Saturday, 13 March 2010

Now for the news and weather where you are...

How times have changed.

It's not so many years ago that the most exciting thing you could expect to see on the evening news was Jan Leeming in a polo-neck. Those were the 'good old days', when sex looked like Moira Stewart, and the only chance anyone had of getting wet was if Ian McCaskill predicted an April shower.

But modern TV audiences are a more demanding bunch. We're so used to having our media 'sexed up', even news broadcasts start to feel like they could do with a little TNA to spice things up a bit.

Back in 1999, the Naked Broadcasting Network launched NakedNews.com, figuring that viewers would find a constant parade of depressing bulletins more engaging if it was delivered by a team of strippers. It's still going strong today, although it looks more like a soft porn film shot on the Channel 5 news desk.

Without the benefit of a pay-per-view revenue stream, conventional news broadcasts have to maintain a more professional demeanour - but that's not to say that some of the presenters haven't found other ways of showing they're up for a good time.

The problem is, they really ought to get the newsroom's approval first, as Chloe Everton and Tomasz Schafernaker found out.

The latter is a BBC weatherman, who obviously grew tired of keeping his rock hard abs under wraps, and wanted to show off his warm front in a gay health and fitness magazine. It was actually a pretty discreet photoshoot - no sign of his Schafernakers - but his rippling torso was still enough to get BBC bosses hot and bothered.

According to an 'unnamed source' who spoke to the press when the story first broke, "'Eyebrows were raised big time. The boy was transformed into a swan. Let's just say that everyone is seeing Tomasz in a different light now. But we are worried that when people are watching the weather when Tomasz presents they will not be able to concentrate on watching the symbols."

Aside from the Hans Christian Andersen-troubling mixed metaphors, the fact of the matter is that there wasn't much of a controversy at all. Even the news report itself described Tomasz's position as 'minor hot water' - and that was only because he neglected to inform his bosses before slipping into those little satin shorts. It's doubtful that this localised high pressure lasted for too long.

Over on Sky Sports News, glamourous reporter Chloe Everton got her own telling off, for writing a 'racy' Twitter feed that Sky executives thought was too suggestive. Fearful that it would damage Sky's reputation as a quality broadcaster (cough), Chloe was instructed to take down her tweets.

The offending messages themselves read like dialogue from a long-lost Carry On movie:
'Rory Delap is using a towel to mop up some of the wet ready for those long thrusting balls into the box.’
'Golf today. Played with three boys. I came first, must have been down to good length.’
‘The sign on the ticket machine I am at says: “slot out of action”. I know the feeling.’

Chloe's Twitter account now boasts one solitary, meaningless message that was posted back in December. Thankfully, fans of the smutty sportscaster will be happy to know that her website is still up and running, with a biography that warns "if you're easily offended, best stay away..." Although it's hard to imagine anyone being offended, unless they're disturbed by cheap, low-res photography or deathly dully blogs about football.

Maybe it's the lowest common denominator in me, but I'm all for the sex o'clock news. With a general election looming on the horizon, just imagine how much fun Newsnight could have with Peter Snow's all-new, all-nude swingometer.

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