Thousands of viewers complained on Twitter and media guardians branded Naked Attraction — an uncensored nude dating show — the ‘worst programme ever shown on TV’.Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has already received 24 complaints about nudity.
But there’s really no avoiding the dispiriting conclusion that Channel 4’s latest reality show Naked Attraction, a nude and heavily sexualised version of Blind Date, the Saturday tea-time institution that dear old Cilla hosted for nearly 18 years, marks a spectacular new low for British television.Of course, the bar could hardly be lower than it already is.Already this year we have been subjected to ITV2’s Love Island, in which one couple copulated in broad daylight while other contestants commented on their love-making technique. From every angle, but especially the one that allows participants to assess the sexual organs of their six would-be dates, Naked Attraction is utterly ghastly, and depressingly degrading.The contestants then reject the dates one by one for purely physical reasons mainly attached to their genitalia.I use the word ‘attached’ advisedly; there is an awful lot of body-piercing on show.From the waist down, the bare-legged Miss Denmark resembled the letter X. We know that old-fashioned beauty pageants, in which the contestants were actually required to turn round and show their behinds to the overwhelmingly male judges, demeaned women.
The 1970 Miss World contest was disrupted by ‘Women’s Lib’ protesters who suddenly emerged from the audience and threw flour bombs at the host, Bob Hope.True, it can’t so easily be accused of rampant sexism, since it’s men and women alike who parade for the delectation of the judges (by which I mean the one judge on the show and all the others at home, assuming there will be any audience left by the end of the series).But aren’t we all supposed to know these days that it is offensively superficial to judge anyone purely on the basis of what they look like, let alone to make them turn around so they can have their bottoms assessed?As well as, inevitably in this day and age, disfigurement by tattoo. Again, fair enough, except that the woman was duly rejected for being — no euphemism could possibly disguise it — fat.When only two potential dates are left, they parade naked while the contestant runs the rule over them, and while this doesn’t quite happen literally, in Monday’s opening programme one aspiring suitor was rejected because his penis was too big. The show’s message, loudly amplified by Richardson (the only person who doesn’t get naked, since the contestants eventually have to strip off, before striding off hand in hand with their dates), is that as two people weigh each other up as candidates for a possible relationship, clothes are a distraction, an irrelevance.The second contestant, a 24-year-old female bisexual called Mal, then admired a significantly overweight woman for her ‘gorgeous, beautiful shape . Apparently, we’re all only interested in what’s underneath.