Embarrassing Bodies: A Fistful Of Horrors

A benign testicle cyst and a badgers arse come under the microscope...
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Ah, another week, another parade of glistening goiters, cheesy flaps and pendulous projectiles. Yes, Friday night means Embarrassing Bodies – that weekly good old poke about in the underpants of humanity. For me, the weekend starts when I see an enormous pair of warty testicles being prodded in a Portakabin in Doncaster town centre. Time to crack open the Blossom Hill! What’s next you say? A hairy bottom? *Pop! Glug!*

But although Embarrassing Bodies is a wilfully hideous visual experience that has you shrinking away from the screen like a slug in a salt trail – it’s also strangely relaxing. It must have something to do with the sheer relief you experience when you realise that at least YOU don’t have a massive growth sticking out of the back of your neck like a second head, or an angry pustule that looks like Brian Glover in Kes. No, despite the embarrassing fact that you haven’t got anything better to do on a Friday night than watch a fat bloke with an anal prolapse, Embarrassing Bodies is an invigorating, life affirming show. It makes you want to run into the street and say ‘Look Ma! No warts on MY RINGPIECE!’

Then of course, there’s the presence of those respected TV doctors, Dr Christian Jessen and Pixie McKenna. They are, we are led to believe, real doctors, despite the fact that Dr Christian looks like a bad drawing on the cover of a Mills and Boon and Dr Pixie is called…Pixie. (Let’s face it, when it comes to professional gravitas, that’s about as reassuring as a high court judge called Bojangles McGinty.) But despite their shiny televisual falseness they show an admirable sang froid when faced with fishy feet and yeasty muffs. While others would gag, point, faint or take a photo and put it on Twitter, Doctors Christian and Pixie take it all in their stride –until they get to the pub and collapse into hysterics, at least.

Seeing poor Joanna’s grateful face when she got her badger arse shorn almost brought tears to my eyes (and a few to hers)

Take this week’s motley selection of medical anomalies. The show had a tenuous holiday theme, which was essentially an excuse to crowbar in some shots of women with unembarrassingly pert tits playing beach volleyball. The team were in Fuengirola on the Costa Del Sol ‘looking for sun, sand and STIs’. And who should come galumphing into the Embarrassing tent but Dave, who had a benign cyst on his testicle the size of The Eden Project. Dave was despatched to get it sliced off – something to look forward to later with a nice Scotch egg – and was replaced with Manuela, who had chronic thrush. ‘I don’t like to see my stuff on my boyfriend’s penis,’ she said sadly. ‘It’s like cottage cheese.’ Manuela’s thrush was no match for Dr Christian, who foisted a speculum upon her and waved it in the air like an Oscar. ‘You’re absolutely right, it is like cottage cheese’ he said. Appropriately enough, during the break, there was an advert for Ryvita.

Next! Well I’ll be – it’s a hirsute arse. Dr Dawn Harper, another shiny doctor from the Shiny TV Doctor Finishing School, examined Joanna, a shy, unassuming girl who had the coarse, furry bottom of a badger. She was immediately sent for laser treatment to stop her looking like a Romanian wrestler. Things weren’t so straightforward for Lorna, who had lost 13 stone and been left with bingo wings like a pelican’s throat. They were the Mecca of bingo wings. ‘No amount of exercise is going to get rid of these,’ said Dr Dawn. She was then despatched to get plastic surgery, which involved slicing her arms in half and stitching them back together like a cheap suit, leaving Frankenstein scars.

The superfluous holiday theme limped on, with pointless advice on how to deal with Lyme Disease and standing on sea urchins, interspersed with DAVE’S BALLS! JOANNA’S HAIRY BOTTOM! SOME RANDOM OLD GEEZERS TRACHEOTOMY! But despite the gratuitous Victorian freak show of knobbly, weeping wobbly bits, the goiter makeovers are efficiently done and rewarding. Maybe they’ll even get a few people going to the doctors with their distended flanges. Seeing poor Joanna’s grateful face when she got her badger arse shorn almost brought tears to my eyes (and a few to hers). And although Dave’s ballbag operation and Lorna’s bingo wing-ectomy was some of the most vomitous, repellent telly I’ve seen since the last series of Celebrity Juice, in the end all was well. When it finished I felt normal. I felt grateful that I wasn’t a weird freak who’d get her cheesy chuff out on TV. And I felt a bit sick. Cheers! *clink!*

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