Jimmy Ladgrove & Anna Richardson on Naked Attraction
If you were to ask me what the scariest thing I’ve ever done last month I would probably have said leaving the familiarity of my home country and moving to the UK & US. Fast forward to now & I have just officially done the craziest, scariest thing in my life. I got completely naked on prime time British Television.
Did I just wake up one day and think. Ok I’m gonna get naked on TV? Well…
It all started when I was over at my best friend Chloe’s flat in Bristol. Chloe always has the TV on in the Background, She was telling me about this new naked dating show called Naked Attraction. I had not long finished filming Undressed , another raunchy British TV show. [Undressed does require you to take your clothes off but not completely naked.] Chloe showed me the show & I was genuinely shocked at what I was seeing. I haven’t watched TV for years, and have probably only watched about 3 hours of TV in the 2 & a half years I’ve lived in England. I straight away thought WTF is going on. It was intriguing viewing though & at the same time quite interesting & entertaining! Laughing together Chloe joked that I should do this show next. I straight out said No, that is legit the last thing on earth I would do! I’m confident but not that confident!
A few months later I seen an advert from one of the casting producers on Facebook, I had been friends with him since he stalked me down and encouraged me to apply for another British show called Take me out. I was in Australia at the time of that shows filming so didn’t bother. The advert looked a little something like this.
Due to the massive success of season one , It had instantly been renewed for another season! It was rating really high with millions of brits tuning in to laugh and cringe.
I had gave it some thought, a lot actually & without sounding too cocky, I knew if I applied I would most likely get on it. I knew they would be interested in a confident Bearded 20 something year old Australian that hasn’t man-scapped in over 3 years. I knew they would be looking for a diverse range of people. I watched the rest of the episodes & thought this could be fun! I really liked the host Anna, I thought she was hilarious. So I went right ahead and sent a few cheeky photos. I applied as a bi-sexual man that prefers men.
I’d received a response the next day saying that they would love to speak to me. I responded and asked when filming was as I was due to go on holiday for a month in Australia. They gave me the dates and said for me to contact them again when I’m back in the country. I had a nice month in Australia to really think about what I’m about to get myself into. I had talked about it with close friends and family, to mixed reactions as expected! Although I knew I could make my own decisions, their opinion did matter to me.
I mentioned the format of the show, and showed off some screen grabs. I said how its a really fun, fascinating show that contains full uncensored nudity that would never air in a country like Australia. Its a world first created by the same production company that thought of goggle-box & undercover boss.
On the plane back to the UK, I thought about it again. I was really focusing on the pros and cons and what thoughts were coming to my mind. The thought of it truly did scare the shite out of me. I remembered back to one of my favourite quotes from Bear Grylls, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Also the ” Try and do things that scare you” . I am a self confessed experience junky & I absolutely love being out of my comfort zone. I have always lived with a you only live once kind of attitude. I pondered whether this could ruin my life or not. Would I ever be able to live it down?
So I arrived back in the UK, contacted them to let them know I’m back in England.
I was swiftly offered a time slot to come to the London studios for an audition. I had been away from Chloe for a month so decided to make it a little London Adventure, I had wanted to see where Chloe was raised and meet her parents for a while now, So we were able to make all that happen while casually getting my clothes off in the centre of London.
It was a fairly bizarre experience, it was held at Studio Lambert in Denmark street which is smack bang in the centre of London, It wasn’t at a TV studio or anything, this is just a flashy shiny big office. I arrived and had to fill out more paperwork then my visa applications in USA & UK put together. Signing my life away quite swiftly, I was then ushered up stairs where there was a full floor of staff working away, off course every single one stared as I was taken in to a meeting room where the windows had been covered in non transparent paper. Inside that meeting room was a white wall, 1 camera, 1 big light & two men. One was a producer on the show, and the other was the show casting researcher that had found me online. Both lovely men. As expected I was asked a lot about my dating history, life and basically anything else. Half way through it was time to take off my clothes. Something I knew I had to do, It didn’t really bother me although I was a bit embarrassed because the nerves and the coldness of London had made my nut suck shrivel into my body & my willy to turn into a wrinkled elephant trunk. I just laughed and carried on talking to two complete strangers about whether or not I like pubic hair, ect. Although I was auditioning for Pan/Bisexual round, We mainly talked about my history with boys. I let them know I had been with more men in my life and prefer men but am open to being with female and have in the past.
After a few very awkward poses, which included me standing still while they zoom up on my little jimmy & my hairy ass, I was asked to do some modelling/blue steel action. Something I had never really done naked, felt a bit awkie.
I left the audition feeling confident. I knew they found me interesting and I knew that theres a high chance I’ll be on the show.
A week later I received a phone call. It was to say the network and producers really like me and would like me to be on the show. I asked them whether I’d be a picker or in a box, as I had previously made it clear that I am only interested in doing the show If I am a picker. They couldn’t let me know at that stage as they were still finalising all the casting.
