The voyeur's voyeurism

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The Independent Online

Just in case the viewing public hadn't sated itself with Channel 4's Big Brother, along comes Channel 5 with a new project exploiting the current taste for voyeurism.

Just in case the viewing public hadn't sated itself with Channel 4's Big Brother, along comes Channel 5 with a new project exploiting the current taste for voyeurism.

Jailbreak will offer £250,000 to the person who can escape from "prison" while the misery of his or her incarceration is captured on tape. Security guards will be used at the purpose-built building.

We have passed the point where such developments can be regarded as shocking. After all, it is only a short time since the BBC broadcast the ultimate in voyeurism, the first ever "live death", during its The Human Body series of pop-medicine documentaries. On shows such as Police! Camera! Action! we are inured to CCTV footage as light entertainment.

Where will it all end? We must fervently hope that some bright spark in the commissioning department at Channel 4 is not pondering the apparently thriving trade in illegal videos of executions carried out by the authorities in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. We fear, however, that the pilot may already be in the pipeline and will be sneaked out later in the summer as You've Been Chopped. We hope we're wrong.

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