Underbelly: articles

Underbelly to shower us with male nudity

AUSTRALIA'S hottest TV show Underbelly, has had plenty of complaints about its graphic sex and violence - but it's about to get worse.

Nine's hit series is set to plunge into deeper controversy with a scene depicting frontal male nudity.

In the episode to screen on Monday week, a naked Mark "Chopper" Read intimidates criminal Laurie Prendergast in a prison shower block.

The real Read had expressed interest in playing himself in the series, suggesting he could slim down and dye his hair black for the role.

But producers cast newcomer Renato Fabretti as Read, the earless enforcer who became one of Melbourne's most notorious criminals.

Several viewers and family groups expressed concern over last Monday's episode, which featured intimate scenes between heroin kingpin Terry Clark (played by Matthew Newton) and his drug-running mistress Allison (Anna Hutchison), saying they edged on soft porn.

Under the Commercial Television Code of Conduct, Channel 9 is within its rights to telecast the M-rated show at 8.30pm, which is considered the start of adult viewing in prime time on weekdays.

"The 8.30pm time slot isn't a family friendly zone, it's always been the adults' time slot," Nine's chief classification officer Richard Lyle said.

Nine received about 30 viewer complaints about last Monday's episode.

By Darren Devlyn, Erin Mcwhirter
February 20, 2009
Herald Sun