I was told I would be on the gay episode which I was fine with. I then received news that they had already secured the pickers for the gay episodes. I was then asked if I would be interested in going on a Bi or Pan-sexual round. Which I actually would have preferred to be. I thought it would be a lot more interesting choosing between male & female!
So I was invited back to London to film some more clips about my history with women and what It means to be Pansexual. I had let them know I have never been a fan of labels , although If you were to label me I would fit more into the label Pansexual.
So what is Pansexuality?
Pansexual is a term where someone is attracted to all genders! Therefor male/female, gay/straight/bi/trans & even people that don’t feel they fit into a gender. To me it basically means I have the ability to love and be sexually attracted to anyone! It doesn’t matter if they have a willy or fanny basically. I could like a man with feminine traits, or I could like a tom boy with a vagina.
The term was fairly new to me, in-fact I had only heard about it about a year ago when Miley Cyrus came out on social media as Pansexual. Growing up people had always tried to put me in a box and label me. Everyone including myself knew I was a little different. I guess gay was the easiest and most generic label. Everyone would call me that from my siblings and their friends to my father and his friends. I guess I had just accepted this label before I even knew If I was or not.
Naked attraction at the time had not yet done a Pansexual round. It was exciting that I would be the first! It meant that I could even have a transgender person in one of the boxes. I had never dated a trans before but am certainly open to the experience. The thought of having a trans in my episode was exciting to me!
What are your reasons for doing this? What goes through someones mind when choosing to do something this bizarre & brave?
There are quite a few reasons why I decided to do it. I was genuinely looking for a partner, for the first time in my life I feel settled where I am in England and feel as if I am ready to meet someone. Not to settle down with , but to join me on my travels. I am genuinely fed up with online dating. Tinder, Grinder, POF, I’ve found it so tedious and have wasted so much of my precious time on this earth trying to find someone on these apps. Not to mention I am also bullied on them. Grindr, the man seeking man app is the worst, anyone can speak to you. I open the app and I am guaranteed to have some kind of hateful message about my appearance.
Online dating in the gay world I find rather disgusting. It’s superficial, and quite shocking what some of these men have on their profile. If I’m not greeted with a ‘why do you have that beard’, or ‘you’d look better with out’ it kind of text, I am sent graphic images of penis’s.
I’d actually deleted all these apps 6 months prior to doing the show, I thought to myself I’m better off just being single and focusing on myself than wasting my time on these apps.
Secondly, I have previously been on two other dating shows and genuinely enjoyed every minute of both experiences, you’re basically letting the casting producers do the dirty work for you, they get to know you on a very personal level and then they select people they think you will get along with. My most recent show was Undressed in the UK, I was matched with a lovely man from London, we had quite a bit in common and got along really well on the show! It was a very pleasant experience and up there with one of my favourite dates.
Thirdly, I did it for my own confidence. It genuinely scared the hell out of me doing this. Conquering your fears is one of the greatest feelings and I knew if I was brave enough to do this, I could do anything. I haven’t always been body confident! In fact I used to be so insecure about my body, I thought I was too skinny, too white, too hairy, not enough muscles ect. It wasn’t until I matured a bit and just learned to accept and love my body that I was able to have the confidence to do this.
Fourthly Growing up in Australia I struggled a lot with my identity & sexuality, I had no one to look up to & I felt like the biggest out cast. I blame the stress of this for not being able to finish school. Now 26 I have a lot more life experience and I have seen the damage this can have on mens mental health. Men that are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. I knew this show was watched by millions and I knew I could use this platform to project a positive image out into the UK & world, that its ok if you are attracted to the same sex, or both , its even ok if you are not sure. Regardless of me being naked or not I really hope that I can be a positive example to young people out there. Growing up if I had seen a 20 something year old gay, bi , or pan man on national TV it would have bought me hope and reassurance that maybe I am ok just the way I am.
A lot of people say that the people that do this show must not have any self respect. How do you feel about that?
I believe people have chosen to do the show for a wide range of reasons, whether personal or not. For me its the opposite, I believe putting yourself out of your comfort zone is very beneficial for personal growth and development. Like I mentioned earlier I knew if I could muster up the courage to do this, I could do anything, I might now be able to jump out of that plane I’ve been wanting, but putting off for so long.
Did you just do it for your 15 minutes of fame?
No, The format of this show is a bit extreme if you are doing this for your 15 minutes then you’re wasting your time. Its something I spent months really thinking about before I decided if it was right for me. I’ve already had my 15 minutes of fame quite a few times already. Don’t need it again.
What does your family think?
I come from a very supportive huge network of friends and family, they have always been supportive in everything I choose to do, whether that be moving to the other side of the world or appearing on TV shows. I was actually in Australia at the time of casting, so I was able to discuss it with my close family and friends prior to heading back to the UK. They knew I have always been interested in media production and that this kind of thing is right up my alley. I am already known as the crazy one in my family.
