My Life As An Animal: Pigs


My Life As An Animal BBC Three

My Life As An Animal is a show in which two seemingly intelligent people, untainted by mental illness, agree with BBC Three Producers that they will live with pigs for a week. They do this either because they’re so desperate to be on television that they’ll happily smear themselves in wet, gluggy manure to get there or (less likely) they’ve been badly advised on what the content of the show will be.

The format can be broken down like this:

  • Two Members of the Public meet Terry Nutkins
  • He tells them what pigs do.
  • They watch pigs snuffling about all day and doing very little.
  • MotPs are thrown into the pig pen where they live for a week.
  • They make friends or enemies with pigs, snuffle a lot and eat pig-feed.
  • They watch pigs get killed in the now-compulsory abattoir shot.
  • The end.

So – a sublime journey. How deeply will the human psyche be probed? What valuable information will we gleaned as we make adults scamper about on all fours, sleeping in straw and making grunting noises?

The contestants, Richard and Lyndsey, began by being ordered into clothes from a wheelbarrow that had been smeared with pig urine and poo. ‘It smells!’ they cry, stating the profoundly obvious. And they continue to state the obvious throughout the show.

– ‘This is literally a pigsty’
– ‘They smell’
– ‘They keep banging into me’
– ‘Urgh, it smells round here’
– ‘Oooh, it really stinks’

Richard – the first contestant – appeared to enjoy the process. He learned that ear-sucking on a waxy lughole is the very tenderest of intimate expressions among piggies, and he set to work nibbling ears like a pro. Soon enough he was kipping among them like he was one of their own, having grown worryingly close within a matter of hours.

Lyndsey, a Radio Five Live DJ, had a harder time living as a pig for a week. There were tears and tantrums during the early part of her stay when she realisd she’d be sleeping among them. She wanted her own sty, she complained – not realising that would obliterate the whole point of this stupid outing. Later, when a piggy nipped her on the lower leg she roared like a baby and demanded she get to go home. But then, persuaded by the crew, she got back into it and spent the rest of the day running around haystacks. The soppy cow.

Aside from that, ‘having totally immersed themselves in their pig-lives’, they watched pigs do sex and then snuff it in a slaughterhouse. They swapped places so that Lyndsey could see she’d actually got the better end of the deal as she sampled the non-organic pen. But still it was impossible to work out what we’re meant to have learned. Something about farming techniques? Something about human nature?

Whatever it was, it completely escaped me. The suspicion is this is another outing in which the title and concept are all, and that the actual content of the show doesn’t actually matter.

Did it not occur to anyone that the idea is completely and morbidly pointless? ‘It’s a new low!’ they seem to be shouting over in BBC Three-land. ‘Let’s celebrate it! Here – smear yourself in some shit!’

Watching the show, when the contestants complained – particularly Lyndsey who took to punching her stymates on the snout – you wanted to grab them by their lapels and dash their heads against the nearest trough, screaming at them that, as they’ve decided to live like pigs, they should stop complaining (in human) about how much they hate it. And what’s more, if they were going to do this bullshit experiment properly, they should be stark bollock naked. And the only human contact should come from the farmer. And if it was unwelcome contact they wouldn’t be able to complain beyond a terrifying, shrill squeal.

But then you realise that hidden camera footage of an obese farmer boning a mute, naked media type in a cold field wouldn’t make great television – but then, neither does this shit.

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83 Responses to “My Life As An Animal: Pigs”

  1. breeks Says:

    i happened to watch this on iplayer last night at The Housemate had commandeered the sitting room (for the whole fucking day).

    anyway it was astronomically shit, and i like shit tv, normally. i watched the whole thing with a slightly open mouth, i suppose somewhat like the recently electrocuted pigs, waiting for something to happen. the pig killing fields were little more than slightly bloody as i think i’ve seen about a hundred pigs killed on the tellybox now. meh i say to killing pigs. hmmm. i do recall the bit of the abbatoir where the dead/dying pigs are spun on giant depilators and fired with jets of flame a bit dramatic.

    will be watching the horse one though, for sure, as the trailers of one of the MotP getting proper kicked was well funny.


  2. Mel Says:

    Hello, hope eveeryone had a nice weekend.

