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Naked Jungle (Channel 5/Yorkshire Television, 2000)

Part of a special season of programmes on Channel 5 to mark the 50th anniversary of British naturism, Naked Jungle was a one-off British television gameshow. Naked Jungle aired on June 6, 2000. Based on (because it was made by the same producers) and using the same obstacle course as the children’s show Jungle Run, the main difference on Naked Jungle was that the contestants were nudists. Additionally, on Naked Jungle, instead of a team winning, the winner was an individual. Ten competitors (five couples) started competition and were split into men and women. The male and female winner then competed in a final (“The Temple of the Body”) for a prize of 5,000 pounds. The kids collected bananas, while the adults collected fig leaves through the competitions. The host Keith Chegwin was also naked, except for a hat.

Channel 5 stated that from the phone calls they received about Naked Jungle that the audience was split between appreciation and criticism. The Independent Television Commission (ITC) only received one complaint about the show. However, British newspapers lambasted the show. Even the House of Commons openly criticized Naked Jungle. In August 2006, a Radio Times poll called Naked Jungle the worst British television programme ever. The next year, Chegwin stated “it’s the worst career move I made in my entire life — if I could turn the clock back, I would!” Since Naked Jungle ran on a Tuesday at 11 pm, he didn’t think it would gain as much publicity as it did.

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