Published: 15:00, 15 November 2019
| Updated: 15:49, 15 November 2019
An election candidate hoping to upset the odds in Kent's most marginal seat says her starring role in a racy gambling advert may dent her "credibility".
Lib Dem hopeful Claire Malcomson was parachuted into the Canterbury race this week following the shock decision of journalist Tim Walker to step aside.
Not much was known in the city about the single mother-of-four, who is a district councillor in Dorking, Surrey.
But the part-time singer and actress has spoken today of appearing in S&M gear in an advert for a Belgian casino, saying "you're supposed to do these things in a liberal society".
She fears, however, that the light-hearted commercial may damage her "credibility", adding that she is likely to remove it from her website.
The 30-second "TV spot", shot in 2014, begins with Ms Malcomson at a restaurant with a fictional partner, who is slipped a phone number by a flirtatious waitress.
It then cuts to a bedroom scene, where Ms Malcomson emerges in a leather S&M-style outfit and cracks a whip.
The video ends with the couple looking dishevelled in bed.
Ms Malcomson, whose TV credits include The Bill and Jonathan Creek, says the advert is a "joke".
"There's nothing risqué about it," she told KentOnline.
"I think it's the way people look at things. I'm fully clothed - I've got on tights on tights.
"If you can't do things like that...you're supposed to do them in a liberal society. It's meant to be a joke."
The video appears on Ms Malcomson's acting website, which she links to on her councillor Twitter profile.
But the Lib Dem hopeful conceded she would not appear in such an advert today.
"I probably should take it down," she said. "I wouldn't do that now. It's the gambling.
"I've got to be seen as professional. I think I would lose credibility."
According to the Mole Valley District Council website, Ms Malcomson trained at LAMDA for three years, where she studied acting and singing.
Since then she has been a professional performer, and ran a theatre company for 19 years.
She has also written and directed many plays, some of which have been published.
"I regularly sing and I am an actress, but I'm not doing it now because I'm putting my full attention into politics," she said.
"I have a one-woman show about Elizabeth Taylor which is very popular - that's the other side of the scenario.
"As a performer you have to be willing to turn your hand to all sorts of things - otherwise you just look like a one-trick pony."
More by this authorLydia Chantler-Hicks