My Life as an Animal Review: Pigs – Nuttier than Nutkins

April 16, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

MY LIFE AS AN ANIMAL: PIGS, Thursday 16th April, BBC3, 9:00PM Alert Me

Before I begin this review, a little practical advice: if you have to move the DVD player with the DVD still inside because the Champions League is on the big telly, be prepared to spend a good 30 minutes unscrewing it with a pair of scissors when the DVD dislodges itself and gets lost in transit.

After spending the next 50 minutes watching My Life as an Animal, you’ll wish you hadn’t bothered.

From time to time a show turns up so insipid in its conception that you suspect it was actually devised by a particularly stupid Miss World. “Imagine?, we are begged excitedly at the start, “what it would be like to be an animal?”. The fundamentally flawed hypothesis is this: ‘What better way to learn about animals than to live as one?’ Uh, I don’t know, maybe a genuine scientific study with specified goals and clearly devised parameters?

No, a couple of twits are going to sleep in poop for a few days in order to ‘learn everything there is to know about animals.’ A tall order given that Charles Darwin died still learning about animal evolution, and he devoted his entire life to the cause. Perhaps if he’d spent more time blindfolded, identifying objects with his mouth and less time farting around with a microscope he’d have cracked it sooner…

Fortunately, in the absence of Darwin to add authority to proceedings, the programme makers have drafted in his modern day equivalent: Terry Nutkins.

In this, the first episode in a series of four, travel reporter Lynsey Horn and actor Richard da Costa volunteer to spend 24 hours a day for four days living as a pig in ‘the most radical and extreme method of learning about animals ever devised.’ Or as it’s more commonly known; ‘dung’.

Throughout the experiment the volunteers are taken through the few short stages in the life of a pig bred for consumption, all the while eating, living and even sleeping with the swine (thankfully, not like that). While Lynsey gets to live the life of a free-range pig, Richard is subjected to the world of their intensively farmed brothers which admittedly makes for educational viewing. Just 2% of Britain’s 5.5 million porkers enjoy an organic life and yet pigs are the fourth most intelligent animal on the planet.

The only thing more ridiculous than the premise of My Life as an Animal is the attempt to present it in any kind of credible scientific light, as if anyone might come out of this demeaning spectacle with anything other than intense self loathing and a craving for sausage.

Where does it go from here? My Life as a Tapeworm? My Life as a Platelet? My Life as Mould? The possibilities are endless…

Jack Mckay

Lauren says:

people who get paid 2000 pounds a pop, that’s who…

Tom says:

Honestly, who thought this was a good idea for a programme? Who watches this stuff? What sort of people go on these programmes? Baffled.