This morning, there's one happy couple - thanks to Richard and Judy

PERHAPS IT was the pressures of time or of having to perform in front of two and a half million viewers, but in the end the live television trial of Viagra was, literally, a bit of a flop.

Richard and Judy, renowned for their cosy and caring brand of television took their sympathy one step further on their show This Morning and invited three couples for a live test of the anti-impotence pill.

The couples, two of whom have not had sex for four years, were given one little blue pill and packed off to a hotel with instructions to report back in an hour. The nation held its breath.

"They're all in for a very exciting morning - we hope," said Judy Finnegan caringly.

Her husband Richard Madeley, who failed completely to disguise his relief that he was not similarly afflicted, said earnestly: "Sex is so important, isn't it."

Amid much ribald laughter and nudging of ribs, the pills were duly swallowed and the couples took their leave.

Or as Judy preferred to put it: "The pills have gone down and now we will see what comes up." Richard was more blunt: "Apparently it starts with a tingling sensation and ends in carpet burns."

As the minutes ticked by, the screen was filled with footage of a tower block collapsing - shown in reverse - and a pill thrusting up from the bottom of the screen.

A spokesman for the show denied that it was a crass approach and made fun of what is, after all, a serious problem for many. "I absolutely deny that. We were not poking fun. It was an important medical experiment conducted by the viewers for the viewers."

Andy Burrows, spokesman for Pfizer, the makers of Viagra, said: "I am concerned that this type of approach trivialises a serious medical condition that causes great distress to sufferers and their partners."

Ann Craig, director of the Impotence Association, said they had received dozens of complaints about the experiment.

"This makes the whole issue seem like fun when it certainly isn't," she said.

But what of the couples? Richard leapt eloquently in to the breach. "We had one no result, one reasonably OK result and one wey hey hey give me more," he giggled.

Returning with very red faces, Alec Witherington and Peter Goudie, admitted only partial success. Mr Witherington, 52, who has been impotent for four years, said it was better than previous cures but had not worked for him.

Mr Goudie, 63, who has suffered for the last 18 months, said the pressure of being packed off to a hotel for an hour was too much."There was some improvement but nothing to get excited about."

Not so Peter Brown, 50, who has not had sex for four years.

"As we got out of the car at the hotel I felt myself getting flushed. It started in the lobby," he said shyly. Then getting in the mood, he grinned. "I could go another ten rounds."

Caring as ever, Richard cut them off mid-sentence and rushed to announce the daily quiz. "If you were prescribed Viagra you would be a) impotent b) important c) incompetent.

Well, that's caring TV for you.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future