Retired Bucks Free Press production editor Geoff Perfitt landed a Sun exclusive after a crowd of OAPs from the Saga cruise he was on walked out during a graphic speech on vaginas by former ITN newsreader Carol Barnes.
Most of the audience were over 70 and many were offended by a talk which included the recollections of a rape victim or shaving pubic hair for a better sex life.
Around 60 of the 200-strong crowd enjoying a two-week cruise from Southampton to the Canary Isles and Portugal stormed out of the ballroom where Barnes gave her explicit speech.
Perfitt said: “If you’ve been in the business for 40 years and something like that comes up and hits you in the kisser you’ve just got to respond. It was quite shocking. “All around me old ladies were clucking and tutting and there were small trickles of polite applause. “I’d recently retired and virtually switched off as a journalist, but my radar clicked on when I heard her launch into this.”
The daily newsletter for the Saga Rose had previewed the event as “Not the Vagina Monologues – not for the faint hearted”.
Barnes, 62, defended herself after the show saying: “I’m sorry if some of them were upset but there were warnings beforehand and Saga knew what I was going to talk about and did not object. “The Vagina Monologues have been quite a success elsewhere and I took part in Manchester. I think three warnings were given out before I spoke.”
Another guest speaker, scientist Professor Brian Ford, said afterwards: “Some walked out as others squirmed with embarrassment. “Some just wanted to press an invisibility button as they sat it out. I suspect she wouldn’t have been allowed such a talk on other ships. I’m thinking about giving a general health talk soon and calling it the Angina Monologues!”
One passenger, an ex-RN sailor, said: “It makes a Royal Navy mess look like the Vatican!”