Embarrassing Bodies

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Embarrassing Bodies
Embarrassing Bodies.png
Current opening title sequence introduced in 2010
Genre Medical
Presented by Pixie McKenna
Dawn Harper
Christian Jessen
James Russell
Narrated by Ashley Jensen
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 8
Executive producer(s) Sarah Eglin
Steph Harris
Dan Jones
Running time 47 minutes (excluding advertisements)
Original channel Channel 4
Original release 2007 – 2015
External links
Embarrassing Bodies Website

Embarrassing Bodies (formerly Embarrassing Illnesses) is a British BAFTA-award winning reality medical television programme broadcast by Channel 4 and made by Maverick Television since 2007. In 2011, an hour-long live show was introduced, "Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic", which makes use of Skype technology. Various spin-offs have been produced in relation to the programme to target different patients, such as Embarrassing Fat Bodies and Embarrassing Teenage Bodies.


Throughout its numerous series, Embarrassing Bodies has set to aid people who have a variety of issues. These issues tend to be taboo or misunderstood. With the help of its patients and the diagnoses of its doctors, the show tries to make common medical issues, especially those that are "embarrassing" or sexual, understood and to debunk myths surrounding them. The programme's method of tackling these issues has caused great success and has attracted large numbers of people to its website.[1]


The programme is narrated by Ashley Jensen. Actor Nick Thomas-Webster and Big Brother 8 contestant Shabnam Paryani featured as patients in the first series.[2]


As the show grew in popularity, Embarrassing Bodies created a common theme throughout some of its series, dedicating whole series to a certain group of society, such as children, overweight people and teenagers. Series 3 saw the return of the mobile clinic, a common setting for the show. It also saw the beginning of Embarrassing Bodies: Back to the Clinic, which would see ex-patients from the series returning to the clinic to discuss how life has been since their last visit. Series 4 started with a special episode, which saw the team based in Spain.

The fourteenth episode of Series 5 saw a one-hour live special, during which patients would send in pictures or videos via email, social media or Skype and specialist doctors would try to diagnose the issue and then follow-up the patients. The final episode of Series 6 was dedicated to cancer and was entitled Stand Up to Cancer. Series 7 consisted of three specials named The Man With Half a Face, Penis Special and The 36-Stone Woman.

Main series[edit]

Series Name Episodes
1 Embarrassing Illnesses 4
2 Embarrassing Bodies 12
3 Embarrassing Bodies & Embarrassing Bodies: Kids 17
4 Embarrassing Bodies & Embarrassing Bodies: Teen Special 26
5 Embarrassing Bodies 15
6 Embarrassing Bodies 11
7 Embarrassing Bodies 3 specials
8 Embarrassing Bodies 7

Numerous specialist doctors have appeared regularly throughout the show, such as Asim Shahmalak who appeared on the show to talk about and demonstrate his hair transplant techniques.[citation needed] Mr Shaw Somers, a specialist gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon, would regularly discuss obesity and also perform surgery on patients with obesity-related diseases during Embarrassing Bodies as well as Embarrassing Fat Bodies.


Although specials are considered series in their own right, they tended to be intertwined with the main series.

Name Series Episodes
Embarrassing Old Bodies 1 1
Embarrassing Teenage Bodies 2 8
Embarrassing Fat Bodies 2 9


EB has won two Bafta awards:[3]

  • 2009 Award for Interactivity Online
  • 2010 Award for Interactive Creative Contribution

EB was nominated for the 2013 National Television Award for Factual Entertainment.


Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic[edit]

In May 2011, a spin-off series, Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic (titled Diagnosis Live from the Clinic in pre-publicity and the first episode) launched, enabling viewers to appear via webcams and Skype. The programme was presented by Christian Jessen and Dawn Harper, with additional narration and reports from Pixie McKenna.[4] These episodes consist of approximately 47 minutes.

Embarrassing Bodies Down Under[edit]

In October 2013, an Australian version of the show was launched on LifeStyle You. The show's first series comprised eight episodes, which were hosted by doctors Ginni Mansberg, Brad McKay, and Sam Hay.[5][6] The show's layout is similar to its British counterpart and focuses on the health issues of various Australian citizens.[7]

Dit is mijn lijf[edit]

A Dutch spin-off version of the show called Dit is mijn lijf ("This is my body") was broadcast on RTL4 from 26th October 2011 and ran for three series. In the Netherlands, the British version was aired on RTL5 under the title of Gênante Lijven ("Embarrassing Bodies").


Channel 4 aired a version of the series where Dawn Harper went to Thailand and provided information on how to stay healthy while abroad. Christopher Hooton of Metro said that it provided some "incredibly sensible tips on staying healthy while travelling".[8]


  1. ^ Kiss, Jemima (1 May 2008). "Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies heats up online". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Embarrassing Illnesses at the IMDb
  3. ^ http://awards.bafta.org/keyword-search?keywords=embarrassing+bodies
  4. ^ Jessen, Christian. "C4 to come Live from the Clinic in multiplatform consumer health show". Channel 4.com. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Embarrassing Bodies Down Under recap: Full-frontal exposure". SMH. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "TV Picks: Super Fun Night, Keating: The Interviews, Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, Bundaberg Rum". News.com.au. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Local lifestyle shows score on Foxtel". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Hooton, Christopher (12 March 2012). "Embarrassing Bodies ruined our dinner but improved our health". Metro. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 

External links[edit]