Archive for the ‘embarrassing bodies’ Tag

Bodies Live

Here’s my latest project as reported in this week’s Broadcast…

mocked up screenshot

C4 to air live Bodies show online

21 January, 2010 | By Robin Parker

Channel 4 show Embarrassing Bodies is to break new ground by launching a live, interactive spin-off show that airs solely on the web.

Maverick Television is producing three 20-minute episodes of Embarrassing Bodies: Live that will air online immediately after the C4 TX of the main show.

In a live studio-based feed, C4 News reporter Bridgid Nzekwu will discuss the main talking points from the episode with the show’s three doctors: Dawn Harper, Christian Jessen and Pixie McKenna. The team will also catch up with a case from the previous week’s show that has been selected by viewers.

Throughout the webcast viewers will be able to ask questions, vote in polls and upload pictures of their bodies for the team to discuss. The site will also host commentary from sites such as Twitter.

About 150,000 people typically go to Embarrassing Bodies’ established site after transmission, and it has attracted more than 4 million visitors to date. Users have viewed videos more than 5 million times and the best of their uploads have featured in the main show.

C4 cross-platform commissioner Adam Gee said: “It’s woven into the whole fabric of the show to have user interaction shaping the editorial very directly. We wanted to push the boundaries of what’s possible with interactivity around television and make it personalised. The good thing about returning series like this is that once you have a decent web audience, you can use the platform to experiment.”

After the live webcast has aired, visitors can choose whether to watch a full-screen version of the web-feed or watch the interactive version retrospectively.

The first episode will air after part two of the new run of the show, on 10 February.

[Article reproduced courtesy of Broadcast]

Far from Embarrassed

Just spotted this new comment on the Embarrassing Bodies website:

Hi team

Just a little note 2 say a very big thank u very much! I was watchin an episode that featured how 2 check 4 lumps in the breast. I am a 33yr old single parent & thought i didnt need 2 check myself until i was in my 40’s but im very pleased i did, approximately 16 weeks ago i saw ur show & went 2 my gp because i found a lump, at first the locum was quite dismissive until he felt it then he refered me 2 the breast specialist at my local hospital. I went 4 tests & got diagnosed with breast cancer, i just had a wide local excision & am currently waitin 4 the results from that op but i am optamistic a small amount of radiotherapy is all that will be required to complete my treatment.

Watchin ur show has saved my life & thanks 2 u all my 2yr old son will still have a mummy :)

Keep up the good work!!!

The Breast Self-Check video in question is here

How to check your breasts

Update 14/09/09:

A new viewer comment:

“I was watching Embarrassing Bodies around the above date and your Doctors were showing viewers how to check for breast cancer. I took note and examined myself. I found a lump and went to my GP. Now 5 weeks later I feel fully recovered now after a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumour. Because I found it in very early stages, it hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes and my outlook is fabulous. Treatment now involves 3 weeks of radiotherapy and tablets for 5 years. Thank you for your clear way of showing people like me how to potentially save our own lives!”

The Embarrassing Bodies effect

As I was walking past the University of London’s Bloomsbury Theatre the other day (on my way through strike-bound London to the pick-up point for the Tech Bus to b.Tween 09 in Liverpool) I noticed a poster advertising a stand-up gig in October by “television’s heartthrob medic” Dr Christian Jessen of Embarrassing Bodies talking to the student-centric audience about health matters. The same day I came across this piece a good few miles from the big smoke, typifying the impact of Embarrassing Bodies and indicating why the NHS should plug into its success:

Dr Christian Jessen of Embarrassing Bodies

Health fayre aims to target the young

Jun 10 2009 by Lynda Nicol, East Kilbride News

THE popular television programme Embarrassing Bodies has proved young folk are just as interested in their own health as older generations.

Being able to look after yourself – and seek prompt medical advice on problems, no matter how bashful you may feel about it – is something people should learn when they are young.

With this in mind, Greenhills and East Kilbride South Youth Club are joining forces with NHS Lanarkshire to stage a health fayre at the club tomorrow (Thursday).

There will be a range of stalls offering health checks and advice on a variety of health issues.

Young people from throughout the area are invited to go along between 7pm and 10pm and they will be able to talk frankly about any health comcerns they may have.

Club leader Councillor Archie Buchanan said: “I am very pleased to be working with NHS Lanarkshire in providing health-related advice to the young people who attend our youth club.”

And he added: “The health fayre will, I am sure, be well received by the young people attending.”

