NEVER MIND SEX PISTOLS HERE'S CBeebies; LOVE AND MONEY STAR'S TV TRIBUTE TO LITTLE GIRL WHO SHOWS IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), February 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

NEVER MIND SEX PISTOLS HERE'S CBeebies; LOVE AND MONEY STAR'S TV TRIBUTE TO LITTLE GIRL WHO SHOWS IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE


Byline: Heather Greenaway

Cuddling up to his beautiful daughter, Love and Money guitarist Douglas MacIntyre yesterday told of his journey from punk rock to CBeebies.

The musician says it's all down to his nine-year-old daughter Matilda, who changed his life.

Douglas and Matilda, who has Down's syndrome, became stars on the kids' channel's My Story, where adults get to tell children what they do for a living.

And for dad-of-five Douglas, who is touring again with the reunited band, it was something a little different.

He said: "I guess I'm more used to running about a stage in front of grown-ups but thankfully Matilda was the real star of the show.

"She found me prancing around with my guitar very funny. We had great fun together and she took it all in her stride."

Matilda is also the reason that some of Scotland's biggest bands, including Aztec Camera and The Blue Nile, and singers such as Justin Currie from Del Amitri have sung in the family's village hall to raise thousands of pounds for other Down's syndrome children.

With her twinkling eyes and gorgeous smile, it's hard to believe the schoolgirl nearly died at birth.

Suffering from pneumonia, heart problems, collapsed lungs and organ failure, Matilda was in a critical condition when she was born.

She spent a week in intensive care in Wishaw General Hospital.

Douglas, 50, who played in some of the hottest bands in Scotland's indie music scene in the 80s before joining Love and Money, said: "Matilda was critically ill when she was born and spent three weeks in hospital. It was terrifying because for three days, she didn't move.

"But she is a real fighter and battled back from pneumonia, collapsed lungs and massive heart problems.

"We were so worried about her pulling through, we never gave the fact that she had Down's syndrome a second thought."

Douglas, married to singer Katy, 46, said: "We knew Matilda had Down's syndrome before she was born due to tests done during pregnancy.

"After the initial shock, we were relatively unfazed and started reading and learning everything we could about the condition before she arrived.

"She was always going to be just as special to us as our other kids and we couldn't wait to meet her."

Douglas, who is also proud dad to Amelia, 12, Dugald, 11, and six-year-old twins Sonny and Flora, says Matilda is the boss of the house. He said: "If Matilda had been our first child, we might have been overprotective but, as the middle child, she just had to get on with it.

"She thinks she's the boss and she's probably right. Nothing phases her.

"She attends mainstream primary and, although there are certain aspects she can't keep up with, she has no trouble coping with daily school life.

"Matilda is a member of the Ups & Downs Theatre Group, who meet every Sunday in Motherwell. She appears in all their shows. She also goes to gymnastics, swimming and Brownies."

Douglas, who lives in Sandford, Lanarkshire, added: "When Matilda was three, we discovered Katy was pregnant with twins but we never worried about them having Down's syndrome. Matilda had taught us it was not something to dread or fear.

"Sonny and Flora don't have Down's syndrome and they look up to their big sister, who adores them."

Over the past eight years, Douglas has helped to raise more than PS13,000 for Down's syndrome charities. …

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