Mens Hour : 5Live
What do men want? It’s not a question admittedly, that has detained anyone much over the past two millennia. But what with unemployed male graduates, troubled gunmen and politicians who are mad, bad and dangerous to know, men’s issues are suddenly all the rage. Hence 5Live’s Men’s Hour, which launched last night, promising to “delve into uncharted emotional territory for men” and reveal men’s true preoccupations. Obviously the discussion zoned straight in on penis size.
Does the genetic variant, RS3334, associated with larger testicles, make men more likely to wander? It’s a blokey idea, but Tim Samuel’s “posse”, consisting of Louis Spence, the gay dancer from Pineapple Dance Studio, Andy MacNab and Hugh Dennis, mulled it over in a non-judgmental way that felt like an awkward first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. There was “Thought for the Gay” with stand-up comedian Chris Neil, urging footballers to come out of the closet
“Be a man and show kids that the world doesn’t spin on its axis if you like kicking balls or are attracted to men that have a pair of them between their legs.”
There was Alan Johnson, former Home Secretary and pop singer, performing a bizarre falsetto about teenage complexions.
“How can any girl want to be with yer/When any kiss she gets just tastes of Nivea?”
And there was lots about baldness, soy milk affecting sperm quality, grey hair, and the danger of mobile phones to testicles. Atmospherically, the mood was more GP’s surgery than football terrace – “Is there anything that’s been on your mind that you want to address?” Tim asked Mark Ronson caringly.
Do men really talk like this when left alone? Though not as alarming as its introduction “Men being unusually emotional and painfully candid” , like an unfortunate internet date, where you realise in two minutes that you’re going to go home alone, Men’s Hour felt needy, unsexy and really likely to have low self-esteem. Think of Top Gear, then imagine the exact opposite.
As to what women want, a good clue came from Jenni Murray, who came on to choose Man Of The Week. She went for Raymond Blanc. Not for his conversation, obviously, but because he does a good roast chicken.