The question is, of course, how can Greenhills and East Kilbride South Youth Club and NHS Lanarkshire make best use of the kind of engagement a heartthrob medic like Dr Christian inspires? (Using the interactive content on the Embarrassing Bodies website – especially the Embarrassing Teenage Bodies part with its Am I Normal? videos – is not a bad place to start.)

Who wants to be a 20 millionaire? – I do

Channel 4 Factual

Factual Fingers

Yesterday was a big day for Embarrassing Bodies online (and indeed for Factual Cross-platform at Channel 4) – we passed the 20 million pageviews mark on the EB site a year after launch. This is off the back of 2.2 million visits.

Meanwhile, since September  Sexperience has clocked up 14 million pageviews.

This means in respect of many key metrics these Factual projects are right up there playing with the big boys of C4 Entertainment.

Entertainment Fingers

Entertainment Fingers

Cameo appearances

Me

Me

VIDEO: of extract of  the acceptance speech from BBC coverage

McNulty

McNulty

Bubbles

Bubbles

Jesus

Jesus (pink velvet)

The 2009 British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

UPDATE 28.iv.09:

Just arrived from BAFTA (official pic) – red lining courtesy of my old pal John (Granny Takes A Trip) Pearse, maker of the Gee wedding garb

Much smileage

Much smileage

Update 12.v.09:

VIDEO of the full monty – the opening of the golden envelope and the acceptance speech, with Graham Norton and the fellas from Masterchef

More Evidence of Body

Embarrassing Teenage Bodies

Embarrassing Teenage Bodies

As the dust settles in the wake of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies (broadcast in October) and we start cranking up for the next series in March 2009 it’s been a good moment to take stock and assess what kind of impact we had, this time with teens in particular.

In a previous post, Evidence of Body, I pointed out a special characteristic of this cross-platform initiative – unusually you can see, after very little time, evidence of immediate, positive changes of behaviour. That was with reference to the week long series of Embarrassing Bodies in April/May, but the recent 4-part series focused on teenagers yielded much the same kind of clear evidence of real public value.

A quick and pretty unscientific trawl through the comments on the website – this time there were 11,000 submitted over the 6 days around transmission! – reveal actual changes of behaviour; the building of confidence around illnesses perceived as ‘embarrassing’; the prompting of increased openness in discussing such matters; reassurance; clarification; and the encouragement of peer-to-peer support.

Here’s a brief selection to give a feel for the sorts of impact evident across the site:

Changes of behaviour

From Ellie [in Vulva Gallery]
thanks teenage bodies thanks to you i’ve had the confidence to go and have a std test

————————–

From kathryn [in Am I Normal? video]

GREAT show. It encouraged me to go get something checked out =) & I’m sure it encouraged a lot of other teenagers to get stuff thats bothering them checked out!

Thanks so much

————————–

Building confidence

[in Vaginal Prolapse]

This site and video is soooo useful and informative!!! I feel more confident to see my GP and look him/her in the eye and state my problem.

—————————-

[in Am I Normal? – Vagina]

I was worried about how i looked “down there” but this video made me realise everybody is different and that it’s completely normal to worry.

————————

From Alice [in Breast Gallery]

I always thought, since my breasts our a coned shape and not fully shaped yet or may stay like this that it isn’t normal…but in fact it is!
Gosh it is amazing to see all the different variety :)
TV models or whatever can go stuff themselves, they fooled me into believing that mine weren’t a good shape!
I feel more confident now, even if they are small :)

—————————-

From Isabella [in Enlarged Labia]

This is obviously alot more common then what people think, so lets not feel embarrassed!! Because like alot of you, I am pretty relieved that i’m not the only one! lol. and it’s never affected my sex life

:) Hope everyone feels alot more confident, by reading everyones stories. Thanks Channel 4

———————–

Saving lives

From Sinead [in How to Check your Testicles]

After watching your show, my husband decided to check himself one night whilst having a shower. To his shock he found a lump. He went straight to his doctor and within a week he had surgery for testicular cancer, needs to have a few more scans, but thanks to the show he managed to find it in time.

————————–

Encouraging openness

From Sarah

I think this programme and website is the best thing for young and older people. Theres not alot of publicity about embarrassing problems espesh about problems or worries down below.

Yes theres GUM clinics and doctors you can talk to but just knowing that doesnt make you feel comfortable talking about it. Maybe no one will feel confortable talking about it, i know that i didnt but i think the more publicity about it, the more people will talk about it.

I never had any sex education at school, only to tell you about the different STI’s out there and i dont think schools really do enough.

This programme is amazing. Well done everybody :D

————————-

Prompting preventive health activity

From shannon [in Am I Normal?: After Sex]

these videos hav helped me check my self down below and now me and my friends have been comfitable talking to each other about our pubity problems!!!

