Channel 4's sex debate show 'Sex Box', which was billed as containing live sex, has left viewers confused and critics disappointed.
Fronted by Mariella Frostrup, the programme, broadcast last night, featured couples having sex in a closed 'box' on stage in a studio and then coming out of the box to discuss what happened.
But it seems the concept has failed to live up to either the viewer's imagination or the critic's expectations of the show.
Many viewers took to Twitter to voice their confusion over the format, part of Channel 4's 'Real Sex' season of programmes, while critics have been scathing in their reviews.
“Sex Box was one of the worst TV programmes I have seen in a long time. From concept to execution, it was a combination of gimmick, prurience, exploitation and dullness,” wrote Ed Cummings in the Daily Telegraph.
“There is an important conversation to be had about British sex lives in the 21st century. All we learnt from this dreadful hour was that when the awaited discussion happens, there certainly won't be a sex box in sight.”
Sam Wollaston in The Guardian added: “A gimmick, then, which might have been more excusable if it had made for great television. But it wasn't.
"Maybe it needed some audience participation (in the discussion, in the sex too, why not?), perhaps a disgusted of Tunbridge Wells voice in there. Yes, I'm saying I was a bit bored. Boring-snoring sex.”
Viewers too joined in the slating on Twitter:
Tuned into #sexbox for a few sec.....What the...Is this a wind up? It's like something out of Brass Eye...— SEGA otaku (@SEGAotaku) October 7, 2013
#sexbox is this actually happening? Who? What? Where? When? Did this ever get commissioned!— Jason Vale (@juicemaster) October 7, 2013
Ellen E. Jones in The Independent was kinder, however, saying: “It wasn't exactly what Channel 4 had promised, but it was unexpectedly funny.” [Metro/Independent/Guardian/Telegraph]
Also in today's press
Larry Lamb has criticised 'EastEnders' over working conditions. The actor, who used to play Archie Mitchell on the show, has spoken of 'tremendous pressures' which are put on actors in the show. [Daily Star]
The Countess of Carnarvon has joined in the row about 'Downton Abbey's controversial rape scene in the episode shown at the weekend. The Countess, who owns Highclere Castle where the drama is filmed, has said that she would rather 'look at nice things on a Sunday night’. [Daily Mail]