IRVINE WELSH STRIPS FOR MCEWAN’S x PROSTATE CANCER UK CAMPAIGN - Trainspotting Author Bares all in McNificent Boxers to Help Save Men’s Lives -

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh has stripped down to his smalls to expose the naked truth about prostate cancer – a disease which kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK. The 59-year-old best-selling novelist has backed a campaign by iconic Scottish beer brand, McEwan’s, that will see all profits from every pair of custom-designed McNificent (McEwan’s new strapline) boxer shorts donated to Prostate Cancer UK, the leading charity in the fight against prostate cancer.

Irvine said: “When I heard what McEwan’s was doing it appealed on quite a few levels. I grew up with McEwan’s – my dad drank it, my granddad drank it and I don’t think there’s a photo of me taken in the 80s where I didn’t have a can of Export in my hand.  While I haven’t lived in Scotland for a while I have a massive soft spot for McEwan’s and love the new look.

“I relish a challenge so if it takes me getting my kit off for the world to see to get through to other men of my age that prostate cancer is not something to be trifled with then that’s what I’ll do…to be honest I’m a bit of an exhibitionist anyway – this time I’m doing it for a great cause.”

Boasting two top-ten beers in the UK*, the recently rebranded McEwan’s commissioned underwear brand Bawbags to produce the boxers, which are emblazoned with the slogan ‘McNificent Man’ – because the average bloke deserves a bit of a morale boost as well as a physical one when he gets dressed in the morning!

The boxers will go on sale via McEwan’s website: at £12.50 per pair. Better still, McEwan’s is giving a discount of 20% with every purchase of promotional bottles of Export, Champion and Headspace in supermarkets nationwide and a special 20% off code card is being given with each pint sold in participating outlets.

Gaynor Green, marketing manager for McEwan’s, said: “McEwan’s is a real heritage brand that has been around for over 160 years and is heavily embedded in Scottish culture. Many of our drinkers are in the age group most at risk of getting prostate cancer. Like any cancer, it’s a hugely emotive subject but the meaningful conversations often only happen when it’s too late.

“Prostate Cancer UK is making great strides at raising awareness of the disease however the truth is that there is still a general lack of knowledge out there as to how prevalent prostate cancer is but also how treatable it is, if diagnosed early enough.  We thought, how can we use our influence to spread the message far and wide and help save men’s lives – men like Irvine, like our McEwan’s drinkers?  We sell about five million bottles every year; if we achieve a redemption of even 2% that’s a huge win in our eyes as it will help fund vital research into diagnosis and treatment.”

The reluctance of men to reveal issues of a personal nature was something that echoed with Irvine, who was born into a working-class Edinburgh family, where football chat was positively animated but privates were kept strictly private.

Irvine said: “Having had the upbringing that I did, I have first-hand experience of growing up in a household where talking about any intimate bodily concerns was a no-no, you just didn’t go there. There’s this whole industrial working-class mentality (in Scotland) too, particularly among men of my generation and older, that you just don’t go to the doctor. If you absolutely had to, it wouldn’t be for anything seen as embarrassing and you certainly wouldn’t have a doctor interfering with your privates.”

Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK and is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer by 2030.

Irvine said: “When you hear the statistic that one man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, it’s alarming, but then there’s that ill-placed complacency that you think it’ll never be you. I’ve known more than one person who has died from prostate cancer: a family member and a friend who, by the time the diagnosis was given, the cancer had spread and it was terminal. It’s not worth gambling with your life – that stubbornness, that dismissiveness, seriously you need to get over yourselves and start talking.

‘’Some of the most personal and candid conversations I’ve had have been in the pub over a pint with my mates. If that’s what it takes to open up and talk about something that’s been bothering you, do it. Just make sure it’s a McEwan’s so you get 20% off your boxers!”

James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK said: “We are extremely grateful to Irvine Welsh for speaking out about prostate cancer and to McEwan’s for supporting Prostate Cancer UK and helping us to raise funds for research into better treatments, diagnosis, and the support of those affected by the disease.

“One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, a statistic we cannot ignore. At Prostate Cancer UK we will be wherever we need to in order to encourage men to talk about their health, whether this is on the football pitch or with friends in the pub. The incredible support from McEwan’s allows us to reach their customers so that we are able to tackle this disease head on and stop prostate cancer being a killer.”

Colin Reid, co-owner of Bawbags, added: “We have always been proud to support great causes, and especially cancer charities.

“Irvine looks great in his new Bawbags, and we believe the McNificent campaign will get more men talking about prostate cancer and raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.”

* McEwan’s Champion is the best-selling bottled ale brand in Scotland and Export the most popular canned ale in Scotland. Both are in the top 10 UK-wide.

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