Written by Science, TV

Naked = Ratings

When Horizon is good, it’s very good. But when it’s bad, it’s terrible.
And tonight we had possibly the worst Horizon I’ve seen in quite a while. What’s The Problem With Nudity was as blatant an example of ratings grabbing as I’ve seen in a long time.
Did nobody see that excellent recent Screen Wipe in which Charlie Brooker gave Trinny and Susannah a mauling over their recent programme in which for no reason at all lots of people took off their clothes to titillate a prime time ITV audience. And then there’s the various Gok Wan series that always seem to involve people getting their kit off.
According to Horizon this was a “unique study.”
No it wasn’t. They admitted that everybody who took part knew that the programme was going to be about nudity. They all knew that they’d be taking their clothes off.
Evidently nobody had been watching BBC Three. They’ve been making the same specious arguments on Naked. Each week, for no obvious reason, a group of people who share only the same occupation spend a week building up the courage to take their clothes off for a photo shoot, or a catwalk or whatever. Apparently it’s in some way really important to get your clothes off in public.
Or could it be a cheap way to get a decent sized audience on the otherwise troubled BBC Three. This would be the same channel that a while back also had Dawn Gets… Naked, culminating in an open-top bus load of naked women.
I can understand why a mostly poor channel like BBC Three carries this nonsense. But Horizon? Really?
As I keep banging on, there was once a popular science show called QED for which this nonsense could just about be justified. But for the BBC’s flagship science show it’s a travesty.
Incidentally – why is there no Horizon website these days? It use to be a good resource for transcripts, additional video and even further reading. This is supposed to be science isn’t it?
[I should probably mention that BBC Three has nearly earned the right to its existance by showing Being Human which has been excellent.]