Pleasure and Pain With Michael Mosley Review: Death By Chocolate

PLEASURE AND PAIN WITH MICHAEL MOSLEY: Tuesday 25th January, BBC1, 10.35pm

Want to know what your licence fee is paying for? The complimentary tuck shop outside Chris Moyles’ studio, Bruce Forsyth’s cryo-sleep sessions and various bills run up by academics having a jolly good time in the name of the BBC documentary department. This evening Michael Mosley is eating as much chocolate as he can in an ‘experiment’ designed to “explore the boundaries of pleasure”. I bet he couldn’t believe it when that expenses bill was approved. His next programme pitch to BBC bosses will probably have the working title: ‘Refurbishing Your Second Home: A Practical Guide’.

To be fair to Mr Mosley, he’s actually gobbling chocolate like Britain’s Fattest Man in a bid to find out what happens when pleasure turns to vomiting, and he approaches both sides of this spectrum with just as much enthusiasm. Whether he’s shrieking without shame after mustering the nerve to bungee or taking part in a chilli eating competition in the hope of experiencing a ‘chilli rush’, he takes it all in good humour. “One person’s idea of pleasure, is another person’s idea of agony..” explains the cheerful pop scientist helpfully as he recounts the tale of a Dutch woman who suffers from a state of constant sexual arousal. Yes yes, it sounds great but the reality of such a condition is that aside from Louie Spence, sufferers are utterly depressed and very lonely.

In ascending order, food, sex and loved ones make up the top three of Mosley’s pleasure hit list and you don’t need to be a anthropologist to work out that those things cover the basic requirements of human-kind as a species. Mosley puts it bluntly and points out that if we weren’t gripped by an overriding desire to find energy, reproduce and form relationships, we would die out rather quickly. The generally light-hearted nature of this one-off special suggests that despite some of the ordeals he chucks himself into, he rather enjoyed the whole experience. And well he might, we all needed a bit of a break after his intense series on the human brain. Pass the chocolate, I might need his results for myself…