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Have I got nudes for you - I've found my inner prude


Paddy Clancy in Leitrim

Paddy Clancy in Leitrim

Brian Farrell

Paddy Clancy in Leitrim

It's a strange business news reporting. One day it's the shenanigans at the local district court - the next I'm interviewing two stark naked people in a busy hotel bar!

I was fully clothed but I was the uncomfortable one - and it showed.

Nick and Wendy Lowe, New Zealanders on a delayed honeymoon in Ireland, were totally at ease in their nudity and did their best to make me relax.

When I accidentally brushed my fingers on the shoulder of 51-year-old Wendy, I felt the need to profusely apologise.

Well, it wasn't quite the same as an accidental bump into a shopper in the queue at Lidl or Aldi.

Wendy is President of the New Zealand Association of Naturists and the couple combined their honeymoon with Ireland's first-ever International Naturists Congress in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim.

The interview gave me pause for thought. Why did my shirt collar feel so tight? It's a little late in life to discover the prude within. I deliberately attempted to look only into her eyes.

Her boobs were bare, her bum was bare, everything about her was bare and she wasn't the least disturbed where I looked, but...?

It didn't feel right to give her the once-over. But I was concentrating so hard on keeping 'eyes front' that I found myself bumbling my questions.

The room was noisy and I had to lean my ear closer to her. Rather than stare at her body I looked slightly away and downwards like an errant schoolboy.

Of course that put my focus directly on her new hubby Nick in all his glory.

And that's when I saw one of the reasons why she picked Nick for a husband. He, of course, was totally at ease.

In 53 years in journalism, I've reported from war zones, crime scenes, fatal accidents - yet the one thing that came to mind was another cringe-inducing moment in the late 60s when I interviewed actress Angela Douglas who was at one time married to the celebrated actor Kenneth More of Reach for the Sky fame. With a 28-year age gap, a story broke that they were making 'special efforts' to have a baby.

The Daily Telegraph assigned me to find what those 'special efforts' were.

The naturally extrovert Angela happily told me Kenneth had heard ice-cold water could add a little lead to his pencil and, nightly, he habitually bestrode a bidet, splashing cold water on his manhood before they went to the marital bed.

I have no idea why I was reminded of that interview as I stared at a naked Nick Lowe.

Presumably, my mind was playing a trick, dragging up a deeply uncomfortable moment from my past that would make me comfortable in the present, standing in a lakeside hotel chatting to a lovely couple in the buff.

Sunday Independent