Anyone remember, back in the days when Channel 5 was all about films, football and another f-word we’re not allowed to mention in a family newspaper, a gameshow called Naked Jungle?
I do. Unfortunately. It involved contestants running round a studio-built jungle in the nip, while a similarly naked Keith Chegwin cheered them on.
The image of Cheggers’ belly gently undulating above his gentleman’s area, as he giggled and smirked his way through this hour of misguided nonsense, has been seared on my retinas ever since.
Of course, in these more cynical times, we know any programme with the words naked, nude or bare in the title is a gimmick in search of a show.
And so it proved with Life Stripped Bare (Channel 4, Tuesday, 9pm), in which three 20 or 30-something households agreed to give up all their possessions for 21 days “to find out what they really need to make them happy” in the face of today’s acquisitive, gadget-reliant culture. Each day, they could choose one item to retrieve from storage to make their lives better.
Being stripped bare included their clothes, so we spent the first half-hour of this 60-minute programme concentrating on the first day of the ‘experiment’, when the participants giggled and smirked through the first day in the nuddy, just like Cheggers.
Of course, by the time the second day came around, they all – like anyone with an IQ above moron – decided to choose some item to cover their nudity. However, an extra level of jeopardy was imposed as the foolhardy exhibitionists had to make the half-mile trip to their storage container.
What this said about our consumerist lifestyles was hard to discern, but it certainly meant the programme makers got their pound’s worth of jiggling flesh.
As soon as Heidi, and Laura and Jon, and flatmates Tom, Andrew and Georgia had covered their dangly bits, the producers lost interest, and raced through the next 20 days.
So what did we learn from this tawdry farrago?
l People always look better with their clothes on;
l The onesie is a sensible, practical, multi-functional garment;
l You can make a pair of shoes from an old yellow duvet cover;
l No one understands the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’;
l Channel 4 repeat the premise of the show after every ad break;
l Never, ever, EVER watch another show with a variation of ‘naked’ in the title again.