A SCOTTISH independence activist competing on a new Channel 4 politics show said she wanted to give the movement the mainstream spotlight it does not regularly receive.

Kelly Given, 25, will first appear on Make Me Prime Minister on Tuesday night as she is pitted against 11 other candidates to see who has what it takes to take be the next UK Government leader.

The group - who will face the judgement of Alastair Campbell and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi - will slowly be whittled down over the next six weeks in a series of Appentice-style challenges, involving developing and launching policies, debating, and public speaking.

How Given got involved

Having been a pro-independence activist since she was 16, Given - who has worked for MSPs and MPs and for the Scottish Government - was approached by a casting director back in April who had come across her work as a board member for the SNP’s youth wing YSI, social media content, and online campaigning for the Yes movement.

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The irony of going onto a show about becoming an alternative prime minister when you support Scottish independence was not lost on Given, but she said she saw it as a chance to promote a positive case for self-determination via a mainstream broadcaster.

“It did cross my mind [the irony] and I do touch on it in the show,” she said.

"Bringing independence to the mainstream"

Given went on: “But for me it was about bringing independence to a mainstream platform like Channel 4 because we’re not really platformed there ever, and the fact I was given this opportunity as someone who is such an avid supporter of independence was great. 

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“I was given the opportunity to talk about it [independence] in a bit of depth so hopefully that makes the edit. 

“I talked a lot about the different reasons I support independence and what it would look like. For me it was about giving independence that platform and putting the positive case out there on Channel 4 where it is very rarely touched on.”

Given, who works as an equality, diversity and inclusion manager for NHS Lothian, said she wanted to put the case out there that independence makes sense democratically -since Scotland has not voted for a Conservative government since the 1950s - and how it would help Scotland to fully capitalise on its potential. 

The National: Photograph: Gordon TerrisPhotograph: Gordon Terris (Image: Photograph: Gordon Terris)

But as well as letting loose as a passionate Yesser on prime-time Channel 4, Given said she enjoyed getting her teeth into policy.

And she warned viewers to expect some feistiness between her and other candidates as the series goes on.

"I'm a lover of radical policy"

When asked what kind of policies we could expect to see her talk about, she said: “I’m a lover of radical policy and you’ll see that in the show. 

“I’m the one with the big, massive ideas that everyone tells me to calm down about.

“I’m a big fan of nationalisation, nationalising energy companies, the rail service. I’m a big fan of taking public services back into public ownership. 

The National: Photograph: Gordon TerrisPhotograph: Gordon Terris (Image: Photograph: Gordon Terris)

“I enjoy big policy, things that are going to bring about change. We’re stuck in a rut in Britain at the moment where policy is terrible and nothing the Government comes out with is actually helping people. We need decisive action and that’s what I’m all about in this show, and I’m challenged on it quite a lot.

“There were definitely points where I found it very intense. I butted heads with other candidates on some occasions, there were definitely some tensions.

“You can expect a lot of feistiness.”

Two former prime ministers, Tony Blair and David Cameron, both appear in the six-part series to offer personal advice as the candidates aim to show they have the charisma, vision, and political acumen to lead.

"I enjoyed every minute"

How Given will fare in the next few weeks remains to be seen, but she does know the experience has reignited her love for politics, which at one stage she feels she lost in the midst of being diagnosed with autism a few years ago.

And she even revealed she may consider getting into frontline politics in the coming years.

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She added: “I enjoyed every minute of it really.

“I always wanted to be in Westminster when I was young. I did lose my passion for it though when I was about 21. I had had a bit of a bad experience politically and I wasn’t diagnosed with autism yet so I was in a bit of turmoil myself, and I feel like this reignited my passion for frontline politics. 

“I think I talked myself out of it because you don’t see young autistic women in politics ever but the show made me realise I can do it. 

“I’m considering putting myself forward as an MP candidate for the next election.”

The show will air on Channel 4 every Tuesday night at 9.15pm.