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Alan Buchan - Wullie's Song [OOR Wullie Records] -- Happy 80th Birthday Oor Wullie....

Eight reasons to love Oor Wullie on the comic character's 80th anniversary.

1. He’s “A’body’s Wullie”

Everyone knows the tagline: “Oor Wullie! Your Wullie! A'body's Wullie!” Whether it is the readers of the Sunday Post, his pals [Soapy Joe, Wee Eck and Fat Boab] or those who pester him along the way [Primrose and PC Murdoch] the boy has done well to get to 80 years of comic capers.

In the early days he may have complained “I nivver get ony fun roond here!” but he certainly has had a lot of fun over the last eight decades, make no mistake.

2. Yer catchphrases

Of course in those occasions where Wullie did get his fun the adventures were carried along by his usual war cries; words that have become common Scottish colloquialisms over the years around the country.

Jings, crivens, and help ma boab are all braw examples of Wullie’s way with words. His impact is so influential that he is being used to help children learn Scots through a website run by the National Library of Scotland.

3. Puttin’ Auchenshoogle on eh map

What happens when you mix the Dundonian influence with an area in Glasgow named Auchenshuggle? You get a whole host of comic strip characters living, working and causing trouble around Auchenshoogle.

There was even a panto held in the town one year called “Cinderella and Peter Pan chase the seven dwarves up the beanstalk”, according to Wullie himself.

4. Boy aboot toon

The wee Scots laddie won’t be looking so wee later this summer with 50 statues being displayed around Dundee to celebrate this big birthday year.

Each statue will be decorated differently with funds being raised for Tayside Children’s Hospital.

5. Cash fer annuals

As shown with the charity initiative statues, there is value to be found in Oor Wullie even after 80 years. And if you are lucky enough to hold a first edition annual from 1940 they can be valued anywhere near £25,000.

Regular and rare annuals from over the years often find their way to the auction houses and can go for several thousand pounds. One such edition from 1941 is expected to reach in the region of £4500 later this month.

6. His o’er pals: The Broons

While many comic fans find themselves giddy with excitement at the prospect of Batman and Superman meeting on the big screen for the very first time this month, imagine how Sunday Post readers feel when Auchenshoogle’s most famous residents meet in crossover events.

Over the years it has become a regular feature for Christmas, with both titles alternating each year for Christmas annuals from the beginning. Many have been tasked with bringing the characters to live and late last year Morris Heggie retired from DC Thomson after working on the cartoons for nearly 50 years.

7. It a’ways ends on eh bucket

More often than not, at the end of the strip, Oor Wullie finds himself on the upturned bucket before the next adventure begins. It is a stance completely synonymous with the character and one which has influenced many covers, ornaments and costumes over the years.

8. long may it continue.

Wullie and his friends roam the streets of his town, though he is sometimes depicted at school which he finds confining. Praise from his teacher, who addresses him as "William", is rare and acutely embarrassing.

His adventures consist mostly of unrealistic get-rich-quick schemes that lead to mischief, to the despair of his parents Ma and Pa [Dave] and local policeman P.C. Joe Murdoch. Wullie's gang consists of himself, Fat Bob, Wee Eck [Little Alex], Soapy Joe [AKA Soutar] and Primrose Paterson [an annoying girl who likes Wullie, but who Wullie often does not want to be in the gang, yet manages to be much better than him in various games and activities such as football, racing, climbing trees and firing a catapult].

Wullie is the self-proclaimed leader, a position which is frequently disputed by the others. The gang meets in a derelict caravan called Holly Rude. He used to have another friend called Ezzy, who has stopped appearing in the strips, along with Wullie's unnamed little brother. He owns a pet mouse named Jeemy and a pet dog called Harry.

In the Ken Harrison strips he gained additional supporting characters, such as the pretty Doris Gow [who Wullie likes much to Primrose's rage], her boyfriend, the town bully Basher McKenzie, and grumpy old neighbour Moaning Mildew [modelled on Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave.]

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