Festivals, Sex & Suspicious Parents, TV review: BBC3 format returns for more cringe antics

More child-parent learning and hugging in this format spin-off

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The Independent Culture

For many British teenagers, the music festival is often a first chance to throw off the shackles of GCSE biology, and to alight somewhere in a field. Or, at least, a field just outside Reading town centre. And go wild, wild, wild.

I'm still faintly surprised that my mum allowed me to join half of my Year 11 colleagues at Leeds Festival where we learned the finer arts of getting intoxicated on plastic bottles of Smirnoff Ice (tasted good warm) and throwing things at Papa Roach.

I'm also proud to say I witnessed several members of my sixth form take their first steps into the world of petty criminality during the Leeds Festival 2002 riots. There was a gas canister and a portable cabin involved. Best leave it at that.

Sun, Sex & Suspicious Parents is a BBC3 series in which parents secretly watch their kids debasing themselves in Faliraki.

It goes like this: 18-year-old drinks pineapple full of vodka; falls off a bar; pukes; gets chastised by a disappointed parent or two; everybody hugs and learns. Here, the concept has been transferred to the world of music festivals in Festivals, Sex & Suspicious Parents.

We met Chris, a budding boxer, who could barely speak by the time his minibus got to the Kendal Calling site. He was about to begin a teetotal training year and seemed determined to go out on what boxing fans call "a Hatton".

We also met Lauren, who was on the sauce just as quickly. "Lauren, don't be necking red wine, seriously," warned best pal Holly. Cut to: Lauren pulling her pants down and urinating in the middle of field in broad daylight.

Will her parents approve or not? The suspense wasn't murderous.

We stuck with Chris and Lauren carrying themselves with the decorum of an Oasis crowd at a bacchanal until their folks arrived to inform them that defecating in public and showing your backside is not cool. They're right, it's not cool.

Of course, the kids redeemed themselves eventually and didn't do anything too barmy – as few would with a camera crew in trail.

Then the parents arrived and the hugs and learnings took place. Meanwhile, I slowly thanked the TV gods that BBC3 didn't exist in the early Noughties.