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PEEBLESSHIRE Piper Jak Kennedy has become the first person to play the bagpipes at the South Pole.

The 29-year-old made it into the history books during a gruelling 70 mile Antarctic trek, and called the experience 'a dream come true.'

Polar-explorer Jak, from Carlops, managed to play one tune before his bagpipes started to freeze over and blasted out Scotland The Brave at the Ceremonial South Pole with the aid of a secret weapon: hand warmers taped to his palms.

He managed to squeeze in one more performance and played Teribus at the Geographical Pole at the end of the seven day expedition.

“I’d been thinking of going to the Antarctic for years and years but only recently did I think it would be a great idea to play the bagpipes there," said Jak.

“I had to drag the pipes along behind me as well as my kit and the group thought I was crazy at first, but everyone loved the performance.

“Temperatures are typically around -30C but I did record a -49C at one point.”

Jak ventured around 10 miles a day, during which he skiid from start to finish and dragged his 50-kilo sled and pipes behind him.

Having left on December 4, the young adventurer returned home on Christmas morning in time for a much-anticipated turkey dinner with all the trimmings - after burning a mammoth 9,000 calories a day and living off freeze-dried meals.

Jak, who has played the pipes for 20 years, said he just went into autopilot when he started playing and tried to keep going as long as he could.

“My gloves were unable to cover the holes properly and the frost did affect my fingers, I wasn't as fast as normal. I wanted to play for longer but the valve on my pipes froze.

"I was able to defrost them and came back the next morning to play Teribus at the Geographical South Pole .

"It's a pretty amazing feeling to be the first person to play at the south pole, and it still hasn't really sunk in.

"It really was a dream come true."

In 1904, bagpiper Gilbert Kerr was famously photographed playing to a penguin on an Antarctic expedition but there is no record of a piper actually playing at the South Pole.

Jak had fun recreating the picture as the patriotic anthem resounded across the frozen landscape.

Scientists based at the nearby research station provided Jak with an audience for his record-setting performance.

"I think I did OK but I wouldn’t put it as my finest performance," joked Jak, "but it was definitely the toughest.

"I would go again in a heartbeat, I absolutely loved the place.

"I'm tempted to head to the North Pole so that I can be the first person to play the pipes at both Poles!"