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Wine pros tremble at prospect of baring…most

In three weeks’ time a group of respected members of the UK wine trade will take part in a ‘Full Monty’ strip show – and they’re coping with the tension in different ways.

The show – in aid of the Prostate Cancer Charity – is the brainchild of Decanter’s tastings manager Christelle Guibert. She has persuaded eight senior wine professionals, including Tim Atkin, Peter Darbyshire and Michael Cox, to take to the stage and dance an almost-total striptease in front of an all-female audience.

The performers are looking forward to the evening with varying amounts of zen-like calm, trepidation, terror and resignation.

For Cox, director of the London office of Wines of Chile, nothing will ruffle his composure. ‘I’ve never been calmer,’ he told decanter.com. ‘It should be a good laugh.’ He added that he was disappointed there would be no time to get his buttocks tattooed with the Wines of Chile logo.

Atkin, who has installed an entire gym on the first floor of his house in order to get himself buff for the big night, said, ‘it will certainly be entertaining, but possibly not for me.’ With wine writer Michael Palij he makes up the full complement of MWs in the troupe.

Decanter’s deputy editor Guy Woodward claims he was coerced into taking part by ‘a gaggle of girls, who put pressure on my judgement, my conscience and my masculinity.’

‘If anyone wants my place, they can bid for it,’ he said.

Peter Darbyshire – a stranger to treadmill and dumbbell – said, ‘a bit of humiliation is worth going through for a good cause.’ He added that three people close to him had died of cancer. ‘It would be a paltry excuse to say I’m too embarassed to do something,’ he said.

Other dancers are Richard Milsom of Charles Taylor Wines (‘I’m going to the gym a couple of times a week, which is two more than normal’), Peter Darbyshire of Thierry’s Wine Services, Andrew Shaw of Stone Vine & Sun, and restaurateur Murray Harris.

The event will be MC’d by Steven Spurrier, who will remain clothed.

Christelle Guibert has also garnered a glittering collection of auction lots and raffle prizes, including a 6-bottle vertical of Badia a Coltibuono Chianti going back to the 1947 vintage, a Methusaleh of Laurent Perrier, a Salamazar (9-litre bottle) of Kaapse Vonkel sparkling wine, dinner at 15, a cooking masterclass for two at L’École de Cuisine d’Alain Ducasse, Paris, and dozens of other prizes.

The party, at the Crypt in Holborn Circus on 30 June, is open to everybody although the Full Monty performance is open to women only and will take place in a private room by the crypt. After the show there will be a raffle and auction which is open to all.

Click here for tickets and full details including dancers’ biographies and full list of auction and raffle lots

Written by Adam Lechmere

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