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19th August

 Obituary Moira Knox...

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Edinburgh's Mary Whitehouse
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scotsman moira cox Moira Knox, who died on 4th August aged 85, was an Edinburgh councillor who became almost a cult figure at the city's annual festival, supplying suitably outraged quotes to accompany the latest newspaper report on any Fringe production that might offend public decency with nudity, blasphemy, bad language or even bad manners; she became known as Edinburgh's Mary Whitehouse .

Moira Knox never needed to see a show before pronouncing judgment. She explained a little how she got caught up in newspaper fuelled 'outrage':

A girl from the Sun telephoned and told me that they had received lots of calls from irate ratepayers in Edinburgh complaining about the nudity, she said. The girl from the Sun has seen it and she explained exactly what was going on... I do not need to go and see it to know what it looks like.

Her words of opprobrium would often be reprinted on the posters and fliers of visiting companies helping to raise public interest and increase ticket sales. One promoter even launched an award, called the Moira, which was given to the Fringe production that prompted the fiercest criticism

There were suggestions that some performers would contact her directly to alert her to the nature of their shows, while pretending to be offended members of the public.

By the end of the 1990s she had rather twigged that her 'outrage' was being exploited. She announced that she was going to retire from her self-appointed mission to clean up the Fringe:

I've realised that they want me to castigate them. I'm not falling for that again.

 

1st August

 Updated: 'This has to be the worst programme ever shown on television'...

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The Daily Mail lays into Channel 4's Naked Attraction, but it inevitably proves popular amongst viewers
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naked attraction The Daily Mail runs with the headline: Can TV Sink Any Lower? and continues:

It claims to be progressive and truthful. In fact, Channel 4's new naked dating show is stupid and degrading voyeurism from what's meant to be a public service broadcaster.

From Big Brother to Sex Box, the world of TV is always looking for new lows. And this week Channel 4 succeeded.

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.

A spokesman for MediaWatch UK said:

This has to be the worst programme ever shown on television, there is nothing to recommend it.

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, accused Channel 4 of

Grossly irresponsible broadcasting and viewers labelled it creepy and a new low for British TV .

In each two-part programme, a pair of contestants get to appraise the six people vying in their birthday suits for approval. Each date stands stark naked in a box, while a screen is gradually raised to reveal them front and back bit by wobbly bit , as presenter Anna Richardson puts it.

The contestants then reject the dates one by one for purely physical reasons mainly attached to their genitalia. 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.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 responded to the whinges explaining:

This is a light-hearted and appropriately scheduled series which aims to demystify the rules of sexual attraction for the Tinder generation.

At the time of writing, 45 viewers had complained to the TV censor Ofcom who will no doubt reject them out of hand.

Despite the complaints, Naked Attraction has proved a hit with an average of 1.4 million viewers tuning to the series opener.

Naked Attraction airs Monday nights at 10PM on Channel 4.

Update: A few more complaints

28th July 2016. See  article from radiotimes.com

Ofcom has now received 98 complaints in total, some about nudity and some about the programming being supposedly degrading to human relationships.

Update: Another sound bite

31st July 2016.  See  article from telegraph.co.uk

Sam Burnett, of Mediawatch UK, said:

Never before have programme-makers shown such blatant contempt for basic standards, with record levels of explicit nudity serving no particular purpose. It's not even like the programme was any good to compensate.

Offsite Article: Naked Attraction unzipping the history of male full-frontal nudity on TV.

31st July 2016.  See  article from telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph logo The first penis was shown on British television in 1957 during an episode of the documentary series Out of Step. Presenter Daniel Farson visited a nudist colony and, perhaps unsurprisingly, some naked chap wandered past in the back ground. While this did make the front page of The Daily Herald, only one viewer called Television House -- and that was to praise the programme.

...Read the full article from telegraph.co.uk

Update: Whingeing about catch-up TV

1st August 2016. See  article from sundaypost.com

Moralist campaigners are now whingeing that the Channel 4 dating show, Naked Attraction , is available to view by youngsters anytime on its catch-up service. It can be easily accessed by children if parental controls haven't been set.

Norman Wells, director of Family Education Trust, whinged:

family education trust logo Although it's broadcast after 10pm, many young teenagers will be aware of it and will be able to access it online without too much difficulty.

Sexually explicit programmes like this one are sending out mixed messages to children and young people. On the one hand, parents and teachers are warning them about the dangers of sexting and encouraging modesty and restraint, while on the other hand sexual exhibitionism is being promoted as a legitimate form of entertainment by a public service broadcaster.

Sam Burnett, acting director of Mediawatch UK, whinged:

mediawatch banner logo We're concerned that programmes like Naked Attraction are freely available via on-demand apps with barely more than a box-ticking effort to ensure the person watching is over 18.

As programme-makers chase publicity and controversy they're encouraging young people to seek out inappropriate content to keep up with playground gossip.

We have an anything-goes culture in television production. Just because a programme is on late at night with fewer viewers doesn't mean that standards should be thrown out of the window. That record-breaking nudity is no longer as bad as it once was isn't because we are more enlightened, it's a sad reflection of a society grown dull through over-exposure to pornography.

Meanwhile in the US, moralist campaigners are a bit green with envy about there being actual nudity on TV to complain about. Americans usually have to put up with their nudity being censored by pixelation.

See  article from w2.parentstv.org where Parents TV Council whinges:

PTC logo In recent years, Americans have been bombarded by ever-more sleazy concepts for reality shows, from Walk of Shame Shuttle and The Seven Year Switch to Sex Box and Dating Naked . But British TV proves that there's always something more depraved waiting in the wings.

Naked Attraction is a new program on Britain's Channel Four which premiered this week. On the show, a contestant chooses a date from a panel of six eligible singles. How does the contestant make her choice? By viewing all six potential partners completely in the nude. Unlike Dating Naked , nothing is blurred; the show features full-frontal nudity, in shocking close-up.

And when Channel Four says naked, [they] mean NAKED. There are no modesty blurs like those found on VH1's Dating Naked or the Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid . About 50 percent of the screen time on this show is dedicated to extreme close ups of vaginas, penises, six-packs, love-handles, nipples, boobs and butts. The camera seems to linger on every hair, pimple and stretch mark, as well as the curves and protrusions, notes an article about the show .

American TV history is rife with concepts borrowed from British television, from All in the Family and Sanford and Son to MTV's Skins and The In-Betweeners . American viewers can only hope that this is one case where American media decides NOT to imitate their cousins across the ocean.

 

14th July

  Go Away...

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NSPCC whinges about Pokemon Go
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pokrmon go logo The NSPCC has demanded that the makers of Pokemon GO introduce child safety features before the game is released in the UK. Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the children's campaign company, whinged:

Given Pokemon's already massive popularity with children, the NSPCC is concerned that basic safety standards appear to have been overlooked.

I urge you to urgently reassess your app and its security and safety features.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that children are protected and as creators of a game with substantive reach, you have a weighty responsibility to protect your young users.

The game lets players capture virtual cartoon animal-like creatures on their phones, as they wander around the real world.

There have been scare stories, though, of criminals using the game to lure players to remote locations and to rob them. In another instance, players following digital trails were directed to a sex shop.