|Award-winning journalist interviewing former Naked News newscaster|
On Thursday, the Canadian pay-TV network Super Channel announced they are producing an eight-part documentary series on the notorious little enterprise Naked News. Production on Naked News Uncovered, from Toronto’s AllScreen Entertainment, is set to begin later this month and the series will air next summer.
For those who may not keep abreast of these things, Naked News was a saucy little venture which stumbled onto the Internet and, briefly, onto City-TV over a dozen years ago. It featured women and a few men removing articles of clothing as they went through the daily headlines.
This thing started up shortly after I was hired to cover television for the Toronto Sun and writing about it was one of my first assignments. I remember thinking at the time that I had the best job in the world.
They shot Naked News within walking distance of the Sun. I always thought the Sun should have been in on this venture, it seemed a natural extension of the Sunshine girl deal and would have been a big step up from the Intellectually Naked News they’re producing for a dozen or so viewers today.
At the time of the assignment, I headed over to the Naked News centre with Sun shooter Mark O’Neill, who seemed pretty blase about the whole thing, like he shot naked women every day.
The striking young woman I’m interviewing in the above photo was named Athena. Once you got past the challenge of trying to maintain eye contact (same problem I always had with Lloyd Robertson, by the way), the women were pretty interesting and surprisingly varied in age. One woman, a new recruit, told me she hadn’t told her boyfriend that she was doing this yet because they had just started going out. “You mean, I’ve seen you naked and he hasn’t?” I asked. That didn’t seem right.
When I filed my report, I added a graph of the various hairstyles I noticed the women were sporting south of the equator. This reporter, as Kent Brockman on The Simpsons likes to say, smelled an Emmy. There was the reverse Count Floyd, the Landing Strip, the Lightening Bolt and on and on. This was back when George Bush was still president, so it seemed like I’d get it in the paper.
The Toronto Sun ran with it but that was a bit too much information for some of the more conservative papers in the Sun chain and the hair lines were trimmed. Too bad, it really fleshed out the story.
I spoke with one or two of the men who were part of the on-air talent. I asked one how long he’d be doing this and he said he’d probably stick it out for a year.
Since then, I’ve run into one or two Canadian writers and producers who got their start typing up news copy for Naked News. Hopefully that will be part of Super Channel’s documentary.
As I recall, City bailed on Naked News within weeks. They ran it late at night on the weekends along with a naked cooking show that always seemed like a really bad idea. You never want to be naked around frying pans full of grease. Ouch!
If Super Channel needs a “consultant,” someone who was there as an observer at the time, I’m willing to drive in from Brampton if duty calls. I’d hate to see some boob screw this up.