A GIANT puppet was the star of the show at Glasgow's Merchant City Festival yesterday as the 26ft-high Big Man Walking stunned crowds on a stroll through the city centre.

The puppet, making its debut appearance in the city, amazed onlookers in George Square, before heading on to the nearby Gallery of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square where children from the museum's summer-camp programme presented him with a souvenir of his time in Glasgow.

The Big Man Walking then returned to the Merchant City via Ingram Street to the tune of a samba dance led by the Boteco do Brasil Brazilian Band.

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He is due to make a second walkabout at 2pm today in Brunswick Street.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the festival, said: "Bringing Big Man Walking to Glasgow is something we are immensely proud of – it showcases our aspirations to generate genuine excitement."

Following the success of 2011, when more than 90,000 people attended the festival across three days, organisers Glasgow Arts expanded it to five days. This year's programme, which concludes tomorrow, includes 300 mostly free events including street theatre, music, dance, circus, visual arts, comedy, literature and family events.

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