I fear that we may not be able to hold off the inexorable Christmas build-up much longer — although, unlike the BBC news studio, we won’t be cowtowed into adorning Christmas decorations early. But if we must start on the Christmas previews, then this is a suitable first candidate: the return of Faking It.
The simple premise of the show (made by RDF Media for Channel 4) was the reason of its success: normal people struggling with personal demons to do something that they normally wouldn’t do. And it always tended to be the simplest challenges that provided the most compulsive viewing — who can forget gay Alex learning how to be a bouncer? While this special episode involves one of the biggest transformations yet — turning introverted, body-conscious cleaner Sharon into a vivacious burlesque dancer — it succeeds because, as ever, the journey she must go on is an incredibly personal one.
As well as receiving coaching from burlesque stars Immodesty Blaize and Dita von Teese, Sharon must cope with her own poor body image. After surgery left her body scarred, she has a fear of exposing her flesh — something she must conquer if she is to perform a sexy striptease.
Will she manage to convince the three expert judges (including The Stage reviewer Paul Vale)? We’re sworn to secrecy. You’ll just have to watch to find out…
- Faking It: Burlesque Special, Channel 4, Boxing Day 9:00pm