Getting to the Bottom of Tennis

 It is undoubtedly one of the iconic tennis photographs, the blonde on the court lifting up the back of her skirt to reveal a naked bottom. It became on of the best selling posters of all time.

Yet who the bottom belonged to remained pretty much unknown, that is until last week.

The picture is going to be at the heart of a special exhibition celebrating Tennis as an art form at Birmingham’s Barber Institute from May.

Mrs Walker the owner of ‘Britain’s best loved bottom’ is now 52-years-old, a freelance illustrator and mother of three. When the photo was taken in 1976, Mrs Walker was 18, and her then photographer-boyfriend Martin Elliot persuaded her to allow him take a shot of her on court hitching up her dress to reveal her bare bottom.

Tracked down by the BBC Mrs Walker revealed that the balls lying all over the court were actually ones she used to throw for her pet dog. The venue was a university tennis court in Edgbaston, Birmingham; the same area where the modern game of tennis is believed to have been pioneered way back in 1859.

Mrs Walker revealed that she was paid nothing, and that she had to borrow the tennis dress from a “friend of a friend”, and that the shoes she wore were her father’s plimsolls.

She said a few people knew it was her bottom, but most people her children told simply did not believe them.

Getting to the Bottom of Tennis
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