BBC sex shows are a turn-off

THE SERIES of sex documentaries Adult Lives on BBC2 has failed to attract viewers, despite extensive publicity. "Either sex programmes have peaked, or the BBC just can't do sex," said a rival broadcaster.

The series, from Monday to Thursday last week, was a flop from the start, drawing only 1.5 million viewers and 7.9 per cent audience share for the first one, about two virgins on the point of marriage.

The programmes ranged from Mistress Maria, about a dominatrix prostitute, to Rona and Barry, about a couple's "frank and honest observations on a liberated lifestyle of swinging and tantric sex". But sex programmes on Tuesday night drew half the audience a repeat of Have I Got News for You had at a similar time the previous week, and the Wednesday one was outperformed by a repeat of Some Mothers do 'Ave 'Em a week earlier.

The same night, Village Vice, about table-dancing, drew 8.6 per cent share compared with 12 per cent for a show about saws in the History of Tools series a week earlier.