A stormy night in Bournemouth. The sounds of revelry drowned out by thunder; the sea lapping at the sand. Three men approach the shore. One is a politician, who recently left his post as leader of an insurgent political party. One is a millionaire. They undress and walk into the water.
Imagine: the dark swell of the waves, the moonlight glinting off a pale, Saxon bum…
Okay, no, it wasn’t that Romantic. Because the bum in question – or, more accurately, bums – belonged to none other than Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, who have revealed that they, along with press officer Andy Wigmore, went skinny dipping to celebrate the former’s last days as Ukip leader. Think less stormy sublime and more pants in the channel. More Gilbert and Sullivan than Wagner.
Here’s what Wigmore said:
“We thought he should do a Reggie Perrin and disappear off with only a pile of clothes on the beach and take a picture because we were obviously slightly merry.
“We ended up piling in, clothes piled onto the beach, into the water which was bloody freezing. Then the lightning started and the rain started.
“We couldn’t get out because it’s much safer in the water. So we swam up and down the beach for half an hour in a thunderstorm. It was great fun.
“Then we couldn’t find our clothes. We managed to find them, scrambled up to the hotel and proceeded for the next hour to watch the thunderstorm and drink whiskey.”
Angela Eagle MP, who was in the studio with Wigmore when he told the story on Radio 4’s Any Questions, said: “I think there should be a law against it.”
Even host Jonathan Dimbleby, who, as any BBC fan knows, is ordinarily unflappable, seemed ruffled by the grotesque revelation.
“Can we just record for posterity that you, Arron Banks and Nigel Farage last night went skinny dipping off Bournemouth pier. Is that what you’re saying?”
There is some dispute over whether the trio kept their pants on, however. Where Banks said that they went in fully naked, Farage subsequently claimed he kept his modesty intact.
The Ukip leader emeritus had previously commented on similar youthful jaunts by saying he probably had fewer “boundaries” than other people, adding “it got very cold”.
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Just kidding; that would be horrible.