‘Why do we have to cover up on the beach? Going naked puts a smile on your face’: Meet Wales’ most naked man
Andrew Lamb gets naked for a living and has even hiked up Pen y Fan nude. He says he has only ever encountered objections from single men
Clothes are not his thing and he prefers to spend time in his birthday suit – meet Wales’ most naked man.
Andrew Lamb is not bashful when it comes to baring all and claims to be the busiest life model in the country, stripping off for art classes, theatre productions and films.
The Cardiff-based model said: “I’m 48, I live in a van, and I’m usually as naked as the day I was born. More so, in fact. Swaddling’s not my thing.”
Andrew started stripping off in 1993 and he now works for art colleges and universities, as well as starring in film, TV and theatre.
The model first got his kit off when a friend in Brecon started running life drawing sessions 20 years ago.
“My friend couldn’t find a local man willing to get undressed for the assembled artists, so I stepped in to help,” said Andrew.
His impressive CV has seen him work alongside the likes of Eastenders actress Lacey Turner, as well as Caroline Quentin of Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek fame.
As a member of Cardiff Life Model Collective, Andrew has also recently been involved with ITV supernatural comedy Switch, which involved dancing naked around a fire at a witches’ party.
Although many people may think getting paid to lie down all day sounds like an easy job, he explained the work is physically and mentally demanding.
Andrew, who has posed for five hours at a time, said: “All poses are painful over time. Life models are subject to bits of furniture digging into their flesh. An awkwardly placed limb that felt fine at first goes dead after 20 minutes.”
He added: “I am relatively fit and cycle a lot, but there is nothing to prepare your body for life modelling – it’s more about mental stamina.”
Andrew, who has also worked as a poet, activist, mountaineer and youth inclusion specialist, claims his favourite part of the job is working in a creative environment but admits the work has several downsides.
He said: “The worst bits are working with tutors who don’t know what to do with a naked human and working in cold rooms with cold floors.”
After 20 years in the business, Andrew is the first to acknowledge that he has the odd wrinkle and aches more than he used to, but he embraces his body’s imperfections.
The father-of-one said: “It is very important for the health of our society that we embrace all bodies, all shapes and all ages – both male and female.
“I believe that many body issues and problems associated with trying to achieve the media’s vision of human perfection could be aided by a more open and naked society. We need real people, real legs and real bellies to help us feel comfortable inside our own skins.”
Andrew, who lives naked in a van in Cardiff, says he does not regard himself as a naturist but believes people should be allowed to take their clothes off when and where they choose.
He said: “I don’t understand why we must wear swimming costumes on beaches and in saunas in the UK. It seems silly to me that by covering up, we draw attention to our bits, which, if anything, sexualises the body, whereas going naked puts a smile on faces and is soon of no interest to others.”
Making the most of the spell of warm weather, Andrew has been spending whole days without clothes, including a recent naked trip to the Gower and a nude hike up Pen-y-Fan, South Wales’ tallest peak.
Despite encountering some negative reactions, he remains staunch in his views.
“I have had a few people get in my face about being nude, but that is their problem, not mine,” he said.
“It is always single males. There is something about a naked man which makes other men feel threatened.”
Originally published in July 2013 in Wales On Sunday and Wales Online