We need a symbol to find TV content without nudity

Mary Whitehouse
Mary Whitehouse
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When Channel Four first aired, I distinctly remember that there was a symbol in the corner of some programmes, at the top left I think.

It was a triangle to let viewers know the content had a racy aspect. Oh, how we avidly glued our eyes to any shows with that symbol, awfully keen to catch a glimpse of something out of the ordinary.

Contrast that with our TV screens now. Flicking through the channels the other night, I came across Sex Pod.

This is a show which answers people’s problems about sex. They sit on a sofa, spill the beans and are then given expert advice about how to solve them.

I suppose this is an upgrade on the problem pages in magazines which used to fascinate and delight teenagers.

I’m quite sure the programme is aimed at teenagers, given that the people on the Sex Pod couch were young and attractive.

It’s no secret that programme-makers reflect the audience they want in the people that they choose to be in their shows.

Then there’s a show about naked dating which I haven’t watched, but have whisked by.

I was eating at the time – a sneaky sitting room supper – and actually didn’t want to look at young bodies while I was stuffing my face.

And as it turns out, I haven’t gone back to it either, so I guess I’m not that bothered about looking at naked people trying to get a date at any time of day.

As a teenager I remember Mary Whitehouse. She was an outspoken campaigner, working to remove sex and nudity from the airwaves.

But I did wonder, as we all eagerly watched red triangle content only to see the flash of a buttock, why she bothered. Surely no-one could be deranged by a sight of flesh?

But now, with open access to sex on television, discussions, nudity and continuing sexual violence shown towards women, what effect this will have on our teenagers as they become older?

I’m so glad we have moved beyond Benny Hill and Carry On titillation. But in this brave new sexual world, I can’t help thinking we now need a special symbol to find content without nudity.


In the era of fake news, it’d be hard to miss Wikipedia’s decree that it will not be using the Daily Mail as a source any more as it says the paper is ‘unreliable’.

This does makes me laugh a lot.

Why? Well, we all know the Daily Mail is stuffed full of pigeonholes into which the great, good and ghastly are squished (women to be thin, beautiful and flashing flesh under the age of 30, men to be strong and right-wing, pop-stars to not have an opinion, refugees to be short and starved and not in any way bigger than a white person).

But for Wikipedia to call the Mail ‘unreliable’ is utterly wonderful as that website is so full of holes and opinion, it really is the pot calling the kettle black – and then booting the kettle right out of the door.


The number of people having plastic surgery has fallen.

Frankly I’m not surprised, with celebrity faces all over the internet showing disaster after disaster.

I recently watched a film in which the actress could hardly smile or speak, so pulled back was her face.

Then there’s the actor who advertises phones and looks like his skin has been stapled to his skull.

Meanwhile his teeth are so white, it looks as if Tippex has been applied.

So while there may be many other reasons for the plastic surgery slow-down, such as cost, danger, better make-up, the beauty of older women being celebrated, I believe that it’s celebrities in their quest for beauty who have shown us that plastic isn’t fantastic.