Greeks try to cover up news exposés

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The Independent Online

The Greek broadcasting standards council called an emergency meeting yesterday to try to prevent a television station from airing its version of the controversial Naked News programme.

The Naked News format, which involves newsreaders stripping off in front of cameras while delivering the news, has proved so popular since its conception in 1999 as a Canadian web bulletin that it has spawned terrestrial copycats in both Russia and Bulgaria.

The Greek broadcast council is determined Greece will not be next in line and has demanded videotapes of trailers of the programme aired on Monday and is threatening fines of up to £100,000.

The council was spurred into action earlier this week by the television station Alter's decision to preview its new attraction. Clips were shown featuring Julia Barka, a convicted prostitute, removing her clothes in front of the cameras while reading the headlines.

Nikos Mastourakis, a broadcaster, insisted "it's just a bit of fun", after a storm of protest followed the broadcast on terrestrial television.