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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Channel 5 criticised in Commons
Keith Chegwin
Host Keith Chegwin left little to the imagination in Naked Jungle
Channel 5 has come under fire from Culture Secretary Chris Smith in the wake of its nude game show Naked Jungle.

The minister told MPs that while the Government should not step in, he had a "moral duty" to the public.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Smith said: "We have noted in recent days a very considerable concern about some of the content on television, particularly in relation to Channel 5.


We're very surprised Keith Chegwin's private parts have generated so much interest

Channel 5 spokesman

"Government cannot and should not, of course, directly intervene, but I believe that the broadcasters have a commercial and moral duty to take account of the views of the public and I urge them to do so."

His comments followed the screening of Naked Jungle last week.

The game show, which featured host Keith Chegwin and 10 contestants all jumping around with no clothes on, attracted several complaints.

It also gave Channel 5 their best-ever viewing figures, with more than two million people tuning in.

Naturism

Naked Jungle was one of a number of "special" programmes shown by the channel to mark the anniversary of British naturism.

Chris Smith
Culture Secretary Chris Smith is concerned with some of the content on television
Another show that has caused concern for some was Showgirls 2000, in which girls compete to find the table dancer of the year.

Sir George Russell, the former chairman of the Independent Television Commission, told the Daily Mail newspaper he was shocked by the programme, which offered a 2,000 prize to the winner.

"I am really surprised at that kind of thing," he said. "It sounds like there is reason to question their whole standards."

But in this year's ITC Annual Performance Review, the channel escaped being reprimanded, despite its commitment to 'adult' shows.

A Channel 5 spokesman said: "We're very surprised Keith Chegwin's private parts have generated so much interest.

"We received a handful of complaints about the show, most of which were not serious, and the ITC received just one."

See also:

25 May 00 | Entertainment
ITV's entertainment backlash
15 May 00 | Entertainment
MTV rapped over Boyzone outburst
08 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Naked Chegwin show sparks debate
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