Tuesday, 1 January 2013


My current choice of reading is L¿ve TV: Tellybrats and Topless Darts by Chris Horrie and Adam Nathan. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I'm reading it purely because I used to watch L!VE TV and wanted to know more about the inner workings of such a cheap television station. It brought about my interest in soft porn, and that's a big part of my sexual identity, I think... and I still watch some of the stuff I first saw on L!VE TV!

The book is fascinating. I had no idea, for instance, that L!VE had anything to do with The Mirror Group. I didn't know that its first incarnation was run by Janet Street-Porter. I'd no idea who Kelvin MacKenzie was and, more importantly, I didn't know that the small titbits of token nudity - Topless Darts springs to mind, as does The Weather in Norwegian - were completely random ideas done on a rather generous budget (the first time Topless Darts was done, the producer was flown to Australia to film it and it still went underbudget!). And there's more to come.

But there's an error. Here it is:

Next came programmes which were supposed to be 'about' sex, or had a titillating element to them. Leading the way was The Sex Show (later renamed Exotic Erotic) which was shown after 11pm... (Chapter 28)

This is incorrect in a few ways. I used to watch both those programmes.

The Sex Show - a magazine programme which the book contains some fascinating insights into, the veracity of which I don't doubt - was shown at 10pm. It ran for a few years, but eventually came to an end. Exotica Erotica - note the As at the end of the words - existed at the same time as The Sex Show, and was nothing more than a wraparound for third-party softcore (perhaps the only thing L!VE aired that wasn't made in-house at their Canary Wharf studio or by the team out and about), often from the 80s or 90s. (The name Exotica Erotica only existed in the title card!) The two shows were not the same, nor were they interchangeable at any point.

I know this is a nitpick, but I've read through most of this book waiting for a mention of softcore to turn up - it's what a lot of people watched L!VE for! - and when it gets a mention, it's not correct. I watched this when I was 14 and I still remember it perfectly!

This has made me both disappointed and nostalgic at the same time...

...it's still a fascinating book, though.

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