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Sex Box: Sex on TV? The 5 most transgressive broadcasts in history

Channel 4 is soon to air a new reality show Sex Box, which will present audiences with "real sex", interviewing couples moments after they've had intercourse live on TV - albeit in the relative privacy of an opaque box. Paul Vallely writes for us today on the show's "having it both ways", offering both education and titillation to viewers. It got us to thinking. Is there anything left for TV to broadcast? Or have our eyeballs seen pretty much every important life moment there is to see, on television...

1. A vermin smoothie

Perhaps the pinnacle of bleurrrgh broadcasting, US reality show Fear Factor did what no other gross-out television show had ever thought to do - put rats in a blender. The January 2005 episode trumped all previous horrors (eating cow testicles, say) and attracted criticism, some reasonable, some less so. One Ohio man sued NBC for $2.5 million in damages, claiming the show had caused him to get dizzy, run into a wall, then vomit. He lost.

2. Adoption, live

The second series of MTV's controversial 16 and Pregnant broadcast the moment a young Lori Wickelhaus gave up her newborn baby for adoption, after arguing with the father, Cory, over the decision not to raise the baby. The show itself has been labelled exploitative, with some claiming it might even encourage some teenagers to seek fame by getting themselves 'on the show', so to speak.

3. A Kardashian is born

Surrounded by her family and a loving film crew, Kourtney Kardashian was filmed giving birth to her daughter Penelope in the season 4 finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Birth, shmirth you might say, particularly if you've watched One Born Every Minute. But this clip showed that celebrity birth canals work just like everybody else's. Unless it was all staged. (It wasn't). (But make up was worn).

4. Midgets race a camel

Fox commissioned this, in 2004. Good old Fox.

 

5. Glass of chianti?

Something happened on Big Brother once, something to do with a wine bottle, but as we're a family website we've chosen not to remember it. Lips are SEALED.

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