‘No nudity in a royal park’ BBC stars, spin doctors and Olympians warned over nakedness


    A missive was sent on Monday to those who frequent the Serpentine Lido in London’s Hyde Park. Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club were warned about how much they have on show when visiting the royal park.

    Among members for the outdoor swimming venue are BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Tony Blair’s former right-hand man Alastair Campbell and ex-Olympic champion Linford Christie.

    The warning issued by the club’s president, Alan Mitchell asked members to “dress appropriately”.

    It also noted that complaints had been received about “intentional public nudity” showcased by members in facilities near the site.

    It also explained that the flashing of skin could make others using the site uncomfortable.

    Diarist Richard Eden noted the content of the rebuke in his latest Eden Confidential piece.

    The warning reads: “We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly swimming club and observe the rules and regulations of Swim England as far as safeguarding, health and safety.

    “As such, we would like to remind all our members to dress appropriately while at the Serpentine during club hours.

    “Unfortunately, we have received complaints about intentional public nudity around the showers and on the beach, which is not acceptable and might show our club in a negative light.”

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    In an interview with the Evening Standard in 2014, the 51-year-old TV presenter explained that she feels her “sexiest when I look my worst: after an amazing run and a swim in the Serpentine.

    “The older I get, the more I prioritise fitness over beauty.”

    Members of the club are able to swim in the Lido area between 5 am and 9.30 am daily.

    However, many may find it difficult to abide by the public nudity warning, as Mr Eden’s source notes that the site’s changing rooms are closed due to the pandemic.

    The source told Mr Eden: “There has been nowhere to change except in public since the pandemic started”.

    As a result of the closed facilities, swimmers have to change out in the open on the lake’s banks, while visitors to the royal park walk past.

    The source told Mr Eden that some people “particularly certain BBC stars” will purchase large poncho-style towels to change under.

    These “dryrobes” would set the wearer back £160 for the privilege of not flashing anyone though.


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