    I saw about the first 5 minutes of this, and turned off in despair (and because the one i caught was on at gone midnight, on a school night too!)

    I couldn’t believe that people would volunteer for this nonsense. But i will trty and catch the horse one…

  3. Swineshead Says:


    I’m glad you two are being civil following the outrageous bickering of Friday. It was monstrous. I’ve created three lists as a result.

    The girl on the horse one is the same girl who was on that June Sarpong game/reality show in which she had to work out which men were gay.

    I watch too much of this shit.

  4. Spot Says:

    “Pulling” was cancelled so that BBC Three could better meet its targeted demographic.

    I’m a little scared I might meet some of that demographic.

  5. Mel Says:

    Yes, swines. Yes you do.

    And for that, we are grateful, otherwise we would have to go somewhere else for our shit TV reviews (the TV, not the review, for clarity)

    I missed the bickering, it must have happened after home time CET.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    It did indeed – best to draw a veil over it.

    Spot – I never saw Pulling but heard good things. Adam Buxton’s show didn’t get commissioned in favour of putting this crap out. Presumably it’s much cheaper to commission meaningless bollocks than it is intelligent comedy.

  7. breeks Says:

    pulling had that sharon wotserface on it who was also on free agents. which i watched. and hated but liked at the same time. anyone else see it?

    last night i also iplayered ep 3 & 4 of brooker’s newswipe. some parts = well good. some parts = not.

    i don’t recall any fighting. i recall bullying WHICH IS WORSE.

  8. Swineshead Says:

    An old favourite returns!

    Today’s Google Search of the Day is…

    stacey slater starkers

    Well done to the libidinous Eastenders fan who typed that into a search engine and found himself confronted by reams of text in which Napoleon and Ugeine were insulting each other.

  9. Mel Says:

    I know i have said this before, but what *is* the point of BBC 3? I always manage to miss the good stuff that doesn’t get recomissioned, and then get left with programmes like this.

    I don’t not pay a licence fee for this shite etc.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    I wouldn’t say it was bullying. It was fighting.

    I saw one episode of Free Agents.

  11. breeks Says:

    fighting about bullying?

    anyway, it’s history.

    free agents. it was kind of a good idea replayed every episode.

  12. Mel Says:

    did free agents have that Stephen Mangan off of Green Wing? Or am i thinking of a different one?

  13. breeks Says:

    no, you’re thinking of the right one.

    where is everyone, eh?

  14. Mel Says:

    Maybe they’re all out playing in the sun?

    Maybe it got a little too fractious in here for everyone last week.

    My bets are on playing in the sun.

  15. breeks Says:

    it looks delicous outside, from where i sit which is solidly inside.

  16. breeks Says:

    it looks delicious outside, from where i sit which is solidly inside.

  17. breeks Says:


  18. Swineshead Says:

    I was about to say they’re all probably frollicking in the sun. Or maybe they’re living with pigs for four days.

  19. Mel Says:

    Oh yes, pigs is also a possibility.

    What i want to know is why Terry Nutkins is associating himself with this nonsense? I always quite liked his gentle style on children’s TV with animal related content. It is sad when people you thought were cool as a kid start doing weird stuff. Has he had a big tax bill or something?

  20. Excelsior! Says:

    Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii guyssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    Avoided this one like the plague, as screaming blue murder at telly idiots would only have made my sore throat worse. Much better animal telly is that Tolstoy woman and her horses. Im sure there’s some horse somewhere in her ancestory, dosn’t stop her from being bloody lovey though.

    Also missed the bitching, scratching and gnashing of teeth on fri. Have all those involved been sent to the headmaster?

  21. breeks Says:

    terry nutkins actually didn’t do much at all on this show apart from give lynsey the hump when it was clear she wasn’t interested in being a pig and maybe thought this was a career move to help launch her from the glitzy realms of fivelive to actually tellybox work.

    wasn’t really, though, was it. no.

  22. Mel Says:

    Hello Excelsior – i like that other programme about horses, but I find that Tolstoy woman very annoying in a braying posh way.

  23. Mel Says:

    Yes breeks, the clue should have been when it was revealed that she would have to live like a pig for 4 days. At least she wasn’t asked to masturbate one, unlike on a different farm-based reality TV show…

    …she wasn’t, was she?

