IF you go down to the Esplanade today you're sure of a big surprise - thanks to a three foot tall teddy bear who has become a bit of a local celebrity.

Carol Anne Crawford has placed the cuddly toy at the end of her garden path and each day she and her partner Ian Cormack dress it up in a different outfit.

The couple started the daily fun so they could keep in touch with grandchildren Rowan, Rob and Ché by sending them photographs of it, but now it attracts and entertains passers-by.

Carole Anne told the Tele: "The teddy bear is actually one that we usually bring out at Christmas and with my grandchildren being just little they are fascinated with the size of it.

"While I can't see them, I thought I'd put the bear out and send them stories each day of what adventures it was getting up to that day, for a wee bit of fun.

"It's became a daily thing and now people stop, admire and take photographs of it - the bear is now a famous part of the Esplanade!"

So far the cuddly toy has been dressed as a pirate, Woody from Toy Story, Elsa from Frozen, a gymnast and Super Girl thanks to costumes from Carol Anne's dressing up box for her grandchildren.

He has also been togged out as a hiker, Spiderman and Willy Wonka, with the latter having an interactive challenge too.

Carol Anne hid three 'golden tickets' along the Esplanade and those who found them could take them to her to claim a prize, just like in the Roald Dahl novel.

The thoughtful 55-year-old said: "I am also a volunteer counsellor for Mind Mosaic children and family therapies, so I know that teddy bears are actually therapeutic.

"It keeps us busy, as we enjoy dressing it up every day and it's lovely as people stop and chat, children love admiring it and it is lifting people's spirits."

Carol Anne also paid tribute to the NHS by dressing the bear in a nurse uniform along with a rainbow NHS flag.

She added: "Ian and I have loved seeing everyone enjoy it, people are now actually offering me outfits so I can keep dressing the bear up in new ways.

"What started as just a small thing has become something much bigger and I'm glad people are enjoying it so much."

Pictures by Kenny Ramsay