RICHARD ORD: Ban this filth! Erm, if it is filth, that is ...

Anna Richardson and models
Anna Richardson and models
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Flicking through the TV channels this week I stumbled upon Naked Attraction, a new dating show in which, get this, all the contestants are naked!

Confronted with acres of wobbling flesh (well, I say acres, in truth is was about 84 square foot, but who’s counting?) I really didn’t know where to put my face. The contestants did. And they were happy to tell the world.

Lowbrow it certainly was. And if there were such a thing as a lowbrow, these contestants would have had it shaved.

Tattoos and body hair topiary were much in evidence as singleton contestants had to choose a suitable romantic date based, not on personality, but bare body parts.

You could imagine the Channel Four TV executives listening to the pitches for new shows.

“We’ve got a documentary about Theresa May’s husband: a through-the-keyhole look at Sir Philip Green’s luxury yacht; and this idea about a nude dating show…”

“Nude dating show, you say. Tell me more…

“There is no more.”

“We’ll take it. When can they start?”

What surprised me most about Naked Attraction was that I’d never heard about it earlier … or since really.

There was a time when a nude dating show would have dominated the front pages of national newspapers with demands to ‘ban this filth.’

Instead, only silence, bar some barely audible grumblings from a handful TV reviewers and a faint whirring sound in the distance. That’ll be Mary Whitehouse spinning in her grave.

Who is today’s Mary Whitehouse? Where is our self-appointed moral guardian waging war against the permissive society? And do we need one?

She served a purpose did Mary. I only started watching The Singing Detective in the Eighties after she blasted its lewd content.

Anything she railed against was instantly put on my ‘to watch’ list.

There was no better publicity for a show than a public dressing down from Mary Whitehouse and her Clean-up TV campaigners.

Thanks to her, naked flesh on TV was a rarity when I was a youngster. The only place to find nudity was fleeting (and mostly imagined) glimpses through the doors to the girls’ changing rooms in school or via the occasional page from Playboy found in parkland bushes.

The hunt for ‘dirty mags’ in public parks was, for teenagers in 1979, the equivalent of today’s Pokemon Go. While kids go crazy for a Pikachu, back then we went nuts for the lesser-spotted peekaboo lace bra in a discarded edition of Knave. Still, got us out the house.

I don’t know, maybe I’m turning into more of a prude in my old age. Perhaps, I just haven’t moved with the times. For all I know, Body Hair Topiary may be a demonstration sport at the next Olympics.

If so, you can bet Channel Four will have the TV rights covered. It’ll follow the Monkey Tennis.