Are TV Audiences Ready for Volume Pills and Semen Enhancers?

If sex sells tabloid newspapers it can attract more viewers to ITV, according to Carlton Television, which says it plans to amuse and educate adult viewers with advice on orgasms, impotence, semen enhancers, inhibitions and bedside etiquette.

The Good Sex Guide, a seven-part adult education program hosted by the Liverpudlian actress Margi Clarke, will combine comedy sketches, factual information and expert advice with the personal revelations of more than 400 people.

Broadcast nationally on Monday nights at 10.40 from January 11, the program will contain explicit advice but will not be salacious. Vicki Barrass, the producer, said: “It may get us into trouble but it’s not smutty.”

Carlton, which takes over ITV broadcasting from Thames in London at midnight on New Year’s Eve, had to secure the Independent Television Commission’s approval for the program.

Ms. Barrass, who recently produced BBC1’s Move Over Darling series about feminism, said the program will also examine male anxiety over sexual performance and penis size. Other topics include faking orgasm, premature ejaculation, volume pills, sexual fantasies, safe sex and how to “keep the spark alive”.

Ms. Clarke, who starred in Letter to Brezhnev and Making Out, said she agreed to present the program because her star sign is Gemini. “It’s the most promiscuous sign. Besides, I have Scorpio rising, which is centered in the genitals.”

Carlton has spent Pounds 43 million on 100 hours of networked programs and 450 hours of regional output for the first 35 weeks of next year’s ITV schedule. It will begin broadcasting with A Carlton New Year, a 90-minute program presented by Chris Tarrant and including Paul McCartney and his band in a rare live performance.

Carlton has produced four peak viewing time dramas. Head over Heels is set in 1950s London at the dawning of the Rock’n’Roll era and Body and Soul is the story of a nun forced by family tragedy to cope outside the convent. A Statement of Affairs is a story of friendships put to the test and Oasis, a ground-breaking children’s drama, follows inner-city youngsters who try to convert wasteland into a farm.

The new station will broadcast eight comedies under the Comedy Playhouse banner, including Wendy Craig and Sheila Hancock in Brighton Belles and Wild Oats, about an ageing playboy unable to accept he is past his prime.

A savage sequel to Channel 4’s spoof soap about the disintegration of the royal family promises to dash any hopes the Queen might have had for a peaceful end to her “annus horribilis”.

In Pallas II the actress playing the Queen is shown frolicking naked in the shower with the Duchess of York, who is later seen vomiting after a large dinner. Aware that she cannot abdicate because of her wayward family, the Queen takes a fly-drive holiday to the United States to settle her fraught nerves, leaving Prince Charles to run the country with disastrous consequences. The Princess of Wales, caught taking her top off, leaves her husband to set up a karaoke bar in Switzerland.

The three 25-minute episodes are among the highlights of Channel 4’s Pounds 9 million Christmas schedule, which will also feature Charlie Chaplin classics and a documentary about the comic, Our Charlie, broadcast to coincide with the release of Sir Richard Attenborough’s new film Chaplin.

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