————————

Reassuring

From Beth [in Anal Fissure]

Oh My!!! This Is Exactly What I Have Been Looking For!!!
I Was Worried Because I Was Told I May Have Colon Cancer :(
Thanks Ever So Much Guys! x”

————————-

From Katie [in Gonorrhoea]

Hi! This program was a great help to lots of teens and raised alot of awareness. i am 16 and have only had one sexual partner, … i am worried that i may have caught something but i am too shy to go to the doctors about it. i have read the above comments and am pleased i am not alone :S

—————————-

[in Ingrowing Pubic Hair]

I find this so embarrassing… but i’m glad to know i’m not the only one.

—————————-

Clarifying what is ‘normal’

From James [in Penis Gallery]

i think this page is great.
its good to know all the sizes out there and know i am normal
thank you so much

————————–

Peer to peer advice

From Chris [in Hyperhidrosis]

i sweat a lot under my arms, for no apparent reason. im not always even warm. i have driclor and have never properly used it because it stung. so now ive read these comments i think i’ll definately give it a go! thank you :)

—————————-

From Tom [in Dandruff]

Im 17 and I have dandruff and i use head and shoulders and it never seems to work. and its really embarrasing and annoying especially when im with the girlfriend
:( thanks to everyone for the tips i shall try them out

—————————-

[in Enlarged Labia]

I have it too… Lol, This is well embarassing. I’m only 14 so I haven’t had any sexual experience but it does make me worry a little bit what a future boyfriend might think…however, some of these comments are quite empowering…thank you all, I feel a little better now!

—————————–

From Matt [in Testicular Cancer]

BLOKES, GO TO THE DOCTOR, IT TAKES LIKE NO TIME AT ALL, I HAVE BEEN ABOUT MY GENITALS LOOOADS OF TIMES AND IM ONLY 19.

NOW IM WORRY FREE =]

i posted this for some support :D”

—————————-

[in Enlarged Labia]

i am so glad i’ve actually found this website, because it has really helped me reading all these comments about other people that have this problem. i haven’t actually told anyone, and i’ve never been in a proper sexual relationship because i am so embarrassed about what they would think. … i’ve tried to mention it to my friends when we watched the program, but they all found it weird and strange – so i didn’t dare say that i had it too. i have no confidence but it has helped me reading all your comments! thank you :)

—————————-

Helping diagnosis

From Mellissa [in Tinnitus]

omg! hooray to your program for quite alot of years i have learnt to live with tinnitus not knowing what it was until now docters just say there’s nothing wrong and my ear is clean. i had explained i had a pulsing in my ear and i’ve been ignored watched your show and came on to your site only to find out what i have been suffering with im glad to say it’s not caused by loud music in teenage life i did bang my head really badly and i’m sure thats when it started i feel relieved but disgusted that my docter shrugged it off. … thank you so much i’m going to have it looked at anyway just to be sure. x

—————————-

Engaging content

[in Consultation: Breast Reduction]

A very very brave lady. that video is very interesting in fact i think all your videos are very interesting. good on ya girl

—————————-

From James [in Penis Gallery]

Great site. You just don’t see this sort of thing anywhere else and it’s really important

—————————-

Raising awareness

From Becca [in Problem Piercings]

Personnaly I think that teenagers in todays society need to be more aware of all aspects of problems in and out of the body. More needs to be done to ensure that this is happening. This programme is really helping me and my teenage friends. Thank you and please continue helping other people.

Update 17.12.08: You may like to comment on the above – or address some further questions about how preventive healthcare is most engagingly presented – over on The TV Show website at Channel 4.

Public Value defined

This comment was recently posted on the Embarrassing Bodies website:

“After watching your show, my husband decided to check himself one night
whilst having a shower. To his shock he found a lump. He went straight
to his doctor and within a week he had surgery for testicular cancer,
needs to have a few more scans, but thanks to the show he managed to
find it in time.”

by Sinead in response to the How to Check your Balls video

One of four Embarrassing Bodies Self-Check videos

One of four Embarrassing Bodies Self-Check videos

648,000 videos were viewed on the site during the week of broadcast of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies last week.

How to Check Your Balls has been watched nearly 300,000 times in the last six months.

Reaching the parts…

Bit of a turn up for the books today – the Sexperience sex education/information site I commissioned from Mint Digital and Cheetah TV to complement The Sex Education Show on Channel 4 in September/October is now really making its mark on Google…

Searching "sex"

Searching "sex"

Searching "sex education"

Searching "sex education"

So #1 for “Sex Education” and #2 for “Sex” itself – with 660,000,000 returns for the latter on Google that’s a pretty competitive space, making it quite a result for an 8 week old UK public service factual cross-platform project.

