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Channel 4 to televise UK's first 'Masturbate-a-thon'

US degeneracy crosses the Pond

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NSFW Not content with dragging the good old US of A straight down to Hell with its public displays of mass masturbatory degeneracy, the San Fran-based Centre for Sex and Culture - organiser of the legendary "Masturbate-a-thon" - will in August travel to London for a similar event in which Brits will be invited to tug the trouser snake and pet the beaver for the benefit of safe sex charities and Channel 4 viewers.

While the news that indie production company Zig Zag will be present in Clerkenwell on August 5 to capture the solo cumfest will come as great relief to C4 schedulers desperate - given the abject failure of Big Brother contestants to engage in live sexual activity for the gratification of the UK's viewing public - for footage of TV wannabes cracking one off for charity, we're pretty certain that Middle England is as we speak preparing to decry the utter collapse of British society to the highest authority: The Daily Mail.

Indeed, the Guardian - which incidentally fails, like the exponent of free love and sexual immorality that it is, to roundly condemn the Masturbate-a-thon - notes that the Mail once declared former Channel 4 top dog Michael Grade "pornographer in chief".

And not without reason. Those of you who can remember the early, heady days of Channel 4 will recall that the first signs of its eventual descent into the squalid mire were already evident. In 1983, some bright spark decided to commission Minipops - the highly-questionable showcase for kids dressed as adults flaunting themselves for the Gary Glitter demographic.

In 1985, the channel broadcast Derek Jarman's homoerotic martyrdom spectacular Sebastiane, whose male full-frontal nudity and comedy Latin dialogue provoked outrage in equal measure.

The rest, as we know, is history: Big Brother (social inadequates failing dismally to indulge in live sexual activity); "Penis week" (getting to grips with the penis, featuring lots and lots of peni); The Tube (remembered for its Jools Holland prime-time "groovy fuckers" scandal); and Jamie's Kitchen (unexpurgated Mockney geezer murdering the word "pukka").

The prosecution rests. The televised Masturbate-a-thon, meanwhile, will form part of a C4 "Wank week". Zig Zag declared in a press release: "This year it's time to bring the event across the pond to see if the great British public can embrace mass public masturbation. It's time to find out if the only things allowed to be stiff in Britain are upper lips."

No, there's another thing that can be stiff in Britain: a fine from the Broadcasting Standards Authority. And if those of you in the Home Counties who are right now writing to David Cameron demanding the return of the birch, the cat o'nine tails and the Tyburn Tree for transgressions of the UK's television guidelines consider this inadequate punishment, what about tying the C4 commissioning editor and Zig Zag producer to a couple of crosses and pumping them full of arrows while naked Roman soldiers pleasure themselves to raise cash for AIDS charities? Now that's what we call TV entertainment. ®

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