On Monday night Channel 4 proved once again that the Great British public love nothing more than to spend their evenings looking at the disfigured, disgusting or downright dirty genitals of other human beings.
For a channel that is renowned for shows such as Embarrassing Bodies this week’s Bodyshock special probably shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to anyone perusing the TV guide. What may surprise you though is just how many people actually tuned in – a reported 4 million plus – to see the harrowing and unintentionally hilarious struggle of Wesley Warren Jr, an American 40 something male who’s testicles had swollen to an unimaginable size engulfing his penis and leaving him virtually bed bound.
Bordering on gross out television and sheer exploitation but with sentimentality thrown in for good measure the show followed Mr Warren as he dragged his huge nuts to and from hospitals in the hopes that a cure could be found for his problem. Sadly the only cure would be castration which would leave Wesley without the use of his penis an operation he could ill afford given his lack of income. Warren Jr even went as far as to set up a Facebook page for his testicles asking his followers for donations to help with his medical bills but this caused him to fall foul of the US Government who ceased all benefits he had been receiving prior to his fundraising attempts – what a kick in the balls.
Twitter was awash with as many bad testicle puns as we could all churn out as Wesley tried to convince his doctor to let him sell the gigantic nads on eBay following the surgery. Despite our extensive search no such auction was ever launched on the world famous auction site because we think those balls would have made a great bean bag to furnish the What Culture offices with. Oh well.
Despite criticism from some people that the subject of the documentary was exploited Channel 4 has defended their decision to run The Man with the 10 Stone Testicles by highlighting how it brings to light exactly why there is need for an NHS style system of medical care in the United States. Should a man with such an obvious problem be forced to endure a life of misery carrying the equivalent of a small person between his legs every day just because his insurance does not cover the cost? The networks decision to air the show was also justified by the sheer number of people who tuned in and continue to watch on 4oD. Whether we’re willing to admit it or not we love to see these kinds of show and while ever programmes like Bodyshock are being broadcast on television the public will continue to turn on, tune in and gross out.
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