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29-Feb-2016 16:59

As well as, inevitably in this day and age, disfigurement by tattoo. Again, fair enough, except that the woman was duly rejected for being — no euphemism could possibly disguise it — fat.

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. The show’s message, loudly amplified by Richardson (the only person who doesn’t get naked, since the contestants eventually have to strip off, before striding off hand in hand with their dates), is that as two people weigh each other up as candidates for a possible relationship, clothes are a distraction, an irrelevance.

Of course, the bar could hardly be lower than it already is.

Already this year we have been subjected to ITV2’s Love Island, in which one couple copulated in broad daylight while other contestants commented on their love-making technique. From every angle, but especially the one that allows participants to assess the sexual organs of their six would-be dates, Naked Attraction is utterly ghastly, and depressingly degrading.

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

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But there’s really no avoiding the dispiriting conclusion that Channel 4’s latest reality show Naked Attraction, a nude and heavily sexualised version of Blind Date, the Saturday tea-time institution that dear old Cilla hosted for nearly 18 years, marks a spectacular new low for British television.

But in a way we could do with such a spirited campaigner again, if only to remind us that shows such as Naked Attraction aren’t nearly as modern and liberating as those who make and broadcast them think they are. For me, as for many people of my generation (I am 54), an annual treat of my childhood was to sit up with my parents watching the Miss World contest on television.

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.

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What kind of nation have we become when our principal summer sport, Test cricket, cannot be seen live on so-called public-service TV (Channel 4 is publicly owned but commercially funded), yet a shameless, semi-jokey examination of genitalia is a mainstream alternative to the News At Ten?

What is most dispiriting about all this is that the show degrades not just those taking part, not just Richardson — who keeps dropping sexual and physiological facts in a blatant attempt to give this voyeuristic nonsense some kind of scientific credibility — and not just Channel 4.