Page 3 Profile: Stephen Gough, the naked rambler


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The Independent Online


What’s the problem, never seen a naked man before? Former Royal Marine Stephen Gough, 54, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, is better known as the “Naked Rambler”. For a decade now he’s been roaming this fair isle in his birthday suit – and has spent six years in prison as a result.

And he’s now back in all his, er, glory?

Yes, he’s been arrested again, for breaching an Asbo preventing him from being naked in public. He appeared yesterday at Winchester Crown Court to deny the charge via video link – presumably because he can’t be trusted to keep it tucked away in court.

I don’t know where to look…

Keep it together – it’s a political protest, after all. Gough claims not to be a naturist, instead saying he wants to take a stand against the idea that nudity is offensive. He first gained attention by walking from Land’s End to John o’ Groats with nothing on except boots, socks, rucksack and sometimes a hat – being arrested more than 20 times along the way.

And he just keeps going?

It seems so. On several occasions, he’s been arrested the moment he’s stepped (naked) outside the prison gates. Up until his most recent arrest last month, the BBC was planning to screen a bare-all documentary telling his rather remarkable story. It’s now on hold until his latest run-in with the law is ironed out.

It must be a lonely life.

Actually, there are others fighting the naked fight. Gough is a member of The Freedom to Be Yourself, one of many naked-advocacy groups. You never know, it might catch on.