‘Men in Quilts’ take on kilted hunks with comedy show and calendar of their own

‘Men in Quilts’ take on kilted hunks with comedy show and calendar of their own
The ‘Men in Quilts’ Graham Stewart, Kenny Sinclair and Ronnie Black (Ewan Pringle/PA)
Ewan Pringle - Ewan Pringle

Three Scottish middle-aged fathers dressed only in quilts are taking on their younger kilted rivals with a comedy show described as “warm-bodied quilted hilarity” and a calendar, donating the profits to charity.

Friends Graham Stewart, 57, a commercial programme manager, Kenny Sinclair, 60, a media contractor, and Ronnie Black, 56, a head of learning disability services, all from Glasgow, formed the trio in April to create a comedy show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The 'Men in Quilts' Ronnie Black (right), Kenny Sinclair (middle) and Graham Stewart (left)The ‘toy boys of old folk’s homes’ (Ewan Pringle/PA)

They came up with the idea to perform the stand-up show wearing only quilts after seeing Mr Sinclair’s son in the Scottish ‘Men in Kilts’ calendar, which features photos of topless young muscular men.

The three middle-aged men created a calendar titled Men in Quilts, parodying Men in Kilts, and then added the fashion choice to their show to “stand out a bit more”.

All proceeds from the calendar sales are going to the mental health charity, Men Matter Scotland.

Mr Sinclair told the PA news agency: “The three of us decided we wanted to do a show at the Edinburgh fringe, and we had to try and think of something that could help us stand out a little bit more.

“So one of my sons was photographed for a calendar regarding Men in Kilts.

“It’s good-looking young, hunky, Scottish guys, topless, wearing kilts with beautiful scenes and beautiful backdrops of Scotland.

Photo of the 'Men in Kilts' calendarKenny Sinclair’s son featured on the Men in Kilts calendar (PA)

“For some reason, they didn’t want us, so rather than taking it lying down, we decided to produce our very own calendar and Graham came up with the genius idea to call it Men in Quilts.

“As opposed to hunky young Scottish guys all over Scotland, it’s middle-aged plump guys all over Scotland, modelling in their duvets.”

Mr Stewart stated that they could not copy the young model but they could “take them on”.

The backs of the 'Men in Quilts' Ronnie Black (right), Kenny Sinclair (middle) and Graham Stewart (left)The Men in Quilts, Ronnie Black (right), Kenny Sinclair (middle) and Graham Stewart (left) take in the scenery (Ewan Pringle/PA)

He said: “It’s just a bit of fun, us old guys taking on the young guys, that’s the premise of the show.

“Over the course of the show, we try and convince the audience that ‘Men in Quilts’ are better than the young ‘Men in Kilts’.”

Mr Sinclair mentioned that Mr Stewart was initially “a bit hesitant” to create a calendar, but Mr Black was “right up for it”.

“Any chance to take his clothes off and be photographed, Ronnie’s front and centre,” Mr Sinclair said.

Photo of Ronnie BlackRonnie Black posing in the woods (Ewan Pringle/PA)

Mr Stewart joked: “Some girls bought the calendar and said, that’s good, my Granny would love this.

“We’ve become the toy boys of old folk’s homes.”

After using the charity himself to cope with stress and anxiety, Mr Black decided that the proceeds from the Men in Quilts calendar should be donated to Men Matter Scotland.

“I was off work for four months with stress and anxiety, and I contacted Men Matter for support,” he said.

“But even at that time I didn’t feel as if I could go to one of the groups … but just knowing they were there was helpful for me.

“So when we were looking at doing something for charity I just thought this would be a great charity to give back to.”

Photo of Graham StewartGraham Stewart poses with some cows (Ewan Pringle/PA)

Mr Black’s two comedy partners regularly checked on his mental wellbeing.

The head of learning disability services said: “When I was off work, Graham and Kenny would say come and meet up with us, and Kenny said at one point, how are you? And he told me ‘you’re not fine’.

“Having your mates there and you’re able to be open and honest with them and know they are not judging you is really supportive.

“The guys have been brilliant for me.

Photo of Kenny SinclairKenny Sinclair encounters a local cow (Ewan Pringle/PA)

“Laughter is such a great medicine for people. People can be really down and if you can make them laugh it just brightens their whole spirit.

“I think that’s one of the reasons why we love doing stand-up.”

Mr Black also addressed body positivity in relation to his calendar photos.

Photo of Ronnie BlackRonnie Black says people ‘should not judge a book by its cover’ (Ewan Pringle/PA)

“I have battled with my weight my whole adult life but I refuse to let it hold me back from achieving things in life,” the comedian said.

“Even when people look at the calendar they may initially see my morbidly obese body, but so many people comment on my cheeky smile or pose.”

You can see the Men in Quilts perform at the Boteco do Brasil in Edinburgh up until August 27, and they will also be attending 2024’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

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