Anyone Identify This?

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Simon36
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Anyone Identify This?

Post by Simon36 »

I've no idea why this programme has stuck in my head but I'd be really curious to know what it was.

It was definitely shown on Channel 4, and somewhere between October 1992 and June 1993. (I remember because of where I was living as a student at the time).

It was a documentary following a group of blokes over one summer, during which time they lived on a barge and basically shagged their way across England. All of them looked like the lead singer of Right Said Fred, and at one point they were extolling the virtues of the shaved head look. There was also a scene where they had to break it to a heartbroken young girl that she would not be sleeping with any of them because she was too young.

And then at the end, one of them cried, saying how it had been "such a good summer".

They were an absolutely dreadful bunch of people but I'd love to know what the programme was, as it's stuck with me ever since!

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Billy Smart
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

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'The Sex Hunters' (18 December 1992)

Martyn Harris' review in the Spectator (19 December 1992):
For some real nastiness this week you had to watch The Sex Hunters (Channel 4, Friday, 10.30 p.m.), which visited six sexual psychopaths on their annual caravan holiday in Newquay. 'We come here for the surfing, for the sun if we're lucky, but most of all for the top-level shagging.'

They were Matt, Billy, Tony, Lee, David and Bob, I think, though they were pretty well interchangeable lumps of boastful beefcake, dressed in bandannas, baggies and Ponds cold cream. This last was lovingly rubbed on, for muscle definition, in front of the open curtains of the caravan — a narcissistic display that was supposed to bring the girls flocking. Depressingly it often did, giving the lucky lad a further point in the holiday Grand Prix, which totted up the girls laid over a one-month period. About 40 was reckoned to be a good score. 'But of course I always use a condom,' one of them piously remarked.

'Why's that?' said the interviewer, since it was the first sign of consideration for the opposite sex so far evinced. 'Because I don't want to get my willy all smelly.' But do you like women?' the interviewer persisted. 'Of course we do. It's our reason for living. That and Newcastle United.' They surfed all day and worked all night in a bar, where they pitied the poor incompetents who went without sex for the whole of their fortnight's holiday: 'They stand there looking over their drinks night after night and saying nowt. It's a good thing we are here' — and as the camera panned around the bar at the tongue-tied and paralysed I could swear I spotted my 19-year-old self in a corner.

They were despicable but funny, and if half of their bragging was true you couldn't help being jealous — and resentful at the female sex, which always claims to hate this sort of toilet-trained gorilla. The most unpleasant scene came at breakfast, where the lads read out each other's letters from lovelorn girls. One, to Billy, told how her weekend with him had changed her life, because he had been her 'first' — but on no account to tell the other boys. They laughed like drains at that one.

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Billy Smart
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Billy Smart »

Like Simon, this documentary has stayed in my head for 24 years now. There's some quite interesting background in that it appears to have been the only film work made by the director Kim West, who is much better-known as a fashion designer of clothes that draw on fetish fabrics.

Here's an alarming contemporaneous profile of the sex hunters on a night out in Leicester from Jim White in the Independent - http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 62846.html

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by brigham »

Off-topic, but is Kim West David Bowie's costume designer?

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Paul Hayes »

brigham wrote:Off-topic, but is Kim West David Bowie's costume designer?
Well, certainly not any more!

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Simon36
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

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Billy Smart wrote:Like Simon, this documentary has stayed in my head for 24 years now. There's some quite interesting background in that it appears to have been the only film work made by the director Kim West, who is much better-known as a fashion designer of clothes that draw on fetish fabrics.

Here's an alarming contemporaneous profile of the sex hunters on a night out in Leicester from Jim White in the Independent - http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 62846.html
Incredible, Billy! Thank you!!

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Billy Smart
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Billy Smart »

I've now seen it again - it isn't hard to find. I really have remembered every scene of it. I think that it made such an indelible impression on me at 20 because I recognised these lads as being 180 degrees everything that I wasn't and never would be.

It works as a great confirmation of one of my pessimistic maxims: Most people don't really think - about anything at all. The only sort-of-exception is 37 year-old 'Geordie', who has constructed the lads' group as a cult that centers upon himself. In any group of over two men one always has to assume the alpha position, and the way that group functions revolves around winning his approval.

The female directors made an acute decision in making the women such peripheral figures in the film - just as marginal as they are to the sex hunters' in their lives. I think that my documentary instincts would be to balance it out with some interviews with their conquests, but it would dilute the focus and effect of the film. A modest 30 minutes is exactly the right duration to tell this story in without labouring the point, as well.

That Right Said Fred bodybuilder torso + shaved head + bandana early 1990s image really isn't very becoming.

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Simon36
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Simon36 »

Gosh, the 90s were really rotten weren't they? It's all come flooding back, the dullness, the terrible music, the denim, the boredom, the cynicism, lad culture... It's like the whole world is desperately waiting for the internet and smartphones to save them from it all.

The main guy, with a rather good opinion of himself, is the one who has now made the video available, so he clearly doesnt cringe at it now. Seems he was once in a punk band.

I'd love to have a talk with the directors and find out the story behind it all. I bet the girl who was soon to begin at Manchester Uni was mortified when she saw it. I wonder if she was drunk when she signed the disclaimer.

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Billy Smart
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Billy Smart »

As much as it would be excruciating to be in that caravan on that night, it would be interesting to see more of it. You sense a schism of class and age starting to open up as much as gender, as these drunken eighteen year-old girls who will be off to further education in September talk and talk largely amongst themselves through the night. I would imagine that more differentiation of character between the rather interchangeable (working-class, older) sex hunters would start to reveal itself, with each lad coming across as being nastier or nicer over such a long and ever-more-exhausted stretch of time.

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

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Billy Smart wrote:As much as it would be excruciating to be in that caravan on that night, it would be interesting to see more of it. You sense a schism of class and age starting to open up as much as gender, as these drunken eighteen year-old girls who will be off to further education in September talk and talk largely amongst themselves through the night. I would imagine that more differentiation of character between the rather interchangeable (working-class, older) sex hunters would start to reveal itself, with each lad coming across as being nastier or nicer over such a long and ever-more-exhausted stretch of time.
Yes, absolutely. I'm sure the phrase "university of life" came up at some point during that night.

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Beaker »

Simon36 wrote: Yes, absolutely. I'm sure the phrase "university of life" came up at some point during that night.
From what I've seen of students from the 'University of Life' the place is in serious need of a visit from OFSTED.
If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Brock »

Beaker wrote:
Simon36 wrote: Yes, absolutely. I'm sure the phrase "university of life" came up at some point during that night.
From what I've seen of students from the 'University of Life' the place is in serious need of a visit from OFSTED.
Going off-topic, but was it Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun that carried a supposed report on the University of Life, featuring its prestigious "School of Hard Knocks" where you saw students being repeatedly knocked backwards?

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Billy Smart
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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Billy Smart »

Brock wrote:
Beaker wrote:
Simon36 wrote:Going off-topic, but was it Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun that carried a supposed report on the University of Life, featuring its prestigious "School of Hard Knocks" where you saw students being repeatedly knocked backwards?
That's right, its in the first episode. Features a funny late performance from Peter Jones as a Professor at the University of Life.

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Re: Anyone Identify This?

Post by Alice80 »

Beaker wrote:
Simon36 wrote: Yes, absolutely. I'm sure the phrase "university of life" came up at some point during that night.
From what I've seen of students from the 'University of Life' the place is in serious need of a visit from OFSTED.
If this were Facebook, you'd get a Like for that!

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