Actor Simon Callow has publicly defended his right to strip off on stage, asking if Nicole Kidman (who was famously dubbed "theatrical Viagra" following her bare-all in The Blue Room at the Donmar) can do it, why can't he? The actor-writer-director is currently starring opposite Ann Mitchell in the two-hander Through the Leaves at Southwark Playhouse. But, though the piece has received critical acclaim, Callow admits to being stung by references in certain "downmarket" newspapers whose critics seemed keen to see rather less of him than one bath scene allowed. Over his career, Callow has appeared naked on stage on four occasions and, writing in the Sunday Times, he says he's had no regrets about any of them: "If you have to be naked, you have to be naked. The first time I took my clothes off on stage I was anxious, but once you've done it once you've nothing left to hide." He continued, "I know there are actors who refuse, but it has never worried me. I am simply not inhibited in that way. It isn't that it's easier being a man - there is this terrible anxiety of being underendowed. It's just that in the end, I don't really care."