  24. Swineshead Says:

    Nutkins is a GOOD MAN. The Really Wild Show was a staple for me, growing up. I liked that Chris Packham too and the unconvincing sexual allure of Strachan.

    Whatever happened to Chris Packham and his twitching? He was also a GOOD MAN.

    Strachan now gets dirty with orangutangs on Sunday evening, I see.

    Fact fans – Nutkins is missing fingers after an otter took exception to his digits. Must’ve hurt.

  25. breeks Says:

    no. imagine the dramas had she been the intensively reared pig straight up. she would’ve left, the nancy.

  26. Sue De Nymh Says:

    I watched Family Guy then went to bed rather than watch that pig programme. In fact, Family Guy is the only thing I watch on BBC3 – and that’s only because there’s nothing else on.
    Like Swineshead said, the fact that they commissioned this instead of Adam Buxton’s MeeBox (and Mr Biffo & Mr Hairs’ Biffovision) tells you all you need to know about BBC3.

  27. Swineshead Says:

    Mel – there does seem to be a fascination with pig-cock in reality TV circles, you’re right.

  28. breeks Says:

    i really like family guy.

    as in heaps.

  29. Excelsior! Says:

    Oh she’s posh Mel, she’s very, very posh. Normally this would intiate a burning class resentment, but somehow she’s bypasssed that part of my brain. Possibly by being attractive. In a horsy posh way.

  30. Swineshead Says:

    Family Guy suffers from the fact it’s written by so many people. One unrelated joke follows another. It’s very funny but veers about the place so much it’s an incoherent, hilarious mess.

  31. Mel Says:

    I know, I have seen less pig cock in real life, and i used to work on a bloody pig farm foor a while.

  32. Swineshead Says:

    There was a good new show on the BBC on Saturday, at middayish.

    Winging It. Anyone see it?
    Much like Faking It but played for laughs.

    And I laughed a lot. I might even watch it again in a minute.

  33. Mel Says:

    Also re Packham up ther, i thought he was going on Springwatch? I thought i read that somewhere.

    Oh, and he is a definite would

  34. breeks Says:

    i shall iplayer it, SH, and see if you’re right.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    Maybe packham’ll take over from Oddie, who apparently is not in a good way.

    Breeks – it’s well worth a watch – good, clean Saturday afternoon fun.

  36. Mel Says:

    Oh no, i hate it when people you liked as a kid are fallible. Poor Bill Oddie. Mel off of the internets says get well soon

  37. Excelsior! Says:

    Shouldn’t Spring Watch be on the telly by now? It’s bloody well spring outside if im any judge. Someone get an almanac and find when SW starts.

  38. Mel Says:

    Late May Ex, to coincide witht he baby buurds, you see. It would be a bit rubbish if they missed them, although they could look at shots of froglets, i guess.

  39. breeks Says:

    i don’t really get springwatch. isn’t it big brother for animals? ish?

  40. Mel Says:

    Oh, and yes Packham was confirmed as presenter on the springwatch site.

    I will be tuning in

  41. Mel Says:

    Breeks – wait until Packham presents. Worth tuning in for that alone.


  42. breeks Says:

    link me a picture of him, want to see if i would as well.

  43. Excelsior! Says:

    Late May? We’ll see about that

    *pumps out 50000000 megagiga tonns of CO2*

  44. Swineshead Says:

    *culls burgeoning Blue Tit population in like with Exelsior’s scheme*

  45. Swineshead Says:

    ‘in line’, obviously

  46. breeks Says:

    pigs’d like this –

    pig fact learnt from show – they have no thalamus therefore never feel full. this is why they are greedy. amazing.

    i don’t think i have a thalamus.

  47. piqued Says:


    Chris Packham shouldn’t be allowed on TV because he can’t speak proper. Squrrel Nutkins shouldn’t either due to his half eaten hand.

    Come on BBC, some of us are perefect. You’re misrepresenting the nation when it comes to nature.

  48. Excelsior! Says:

    Apparently we should be culling magpies now. Cos they kill all baby birds and that. I imagine that they’ve always done this and it’s only because we’ve left a 4mx4m patch of grass in cornwall for animals to live in that this is now a problem.

  49. Excelsior! Says:

    What about Simon King, Mel? Would you Definitely Would him?

