ITV Saturday Evening 01.06.1996 - 'Man O Man' with Chris Tarrant
This tacky gameshow was like Blind Date's embarrassing and uninhibited younger sister, but it's not a dating show! Presented by Chris Tarrant, who's been a dab hand at presenting and smutty or anarchaic shows undeterred, like the adult version of "Tiswas" in the early eighties, "OTT" and "Tarrant On TV" which showed outrageous TV clips from around the globe. To be fair, Tarrant makes an ideal host here, as he takes it all in his stride, neither crude or saint-like. It was in an age of "Girl Power", where in the media, it was becoming allowable for women to get the upperhand over the men.
"Man O Man" began in 1996, with this faux-tropicana set starring a boisterous audience of hot-blooded women, but not exactly to "Chippendale"-like levels. This clip features the first round of the contest for men to impress the female audience, and the swarm of gorgeous female models, non-dateable of course. This was merely to find the most attractive man on all fields, not just looks. However having looks helps in this first round, which is both the worst and most memorable part of the show, the first impressions round. So all 10 men stand with a swimming pool behind them. If you're an average Joe or have a face that could break a mirror, then you're in trouble! The men who are saved for the next round are kissed by a different model, but the unlucky 2 are teased, then pushed into the pool. Arrrgggh! Feel sorry for those guys!
Also, one of the models featured in the clip who pushes one of the guys, you may know as glamour model Nell McAndrew, probably most well known for appearing in ITV's first ever series of reality show of living it rough in the Australian jungle, "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here" in 2002.
The later rounds consisted of more of the remaining men's personalities coming through to impress the women. The show was a moderate success, and the format was taken from a European show, but didn't match the original's success. The second elimination round was personality, then "party-piece", "chat-up lines" and another cringeworthy moment being having to undress to their undies in the final 'hunks in trunks' round. After all that, the prize they are given is a real cheap token of manhood...a motorbike? If I was voted the most desirable man in the local vicinity, I would would wanting a prize that "gives back" to reward my radiant splendour.