Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ star says he is victim of ‘upskirting’ and is groped by women on regular basis while wearing kilt

One of Scotland's most prominent pipers said he is groped and photographed indecently by women on a regular basis while wearing a kilt.

Willie Armstrong, one of the founding members of Celtic rock band The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, told BBC Scotland he had experienced inappropriate behaviour since childhood.

Mr Armstrong, 55, said being groped or ‘upskirted’ is a weekly occurrence when the popular Scottish band performs.

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Upskirting was banned in Scotland in 2009, with the rest of the UK finally following suit last year.

Willie Armstrong from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers has spoken out against the treatment of men wearing kilts. Photo: Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime programme, Mr Armstrong also said he is weary of the “true Scotsman” cliché and feels men are not taken seriously if they complain of inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Armstrong said such behaviour belonged in the 1970s – and would be unacceptable if it was a man groping a woman.

He said: “It’s just been a constant thing even since I was a wee laddie. Women used to put their hands up your kilt. I used to tell my mum and dad – they would say it's just one of those things. But is it really?

“That was 1976 behaviour – it's not acceptable. It's the constant ‘are you a true Scotsman?’ – they are basically asking you if you're wearing underwear or not.

“If you reversed that behaviour and I was to say to a woman ‘can I ask what you're wearing underneath your dress’, it would be a whole different ball game.”

Mr Armstrong recalled that, during a corporate event, a woman took a photo under his kilt and passed it around her friends.

“I actually had to stop playing,” he said. “I keep thinking, imagine I'd done that to her – I would be arrested, and rightly so. I don't find it funny.

“I remember playing at Ayr Town Hall. I came off the stage, the crowd were going crazy, and in trying to get back to the stage I don't know how many times there were hands up my kilt.

“I'm trying to play my pipes but I'm also trying to protect my own dignity,” he added.

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