It was a bit of a surprise to have my wife call me at work to say that someone from Channel 5 via Tiger Aspect Productions in the UK had contacted her, having seen the Naktiv web site, who would like to do a naked television interview with me... It transpired that the idea was to film a Naktiv event of some kind in Munich while being interviewed by Paul Merton, the well known British Comedian and TV personality. Paul is rightfully famed for his wry and humorous takes on marginal and mildly amusing stories, first noted while appearing on the succesful "Have I got News for You" current affairs series, and more recently for his European Travel series. I met Robin Haller at the Augustinerbraue at Ostbahnhof for a general chinwag on the scheme, and we settled on trying to organise a naked bowling event somewhere nearby at the end of March. Many logistical hiccups later, in the event we managed to arrange to meet at the Airport Bowling Centre in Erding, just to the north and east of Munich not too far south of the Flughaven (airport) itself. The benefits were that the venue was well serviced by the S2 regional train system and was close to motorway links etc. The question was, though, would anyone actually turn up on the day? In the event, we needn't have worried. I met Robin and his team; John, Mark, Jen, Lars, and several others, whom I can regretably only picture and not src , who were essential to the task of carrying the extremely heavy camera and lighting equipment in a nicely warmed bowling alley for the entire evening. Alex was there, Ralf and Alla and Siggi too, several familiar faces from our naked activity jaunts around Munich and, refreshingly, several new faces too.
We found a couple of middle lanes, and stripped off our clothes as we each felt comfortable. At first we had the ten lanes more or less to ourselves, and the two lanes next to use were taken over by clothed members of the TV crew. This was at first thought to give an interesting perspective to the idea of naked bowling for the programme, to see us expressly alongside clothed people, who may just have been there. However, the evening wore on, and what was more interesting, was that, because the bowling alley had not been reserved for us, and was still open to the public, the other lanes slowly began to fill up too, with just anyone and everyone. Soon, the entire bowling hall was filled with throngs of clothed bowlers (as you'd expect), our TV crew (as you might not expect), and a small crowd of naked bowlers (as you'd probably not expect), all getting on with their own sweet lives, together. No issues, no problems - it was great. Personally speaking, I'm quite used to being in the great outdoors naked, either on my own or with other people, (whether they're naked or dressed is immaterial), but being in an enclosed environment and shuffled up together in this way was, I have to say, a slightly novel experience, and a pleasantly peaceful one too. As Paul Merton pointed out during the interview, this might not be possible (today) in the UK, (although perhaps no-one's tried yet), but in Germany it appears that naked people can play bowls alongside clothed people with no issues whatsoever, and it's good to see this on film as a fine and stirring example of true tolerance in practice. Interestingly, given that nudists like to think of themselves as highly tolerant people, I suspect there would be very few nudist venues where a group of clothed people could turn up, (out of the blue), and join in the activity - at least not without a whole pile more eye-brow raising and possibly grump stares. Our publicum was really very well behaved, and _actually_ tolerant when you think about it. Naturally we're looking forward to seeing the final footage, and given that Paul is well known for that particularly British, wry, humour we're expecting a few friendly smiles along the way. Of course, that's ok too, we're doing this to have fun, remember ?-)