One of Scotland’s highest profile actors has been announced as Cowal Gathering’s Honorary Chieftain for 2024.

Greenock-born Martin Compston – who became a household name for his role as DI Steve Arnott in the television show Line of Duty – will oversee this year’s 130th anniversary celebrations.

Martin is no stranger to Cowal Gathering, having been a regular visitor to the event with his family when he was a youngster. He returned to Dunoon Stadium again in 2015, this time to join the ranks of Cowal Gathering’s Honorary Chieftains.

As well as visiting the Live Music Tent, touring the Top Field entertainment and meeting Gathering visitors, Martin will also accept the salute from the massed bands and present the trophies to this year’s World Highland Dancing champions, and the winners of the Cowal Pipe Band Championship, the world’s oldest pipe band championship.

Martin said: ‘I was delighted to have been asked to be Cowal Gathering’s Chieftain in 2015, so you can imagine how honoured I am to be returning across the Clyde again this year as the 2024 Chieftain.

To be invited to take on this role is an absolute privilege, but as this year is the 130th anniversary of Cowal Gathering, it is even more special.

I’m looking forward once again to watching the pipe band, highland dancing and heavy athletics competitions, as well as meeting the thousands of people who will be enjoying one of Scotland’s best days out. I have fond memories of getting the ferry across with my family as a kid to head to the Stadium, and I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere of this very special event.’

Speaking on behalf of the Cowal Gathering Board Fraser McCowan said he was ‘looking forward’ to welcome Martin back to Dunoon.

‘This is a big year for Cowal Gathering as we celebrate our 130th anniversary and we were thrilled when Martin accepted our invitation.

‘Martin was a fantastic Chieftain in 2015, and he left an indelible mark on the event. Since then, his star has continued to rise, and we have watched his career go from strength to strength. Despite the countless awards he’s won for his work, travelling around the world and living the dream of a successful actor, he has retained his love of his home town and, we’re delighted to say, for Cowal Gathering.

‘We are very much looking forward to what is going to be a Cowal Gathering to remember.’

Crowds have gathered together to celebrate Cowal Gathering since 1894. The 130th Gathering runs from Thursday 29 to Saturday 31 August in Dunoon Stadium.

For more information about the event or to buy tickets, please visit the Gathering’s website at or contact the event office by emailing or phoning 01369 703206.



Martin Compston is a multi award winning, Scottish actor with almost twenty years in Film and Television. He is well known for his lead role as DS Steve Arnott in Jed Mecurrio’s LINE OF DUTY, the best performing returning television drama on UK television. Martin can most recently be seen in THE RIG for Amazon, MAYFLIES for the BBC as well as just finishing filming FEAR for Amazon TV

In Television, Martin is known for his leading roles in IN PLAIN SIGHT for ITV, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known more recently for his leading roles in TRACES for ITV and VIGIL and THE NEST for the BBC. He has featured as guest leads in many other highly successful British drama’s, including ITV’s, VICTORIA and the BBC’s, RIPPER STREET.

Martin won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor In A Feature Film as well as a BIFA Award the Most Promising Newcomer, along with multiple other nominations, for his leading role in Ken Loach’s, SWEET SIXTEEN at the beginning of his career in 2002. Since his breakout, he has worked consistently on screen. His performance in A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS lead to him receiving the Best Actor Award (Shared with Shia LaBeouf & Channing Tatum) at the Gijon Film Festival, 2006 and Winner of Best Ensemble Performance, Sundance Film Festival, 2006. His portrayal of Paul in Craig Viveiros’, GHOSTED won him the Best Actor Award at the Torino Film Festival in 201. Other notable credits in Film include, FILTH, THE WEE MAN, TRUE NORTH, SOUL BOY, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, Andrea Arnold’s RED ROAD (Nominated for the Best Performance In A Supporting Role Award, British Independent Film Awards) and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS to name a few.