What about your boss?
I have a really healthy relationship with my boss & everyone I work with. I work at a busy city centre brewery & my boss was very supportive with working around the scheduling of the filming the show. I needed to take days off last minute and he bent over backwards to make sure I could participate. He also approved channel 4 to film at our workplace! My interview was done at work, there is also footage of me working shot at the brew house. I don’t actually own a TV so we are holding a screening in our private room with all our staff & my friends! To top things off my boss has gifted me his spare 42 inch TV thats collecting dust in storage.
What about the owner of the company ?
Earlier this year due to high sales, our CEO closed every pub in the company to hold a big party in London. I was able to meet and chat to him, he has appeared on channel 4’s Made in Chelsea and his daughter is a main character on it. I told him about the show and asked what his thoughts were on me being the face of one of his he’s venues and being stark naked on TV. He said good for me and I can do whatever I like.
How was the whole experience overall?
Overall I found the who experience extremely positive, having been to TV school and always been interested in the industry, to be apart of such a big & outrageous production outside your own country was really exciting. Everyone I met along the way from Studio Lambert & Channel 4 we extremely professional & it just inspired me more to go back to Melbourne and finish my degree in Screen & Media and work with these kinds of creative people. These people are passionate about people, they don’t want to set you up for failure, they want to bring the best out of you. For those that don’t know it can be a long an tedious process to actually get on TV. There are a lot of steps you’ve got to go through. The studio were extremely efficient and very accommodating every step of the way.
So did you actually meet someone you liked?
Surprisingly yes! Yes I signed up to this in hopes of actually meeting someone, I also just wanted to have some cheeky fun & entertain some people. Being on a pansexual episode I was spoilt for choice. I ended up going for a chap named Luke who was from up North near Manchester & Leeds. We did really hit it off. I went and visited him, he came down to Bristol to spend time with me, we then caught up again in London. We even went to Amsterdam together. I was pleasantly surprised that I made a connection with someone on there. Although we are no longer seeing each other I enjoyed the experience.
The producers did let me know that they were taking the matching part seriously & really did their best to match me with people they thought I would find attractive and have things in common with.
Did you find love?
I don’t think it was, although I defy made a connection with Luke. I think I was just over excited to meet someone with similar taste and outlook on life. It was refreshing & I had a really nice time with him.
You must be majorly body confident to do something like this?
To be honest I wasn’t really, Thats what scared me the most about this. I really was extremely out of my comfort zone. Growing up I always compared my body to my brothers & what I seen in the movies and music videos. I was confused as to what a normal body actually looks like. I would have people tell me I have a nice body, although my mind wouldn’t believe it. I always thought you had to be hairless, rock hard abs, glowing with a nice brown tan & not to forget biceps, to have a nice body. I don’t have any of that. My body somewhat resembles that of a monkey. I do eat well and am extremely active, I also think it is down to good genes.
I used to wax my chest, shave my stomach I once even got a spray tan. These days I embrace everything.
If there was one thing you’d change about your body what would it be?
I’d have to say, a bit of the hair. I have embraced my hair now, and quite like it , although in recent years I have started to grow hair in random places like the top of my shoulders, my lower back & also I am getting random wings on my back. Is this necessary ?
Lets talk about the willy situation. ..
Ok, theres a quote now that I will be repeating myself for quite sometime. “It was a cold day in Manchester”, You see any man with a penis knows that it can change sizes many times a day depending on mood, temperature ect. Although the studio temperature was fine, I think it was the nerves that made my nut sack shrivel and my shaft to turn into a little wrinkly elephant trunk. I have never been self conscious about my penis size. I am 100% happy with it. I think it is in proportion to my body & I have never had any complaints. I am Defs a grower not a shower, Although I’m not saying it grows into a huge 10inch monstrous cock.
Whats the deal with the pubes?
When I ditched the face razors, I also ditched the body groomers. I decided if I’m going to be hairy I will embrace everything. So I’ve been growing my pubes for over 3 years now. I used to see this guy when I was around 19-20 in Australia. I really fancied him, although he would only be keen on meeting up if I was clean shaven & I had trimmed my pubes! Looking back , I cant believe I would go this far for a man , But I did. Once I started growing my beard he never spoke to me again. I realise I’ve got a lot of pubic hair and its not for everyone, or anyone. Thats not my problem.
Just you wait and see! I’m happy with my life at the moment in Bristol, It’s the first time I’ve felt settled in my whole life. It’s always fun to throw a random spanner in the works and mix things up a bit. I’m going to continue to follow my interest in creating random content. Whether that be online or TV. Its ways fun to look back on. Instead of sending my friends a postcard I’ll just send them We Transfer links of random British TV shows I appear on.
I filmed naked attraction in Manchester, England in April 2017. It first Aired on 25th August 2017.
Jimmy Ladgrove on Naked Attraction date 2017