The veteran presenter could not hide his shock when prolific Remain campaigner and feminist Victoria Bateman arrived in the Today programme studio with no clothes on. A stunned Mr Humphrys asked: “Shouldn’t the other Brexiteers themselves do the same? What about Jacob Rees-Mogg? Jacob Rees-Mogg sitting in your chair naked – what do you think?”
Dr Bateman then challenged the Brexiteer MP: “Well I would invite them to. I would be quite happy to do a naked debate.
“I invite Jacob Rees-Mogg to do a naked debate with me and we will see.
“We will get to the root of this issue, the issue being that Britain faces many, many problems right now.
“From housing to the NHS, but the European Union is not the cause of those problems.”
Mr Humphrys then concluded the interview and chuckled: “I think maybe I should make no comment on that.”
The reaction on Twitter was one of disbelief.
One user exclaimed: “John Humphrys should have stipulated….no clothes, no interview.”
Another wrote: “I’ve no idea who that guest was but I wish he’d let her speak. He was rattled. “
Some listeners could barely register the surreal scenario.
One questioned: “Did that naked economist v John Humphrys segment on the Today programme really just happen? Or is this a very peculiar and realistic dream? Crivens.”
Another said: “John Humphrys was interviewing the naked Brexit professor and I’m just checking I wasn’t hallucinating.”
Dr Bateman’s naked protest against Brexit is one of a handful of odd demonstrations and performances she has graced the public with.
In July 2016 – one month after the referendum result – the Cambridge University professor showed up to a meeting naked in protest of the Leave result with Brexit scrawled over her bare breasts.
But despite the dramatic statement on the UK’s exit from the European Union, no one in the meeting at the nation’s oldest university said a single word about her unorthodox display.
A source that also attended the meeting said: “This was a standard meeting about the teaching of economics and we moved away from her state of dress.
“We remained silent on that issue and managed to get through the agenda in the meeting.”
In 2015, the feminist said denying women the right to be prostitutes was a form of sexism.