Sex performance 'makeover' show is new BBC boss's parting gift to Channel 4

Mark Thompson, the new director-general of the BBC, is leaving a controversial legacy behind him as he leaves his old as chief executive of Channel 4. He has approved a series in which couples will be filmed having sex, with their performance assessed by experts.

The Sex Inspectors will be screened in the autumn, after Mr Thompson takes up his BBC role. The series will be modelled on The Dinner Party Inspectors, in which experts on etiquette gave critical feedback after observing the interactions of diners.

The production company Talkback, which is behind both shows, has begun recruiting couples to tackle problems including differences in sex drive and difficulties created by having children.

The programme could heighten fears that Mr Thompson, working with new BBC chairman Michael Grade, will erode values at the corporation. Mr Grade was once branded "pornographer in chief" when he was in charge at Channel 4.

Couples featured in The Sex Inspectors will be guided by relationship guru and body language expert Tracey Cox, from BBC2's Would Like to Meet, and the American sex columnist and broadcaster Michael Alvear. The finer points of what viewers will see are still to be finalised.

Daisy Goodwin, the editorial director at Talkback, said: "Everybody thinks other people are having better sex than they do - it's one of the world's great myths.

"This is partly to reassure them that they're not and also to show them some things that might make things a little better. There will be footage that the inspectors analyse, but there will be pixellation. This isn't a porn show by another name."

Commenting on the programme, the MP Gerald Kaufman, chairman of the Commons media select committee, said: "It sounds absolutely gross and you won't catch me watching it."

The shadow Secretary of State for Media, Julie Kirkbride, said she hoped the programme did not reflect what may be commissioned when Mr Thompson arrives at the BBC. "Channel 4 does have a remit for slightly unusual minority programming, and I suppose this falls under that category, but I certainly wouldn't expect to see something like this on the BBC. It amazes me that someone would want to participate, but as long as people abide by the normal laws of decency, it's up to them."

A Talkback spokeswoman said it was too early to say what viewers would see. "It's not even in the edit suite so we can't say you are definitely going to see sex ... It is supposed to be educational and informative, it's not about titillation," she said.

Mr Thompson's successor at Channel 4 is expected to be appointed within two months. Frontrunners include Kevin Lygo, Channel 4's director of television, and Dawn Airey, a former chief executive at Five and currently the managing director of Sky Networks.

Other controversial shows on Channel 4 include Queer As Folk, a drama about the relationships of gay men which featured a number of frank sex scenes, including one of a man sleeping with a 15-year-old boy. Pornography: The Musical showed porn stars singing about their experiences in the sex industry and footage of them preparing to work. The soap Brookside broke a taboo with a lesbian kiss on prime time TV in 1993.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Environment
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Ad Sales - UK Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global mul...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Vendor Services Manager (IT) - Central London

£50000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Vendor Services Manager (...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells