Naked Attraction: Shropshire-born presenter Anna Richardson defends controversial dating show
Shropshire-born presenter Anna Richardson is at the centre of TV's most controversial show. Channel 4's Naked Attraction has caused something of a storm since it started screening.
It is a dating show in which a single man and woman choose a date from a selection of six naked people.
Anna, who was born and brought up in Wellington, says she loves the show.
And the 45-year-old presenter, who went to the independent St Mary and St Anne boarding school across the Shropshire border in Abbots Bromley, says it has also won the approval of her partner, Sue Perkins of Bake Off fame.
She said: "Sue, bless her, just sort of rolls her eyes and said 'I wouldn't expect anything less from you'.
"She's so used to me doing bonkers things that, you know, we're both open-minded people so she's fully supportive.
"I don't have much body confidence. I'm a really average looking girl with a straightforward size 12 body, with all its nicks and scars and all the rest of it. But there is something liberating about taking your kit off on a beach and it's wonderful."
Viewers discover what individuals find attractive about a naked body as the show progresses.
The six potential dates are whittled down and the single man and woman then select their final match before heading out on a date to see if their initial primal instinct was right.
Anna said Naked Attraction can cut out the awkward small-talk of a first date.
She said: "I think we've all been in this situation where you've met someone, you really like them, you really get on, you're lucky enough to maybe end up at their place, you take your clothes off and then you look at them and you think 'Really?'
"It kind of ruins the whole thing because you have such great expectations and this just takes all of that away."
Anna, 45, has been in a relationship with presenter Sue Perkins since 2014. Her TV credits include Channel 4's Supersize vs Superskinny.
Anna revealed that some of the dating show's contestants are still together
"Some of them, as you would expect like with first dates, they end up going off on a date and maybe they simply found each other physically attractive, maybe nothing more.
"But with some of them, they're still together and they say: 'We were so liberated by the whole experience of meeting in the buff and then going on a date. We actually really, really liked each other'.
"It's a real mixed bag of who's still together and who only lasted the show."
The show has been condemned as gratuitous by some critics, but Anna says that judgement is unfair.
She said: "It was a criticism we were very, very aware would be levelled at us and, for me as a presenter, was something I was acutely aware of.
"I didn't want to be on the receiving end of negative press because it was seen to be a gratuitous show, but it genuinely isn't.
"It's a really uplifting, life-affirming look at what each of us is looking for in terms of love."