Pubic hair, the pay gap and periods are fair game for the team behind Channel 4’s new show, Riot Girls
The phrase ‘prank show,’ either conjures up images of an unsuspecting public being humiliated or Dom Joly running around with a giant telephone. Brilliant feminist satire is certainly not what you think of. But that’s exactly what Channel 4’s new show Riot Girls delivers.
Jen Wakefield, Sophie Duker, Grace Campbell and Cam Spence met after being drafted in to pen the one-off episode, and their 21st century take on hidden-camera comedy is riotous reboot of a weary format. With memorable gags (literally in one stunt that finds Duker and Campbell as perfume saleswomen ‘educating’ men on choking during oral sex) that tackle topics such as toilet provision, menstrual taboos and body hair, it’s a genuine must-watch. Stylist sat down with the four very funny women to discuss how pranks can change the world.
How can hidden-camera shows highlight sexism?
Cam: You’re tricking people into revealing sides of themselves because they feel comfortable.
Sophie: A lot of these sketches are pulling back and revealing something that’s always existed but the show calls your attention to it in a surprising way.
Grace: We weren’t trying to make the people look bad; we were making the problem look bad. People didn’t feel we’d taken the p**s out of them, they felt we’d had fun with them to make a point.
Where there times when you felt you’d educated someone?
G: The Pube-berg prank. We said there was an environmental crisis caused by [people shaving] their public hair and everyone fell for it. Afterwards people were like “F**king hell, the fact I believed that is really telling about the way young people view pubic hair.”
S: Also Aunt Flo’s cupcakes made of out of menstrual blood; one girl thought it was a great idea and said her friends wanted to be involved.
What impact do you hope the show will have?
Jen: I grew up in a male-dominated household and something like this would have helped me feel like I had allies. I want other people to have that.
G: I hope it will reach a wider audience than just the echo chamber of feminism. It’s just giving people information in a funny way.
Riot Girls is on Channel 4 on Thursday 10 May at 10pm