Saturday is one day I’ll not be forgetting in a hurry. Its not everyday that I have to get up at 4.15 a.m. to get a coach from Birmingham to Firle is Sussex for a bare body extravaganza. I always knew it was going to be interesting but it surpassed even my expectations. There were only 15 of us on the coach from Birmingham so I assumed that the recruiting of the expected 450 people must have come from nearer the event – other wise we were going to be very thinly spread indeed. A couple of our party seemed to be still on whatever they were taking the night before and already I was questionning my sanity. One guy I was chatting to said he travels around the world taking part in naked installations – I was obviously among experts (or at least one).
Three and a half hours later we were being ferried up to the Downs by minibus as the track was too small for the coaches. Hardly any expense had been spared by the ITV crew with the massive white tent, the carpetted floor, breakfast (bacon and sausage baps for the meateaters and danish pastries for the vegetarians) I was moved to ask ‘where is the protein in danish pastries’ but was advised not to ask that on camera for the first of what proved to be many an interview to camera throughout the day.
The rehearsal was thankfully fully clothed and I was grateful to have been cast a a left finger. I’m not sure how the guy who’d been cast as the penis tip felt but he fulfilled his position admirably. I have to confess that I felt very confident throughout the day – until it came to actually taking all my clothes off and putting on the boiler suit in which I would make my way back out onto the Downs when I began to feel a little anxious.
Panic didn’t really set in until the order to ditch the boiler suits and take up our positions on the grass so that we could be filmed from the helicopter came. What I hadn’t actually bargained for was that we’d also be filmed by the crew on the ground. I have to confess that after a few minutes of lying in the beautiful sunshine with my eyes closed (funny how you think that if you close your eyes no one can see you) I began to relax a little – and by and by even plucked up the courage to give an interview to camera – completely starkers!! Well, how liberating is that. I’ll never view my body with quite the level of secrecy I did before. I have been at my most vulnerable and survived. I guess it helped that there were over two hundred other naked bodies around. I bit of a surprise for the ramblers walking the South Downs Way. What they must have thought when the turned the corner to see naked bodies spread out all over the ground with camera people weaving in and out of them. A helicopter overhead, and Trinny and Suzanna standing naked hugging each other in the middle of a field.
It was all quite uplifting and liberating really. But the best part of the day for me was the service provided by the delicious Butlers in the Buff. (See photo) Very fitting for the event. The shows go out on June 3/4/5 not sure of the time yet but will post a reminder.