LONDON – Stripped-down news anchors posed outside the Houses of Parliament (search) Wednesday to launch the latest addition to Britain's competitive news media — Naked News.
The revealing format, in which anchors disrobe while reading a digest of news, sports and entertainment, is due to being broadcasting Monday on a British satellite station.
Inspired by a Russian program, Toronto-based Naked News made its debut on the Internet in 1999, and soon was claiming 6 million individual viewers a month. It later moved to pay-per-view television and last year to a Toronto cable station — where a flood of complaints triggered a move to Sex TV, a channel with a much smaller audience.
Naked News claims a potential weekly audience of 34 million in the United States, where the program is available on pay-per-view TV.
The British version will air on Get Lucky TV, a satellite station available to 7 million subscribers in Britain and Ireland.
The Web site features both men and women, but the television broadcast will be an all-female affair. Anchor Lily Kwan, 27, said she understood that some viewers might find the concept demeaning.
"I recognize some people will feel that way," she said. "But I think this is an empowering position. Nudity is OK."
Lucas Tyler, producer of Naked News, said the British deal was "just another natural jump in our upward climb of the media markets."
A Hong Kong company launched its own version of the format in February, and Naked News plans to air a French-dubbed version on French satellite TV from next month.