Last week's review on Reaction.Life.


Naked Attraction, Channel 4/E4

If you ask someone if they have ever seen Naked Attraction the usual answer is ‘no, but I did catch sight of it while channel hopping’. Yeah, right. The show has a strange addictive quality. It’s the TV equivalent of rubber-necking a car crash. If you’ve never seen it (and I don’t believe you), the premise of the show is that a couple go on a date … but AFTER they’ve got their kit off and seen eac other naked. Preposterous, you may think, but it is strangely entertaining. The contestant has six people to choose from. First their nether regions are revealed. Then up to the next. Then the face. Then they speak. At each stage the contestant consigns one of their potential dates to the great rejection room in heaven. When it’s narrowed down to two, the contestant themselves strips off and then makes their final choice. They then go on a date, perhaps have a shag, and then decide they don’t like each other at all. Welcome to 2020 television.

It’s all presided over by the very chirpy, and sometimes downright filthy, Anna Richardson. She’s a bisexual fortysomething who isn’t afraid to come straight right out and say it. She probes – if that’s not an unfortunate word – and provokes her brood into saying things they probably think better of, and she’s not afraid to have a bit of a flirt. It just adds to the awkwardness that the viewer at home is feeling, especially if they’re watching with their mother, or even worse, their Gran.

Twenty years ago the regulators would get involved if a woman’s breast was seen on our TV screens before 9pm. Today they seem completely unconcerned by programmes like ‘Naked Attraction’. A game-show panel that doesn’t feature at least one comedian using the work ‘fuck’ at least once is considered a rarity. It surely can’t be too long before our TV shows feature full naked sex, including penetration, and there are no bars on what people say at all. TV executives will argue it’s the only way to compete with audiences on the internet, and given the decline in TV audiences, you can see their point.

What fascinates me is that most of the people who go on this show are perfectly normal people, apart from the fact that they are exhibitionists. Very few of them have the body beautiful and some are just plain ugly. Some have very eclectic and specialised tastes, whether it’s tattoos, Prince Alberts (google it, or on second thoughts, don’t) or vaginal jewellery. You learn something new every day… And then wish you hadn’t.

Stop gawping.

Nigel Farage on LBC, Global Radio

Monday-Thursday 6pm-7pm. Sundays 10am-noon

Declaration of interest: I work for Global Radio and follow Nigel Farage on LBC at 7pm Monday to Thursday. Second Declaration of Interest: I’ve known Nigel for 12 years and published two of his books. Right, glad to have got that our of the way.

Nigel Farage is a marmite character. There are no shade of grey in people’s opinions of the Brexit Party leader. As a radio presenter, he’s taken to it like a duck to water. He’s a radio natural and has proved adept at not just being an opinionated pundit, but he is a good interviewer and can handle breaking news. He has a one hour show on LBC during the week, which is full of opinion and callers. On a Sunday morning he has some big name guests with some memorable encounters. You’d think he and Alastair Campbell would be daggers drawn and very shouty with each other, but not a bit of it. They show each other a mutual respect and it makes for a fascinating listen. Since we left the EU, he’s occasionally wandered outside his comfort zone of talking about the EU and Trump and as a listener I hope he does more of this. I’d love to hear him host a phone-in on mental health or any range of social and emotional issues. He has shown a great ability to charm his opponents who ring in gagging for a row, and I’m sure he’d be good on empathy too. He will never convert people who view him as a quasi-fascist, but those with an open mind should give him a listen. They might be pleasantly surprised.

Desert Island Dicks podcast, Acast

Yes, ‘Dicks’, not Discs. Seriously. The premise of this podcast is that you crash land on a desert island and you’re marooned with the worst things and the worst people imaginable. Initially hosted by James Deacon, the podcast has undergone a revamp with a new host, radio presenter Dan Benedictus. It recently celebrated 100 editions. The guests are generally comedians, most of which I will fully admit I have never heard of. In a sense, this is both the strength and the weakness of the podcast. If you’ve never heard of the guest, there’s little incentive to listen, yet at least most of them are entertaining in their own way. Their task is to choose three people they’d hate to be stranded with, which is a great opportunity to have a bitch. Some duck out and choose a genre of people, which the host ought not to allow. You then choose a piece of music, drink and food you most hate. This podcast could be really big if only they had a better guest booker. And I say that, having been a guest myself on it many moons ago!