Naked Attraction (2 stars)

Naked Attraction

Tawdry dating show that lets it all hang out

2016 has gone down in history as the year when far too many icons departed this planet: Bowie, Rickman, Prince, Ali, Hadid, Cruyff, Castro, Boulez, Corbett and Wogan for ten. It was also the year when a little bit of our collective soul might have died when the first series of Naked Attraction was aired on Channel 4. Despite complaints to Ofcom and general amazement that an idea which was surely spawned during a lengthy liquid lunch could have ever made it onto our screens, tonight bears witness to series seven (yes, seven) of the most deranged dating show in British TV history.

Pitched somewhere between Blind Date and Take Me Out (merging the former's element of surprise and the latter's rank awfulness), Naked Attraction is helmed by Anna Richardson and features two contestants per episode picking a date from six disrobed individuals whom we meet bit by bit: first we see their genital arena and then their middle bit. By the time we get to look upon their faces and wonder just what is going on behind those eyes, we are down to the final two victims/competitors. For reasons that are not made clear, the chooser then pops their own clobber off backstage, and wanders back to make a final choice, presumably sending the runner-up off into the arms of an on-set therapist.

Can there be a more awkward moment in a human being's life on earth than playing a part of Naked Attraction's final round, as a trio stand fully exposed, arms dangling embarrassingly by their sides, not knowing where to look or how to be? Still, at least our host is on hand with a comforting message upon the defeated's departure, such as 'take yourself and your enormous willy through there!'

The opening round's chooser, 23-year-old virgin Brian, is so stunned upon witnessing six vulvas staring back at him that he makes his excuses and leaves the studio floor for a few minutes. If Brian is on the show to try and find out what sex feels like, Shaida is there to nab herself a husband and get breeding before reaching 30 (she has three years left on that clock). The fella Shaida eventually plumps for looks ashen during their date when she adamantly declares her determination to have a family of seven children. The desperation on both sides is palpable. The only saving grace to this lousy affair is that we have yet to be confronted with the celebrity spin-off.

Channel 4, starts Tuesday 10 November, 10.20pm.

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