Heads up: Top comment and controversy

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.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power