When I checked a few weeks ago Sexperience was running at 6,000% of the traffic of the official government sex ed site for teens (the sponsored link above). Meanwhile, the interactive dimension of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies which I commissioned from Maverick TV in Birmingham and which broadcast last week on C4 prompted 99,000 online STI Checks during the week of broadcast alone. So the big question for me remains how on earth do you get the government and its services to plug into and support this kind of energy, interest and engagement? Now those are parts that are harder to reach than you might think…

Big Brother Audition take 2

The desperate wannabe‘s still trying to get on the show – at least he ditched the stripy shirt – but it’s not enough. Next!

Big Brother no-hoper

Big Brother no-hoper

Evidence of Body

embarrassing bodies

embarrassing bodies

It’s unusual to be able to see the direct impact, in terms of actual changes of behaviour, produced by a public service interactive project but in the case of Embarrassing Bodies this has been possible. A quick trawl through the comments on the site yields such evidence (there were over 3,500 pre-moderated comments in the first four days of going fully live). The core of the project is a set of Self-check videos. What’s so innovative about that? Primarily their openness, clarity and unflinching nature – very Channel 4 and it just wasn’t out there before in the ocean of web video. They show you what you need to see to be able to do what you need to do. The most telling comments for me are the ones where people realise they’d been checking themselves wrongly before seeing the video.

Another salient component is the creation of a rolling temporary community. I never set out to build a community per se. I was also keen not to reinvent the wheel of support provision in this area. So the dynamic is that people arrive in a just-in-time, task-oriented way – looking for the condition they are worried about (through any of the three search mechanisms). They then tend to hang out in the community just long enough to find which is the best support group or other help to plug into. In this way Embarrassing Bodies online becomes the glue to pull together a wealth of existing support and enable the best to emerge through detailed personal recommendation, rather than treading on the toes of niche communities and specialised support.

One other aspect worth highlighting is the use of the private space of the mobile phone (away from browser histories and prying parental eyes etc.) to enable people to make use of the material where, when and how they want – 12,000 mobile downloads occurred in those first 4 days. My hunch, for reasons including privacy and access, is that mobiles should play a major role in public service interactive media – from my observation, people in our circles get too obsessed with PC-/web-based delivery.

So here’s what 15 minutes trawling the comments reveals:

“this has helped me to make my mind up and go for help thank you

Really helpfull and i now check at least once a week …. Thank-you x

watched various videos and found them very very useful. wouldn’t have felt comfortable talking about some of these subjects with my doctor. they have taken the mystery out of the examination and treatment. thank you.

i suffer from this too, and its not something you like going to the doctors about. This site has been SO HELPFUL, as i now know its not only me!!

thank god 4 this website i am so grateful. it has started 2 get me down. (…) I had tests done then chicken out on the results. seein this has made me book an appointment with my doctor. its such a relief knownin im not the only person sufferin, thankyou!!!

i found all 3 self checking very useful. we all know we should do it but not nessesary how and are too embarressed to ask our own GP. i check my breasts yet i’ve been doing it wrong the video was an ideal way to show me the basics.

Hi, i just watched this video and checked my balls and i actually found a small hard lump on my left testicle, im only 16 is there any chance it could be cancerous (sorry if the spelling is wrong)?!

Thanks so much this has been so informative. My auntie died last year from Vulval cancer, not knowing that she was suffering from it. Now I know what symptoms to look for and how to self check I will do so regularly.
[Vulva Self-check]

Although now middle aged I was never sure when you were supposed to check your breasts. Thanks to your program I now know when and how. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

My boyfriend refuses to check his balls so thanks for the guide on how to as now i can do it for him.

WOW, i never knew how to do this check, i’m so grateful for this video its helped me immensely. thankyou
[Breast Self-check]

Interestingly, my friend watched “Embarassing Illnesses” last week, and they did something on checking moles, so he checked his out and noticed one had changed colour, so he went to get it checked and it does in fact need to be removed. So these programmes do something towards awareness!

i had it but i went to the doctors and now am recovered thanks !!”

This throws up the interesting question of how does public service networked media measure success and impact? Here we have evidence of positive behavioural change. For me the Comments stats are very telling. Then you’ve got video views. Return visits. UGC uploads. Session lengths. Buzz radiating across the Web. All manner of metrics. I’d argue that for most projects you can pick out a specific measure which captures the essence of the project, and which measure that is will vary from project to project.

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