THE gun on The Stand’s iconic cowboy mural will be removed across its three venues, with the original painting sold off to raise money for youngsters to get involved in comedy.

The comedy club chain – founded by Tommy Sheppard (below), now an SNP MP, during the 90s – has long featured a backdrop of the cowboy character holding a gun to his head.

The National:

However, The Stand bosses believe after nearly 25 years “it’s time for him to lay down his gun”.

Thomas "Mac" Macgregor’s cowboy painting from the original Edinburgh venue will now be sold off at a special Festival auction hosted by presenter Fred MacAulay.

While creating the image as part of his time at Edinburgh College of Art, Macgregor, who was involved in setting up the comedy club, was inspired by an old family photo of his younger brother Dave dressed up as a cowboy.

“The first was a small 1ft square with the face blanked out and some cigarettes (Johnny Vegas bought that one),” said the artist. “Then I made a series of paintings with me and the cowboy. [The backdrop] was lurking in the back of the club for a few months before Jane and Tommy asked if it could be used for publicity. Dave and his dimple probably deserve more of the credit.”

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The cowboy is set to be replaced by the same well-recognised character, with the sole difference being that he will not be holding a gun. These new paintings will be installed across the Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle venues.

For those interested in taking home a piece of Scottish comedy history, there is a reserve of £1000.

Potential buyers also need to have room for the sizeable piece, which is 9ft high and 8ft wide.

All the proceeds are set to go towards The Stand’s upcoming work with Edinburgh primary schools in collaboration with Scot Squad comedian Jay Lafferty, which focuses on getting children involved in comedy writing and performance.

A trial project of the concept went ahead in Carnock Primary School, Dunfermline, earlier this summer – and The Stand described it as a “resounding success”.

P6/7 teacher Vicky McCauley said: “The children have grown so much from the start of the year.

“They embraced the comedy writing block of work and I think they really surprised themselves that by the end they were performing in a real comedy club in front of an audience. The parents are still raving about the show. We are all so impressed with the professionalism and quality of The Stand.”

One of the pupils, 11-year-old Angus, added: “I think that it was the best experience that I have had at school and I would go again.

“The Stand was awesome. I was shocked about how many famous comedians have been there. I will remember this experience forever.”