#111: Keith Chegwin's Naked Jungle
Channel 5: (June 6, 2000)
There are certain things I really don't get about TV in the UK. One of them is how they can have such great series and have long runs, yet only make 13 episodes each series without reruns and keep most of their audience. Another thing I don't get is when you get a channel that's desperate for ratings that they have to resort to something like this. Let me set up the stage. For a full week in 2000, Channel 5 decided to dedicate an entire week to the premise of Naturism. What is Naturism? Well, according to the all knowing Wikipedia, it's a cultural and political movement dedicated to protecting, advocating and defending social nudity in private and in public.
So, basically the fine folks at Channel 5 decided to poach the set from a really damned good kids game show and decided to put a bunch of nudists there, and a host of one of the best revivals in UK game show history and you end up with one of the worst examples of spreading a cultural movements message in UK game show history. I'm keeping my clothes on and we'll head on into Keith Chegwin's Naked Jungle.
Naturally, the host is Keith Chegwin. He was more well known for doing children's shows in the UK, along as being the host for the Challenge revival of Sale of the Century. He did a good job there and he does a really good job here. Oddly enough, the best thing about the show is Keith. Fortunately for all of you, this doesn't show his little chegger. Keith does his usual good job here, with his kids show enthusiasm marked up to a T. However, like with what we've covered in the past on this site, a good host can't save a failure of a show.
From here on out, the rest of the induction will just be text. I refuse to post any pictures involving nudity on this website. Not now, not ever. As far as I'm concerned, nudity has no place on a game show. With that said, let's continue.
The game itself is a rip-off of the UK kids game show, Jungle Run. In the show, a group of 4 (later 3 when Chris Jarvis took over) compete in a bunch of challenges to earn bananas, or in later versions monkey statues. Those items would then equate time in the final round or the Temple of the Jungle King. In this version, the items that are collected are fig leaves, so it's the old Banana format used for when Dominic Wood was host, before they switched it to monkey statues when Chris Jarvis took over. Apparently, this format changed it a bit, since it was an hour long special and they needed to stretch for time, the show goes like this: 5 teams of two, one man and one woman identified by different colored armbands, go around and collect fig leaves. The fig leaves were used as score to determine who gets eliminated after each of the rounds and who moves on to their version of the end game, Temple of the Body.
I should talk about the stunts they had to perform. The first stunt involved the "Pool of Death" where they had to go on big floating lillypads to collect fig leaves. I guess it's supposed to mean something, but to be honest, nobody was watching Channel 5 for meaning. It gets tiring watching these people row to get leaves naked, so they follow up that one with "The Lost Camp". This time around the teams split for two different tasks. The Men searched the camp to find keys to unlock chests that have Fig leaves, whereas the women would find bugs and other insects to trade for fig leaves. Team with the lowest score after this round gets eliminated and probably thankful that they can stay away from Chegger's little chugger.
Round 3 is called the Chasm of Doom. The names just get stupider and stupider like this show. I could just ramble on and on about the stunts, but they just get dumber. They range from the women throwing spears to a target while on a bridge, to rappelling from a waterfall for the guys while picking up those damned fig leaves.
Temple of the Body is the same as the Temple of The Jungle King from this time. The surviving man and woman have to go through the caves to solve a bunch of riddles, not one of them involving clothing and how to put it on. Each of the riddles solved earned the winning team money. First riddle is 500, Second for 1,000, Third for 1,500 and the last one is 2,000 pounds. The caveat is that they have to complete the riddles, and get the body statues out of the temple before the body shuts to keep the money. Trust me, if you watched the end game of Jungle Run from this era, you know the answers to the riddles.
I don't know what else to say. The gimmick is terrible of watching naturists play a kids game show. All the network got was horrendous publicity and lame headlines such as "It's a Knobout". To add insult to injury, the channel which is ran by Porn Baron Richard Desmond, released this show on home video for the perverted bastards who wanted to relive this pile of garbage.
If it looks like I've lost my touch a bit after not being here a month, then I'm sorry. School has been rough this past month and something in my personal life that went horribly wrong on the worst day possible happened. I will try to really make it up for you all this month and after school ends. Especially when we have the Patrick Wayne award voting later in the year.
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