A Warning From Outlander's Caitriona Balfe Led Graham McTavish To Believe He, Not Sam Heughan, Would Lose A Naked Bet

men in kilts starz sam heughan graham mctavish 2021

Former Outlander co-stars Graham McTavish and Sam Heughan recently reunited for their Scotland-based road trip series Men in Kilts, which saw the two travel through the country to show off some of the traditions and historical events which have made the land and its people what they are today. This involved a lot of competing for McTavish and Heughan, and it turns out that Outlander's Caitrione Balfe issued a warning to McTavish about his co-host which made him think he'd lose a naked sea run bet.

Previously, I'd say that I don't know who'd make a bet about running into the sea naked, but now that I think about it, it does sound like something someone who's very competitive would be wont to do. And, it turns out that this was the case for Men in Kilts stars Graham McTavish and Sam Heughan. Instead of just road tripping around Scotland and learning about their homeland, the two actors, who became friends while starring on Outlander, took part in a lot of challenges on the series to show how some things work.

Knowing this, Outlander's Caitriona Balfe warned McTavish that Heughan might go a bit harder than necessary on these occasions, and the actor told Express UK:

He is quite insanely competitive, Caitriona [Balfe] actually warned me before I started doing it. She said, ‘Just be careful because he is competitive, about everything.’ I hadn't really noticed that about him before, until we did the show, and he is. I mean, he's a very driven individual. As am I. But Sam, you know Sam runs marathons and all this sort of thing. I'm not going to run a marathon.

Obviously, Caitriona Balfe has spent a lot more time with Sam Heughan while working on Outlander for the past five seasons. Not only are their characters together nearly all of the time, but they've worked with one another much longer than Heughan worked with Graham McTavish, who was only on the series for the the first two seasons. But, apparently, Heughan has managed to make his competitive nature very well known to those who are still working on Outlander, while McTavish had missed that aspect of his personality originally.

As McTavish would eventually learn, though, Balfe was correct about her on-screen husband, and Heughan's competitiveness led to a bet between himself and his co-host when they both tried their hands at hammer throwing, golf, and a few rugby drills for Men in Kilts. For some reason, the duo decided that whoever did worse in these challenges would have to then run into the sea naked, with the punishment there, I assume, being that it would be nearly unbearably cold.

But, things ended up turning out in McTavish's favor, because he won and Heughan had to doff his entire outfit and enjoy a bit of naked sea time. As McTavish recalled:

I assumed that I was going to have to do it because he told me that he'd been in the semi professional at golf. I'd played golf twice in my life before, this is like 30 years ago. I wasn't very good. So I was completely accepting of the fact that I was going be running into the North Atlantic naked. And then I beat him at the golf.

Well, good for Graham McTavish, right? Something tells me that competitive Sam Heughan won't be holding any grudges over losing, and probably takes his nude sea jaunt (which McTavish watched with "unbridled glee" from a warm spot) as the cost of doing business when you like winning as much as he does.

Graham McTavish will be seen on HBO's House of the Dragon (but not with Heughan) and the upcoming season of The Witcher, while Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe will be back for Season 6 of Outlander, with both of those shows coming in the near-ish future. For more on what's up next, check out our guide to 2021 summer TV premieres!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.