  50. Nick T Says:

    Morning all. I am in a spanky new office with windows, new carpets and an airconditioner which I am dying to use. It’s a remote control one!!!!

    My (now) teenage daughter told me about this one. I reckon BBC3 (new Family Guy~fantastic!) asked a 4 year old what they wanted to see and this is what they got. Dire.

    Pip pip!

  51. piqued Says:

    My vagina is wet

  52. breeks Says:

    which one, piqued?

  53. piqued Says:

    What a bizarre statement Breeks

    u r weared

  54. breeks Says:




  55. ClaireVoyant Says:

    What made me particularly laugh/weep at this, is the fact that it is *exactly* the programme that is used in Jonathan Creek (Ep. Gorgons Wood) to show ‘LOLOMG – that Magician bloke will do any old reality TV shite to make some money/get on the telly!’

  56. Mel Says:

    Excelsior – sorry for the delay, continental lunch break and all that.

    Truth be told, i have a bit of a thing for the Natural History Department of the bee, and my woulds rank from Sir David Attenborough, through to Simon King, and include many alumni, including packham, Nick Baker, and probably also Kate Humble

  57. indy Says:

    hello everyone!

    anyone that wants to hear/read my family guy joke?

  58. Nick T Says:

    Have you heard, about the word?

  59. Mel Says:

    um, the Natural HIstopry Department of the BEEB, obviously. Having a thing for the Natural History Department of the bee would just be weird.

  60. Excelsior! Says:

    No need to apologise Mel, I can only manage sporadic attendance myself.

    Careful with Attenborough though. You might brake him.

    What about Fogle?
    If i were a women, i’d get all hot and bothered about that Steve Leonard fellow of Orangutan Diary.

    *puts too much thought into it*

  61. piqued Says:

    I do Indy, me, me, me, me etc.,

    Spent most of yesterday afternoon with your mates in a boozer in town. The birthday fellow was utterly shitfaced

  62. Mel Says:

    Ooh yes, Steve Leonard. Fogle is a definite no, but then he is also not associated with Natural History Programming, so this might explain it.

  63. breeks Says:

    leonard had another vet-type brother, no? those leonard brothers. oooh.

  64. Mel Says:

    The whole family are vets – 4 brothers, the father and the grandfather.


  65. indy Says:

    piqued: (response to any story)

    “…that is the (adjective)-(e)st thing that has happened since I (verb)-ed with X (celebrity).

    *”tumbleweedish silence”*

    …but that joke only works in family guy.”

  66. breeks Says:

    mel – shall we?

  67. indy Says:

    piqued: The birthday fellow is ALWAYS utterly shitfaced whenever there is a drinking involved. he got this automatic robot-arm that prevents him from sipping moderately on alcoholic drinks…

  68. piqued Says:

    I’ve noticed this of late, he goes all quiet and turns white

    His brother was a fucking state an’ all

  69. indy Says:

    was it the older brother or the younger one?

  70. piqued Says:

    The big one with the pipe who never speaks English, him

  71. indy Says:

    ah! posho!

  72. indy Says:

    swedish wodehouse appreciation commitee

  73. indy Says:

    (what did you think of the family guy joke?)

  74. Mel Says:

    Breeks – yay tag team!

    Indy – does the older one smoke a pipe in london because he can’t get hold of Snus?

  75. piqued Says:

    It needed some thought Indy, but once there a satisfying repost…

    I’m enjoying a row in the office at the moment so I’m a bit distracted

  76. indy Says:

    mel: no, his smokes a pipe because he’s the missing neighbour character out of tolkien’s “the hobbit”

  77. Nick T Says:

    I take it that you have not heard about the word?

    (good grief)

  78. Mel Says:

    Nick, we heard, we are just ignoring that word.

  79. Nick T Says:

    Just checking…..


  80. piqued Says:

    McCoys Cheddar and Onion, what are your thoughts?

  81. indy Says:

    i’m a “ready salted” kind of guy (i admit that’s the crisp equivalent of having vanilla as favourite ice cream or water as favourte beverage)

  82. Nick T Says:

    Balsamic vinegar and sea salt kettle chips.

  83. ugeine Says:

    Just came on quickly to say sorry to Napoleon, for Friday / Saturday like.

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