’ve walked the same road on Scotland’s journey, who believe in humanity, justice, respect & acknowledgement of those who give so much for Scotland.”

The National: Gareth Wardell – aka @Grouse_BeaterGareth Wardell – aka @Grouse_Beater

SNP President Michael Russell said that he and Wardell "differ on a lot, especially at present, but humanity should transcend differences and especially when someone is laid low, so all the best to @Grouse_Beater."

Scottish filmmakers Phantom Power shared a short interview they had filmed with Wardell, adding: "So sorry to hear @Grouse_Beater is struggling: warrior for Scottish independence.

"Interviewed the man on many things, including Scotland’s lost film culture and the SNP as part of a larger project Covid’s stalled for now. The intellectual creative force on #Scotland as a colony…"

Martin Keatings, the man behind the People's Action on Section 30 case, sent his "best wishes for a speedy recovery" to the essayist.

Wardell is married to Scottish artist Barbara Rae, who is a former grouse beater.