Social media sites were bursting with comments such as: “Tom Hiddleston running shirtless on the beach, getting out of the pool, with a kid on his shoulders.
Has anyone fainted? #TheNightManager”.
It’s not the first time a male lead getting his kit off has raised temperatures. Poldark’s Aidan Turner having a similar effect on TV viewers.
Some love to goggle at the rippling muscles and six-packs, others get hot under the collar at gratuitous stripping.
But is this nudity really worth getting our knickers in a twist about, or should we just chill out and enjoy the show?
Two of our writers get to the bare bones of the issue.
Ali Kirker says YES
When Colin Firth emerged from the lake in Pride and Prejudice on BBC1 back in 1995, it was a genuine TV moment.
In the scene that caused all the fuss, he didn’t even bother to take his shirt off. Well, actually it was more of a big girl’s blouse but that’s period drama for you.
The only flesh on show was a tiny bit of the top of Colin’s chest.
My, they were innocent days two decades ago.
Colin admitted later he was going to strip but he was too shy.
And yet it was named the most memorable moment in British TV drama.
Surely that is proof positive that you don’t need to get your kit off to create a scene full of steam and spice.
Well, it seems someone forgot to tell our TV actors that.
In short, it’s time for the stars to put them away.
All those honed chests, toned breasts, perfect pecs and six-packs? Cover them up.
Viewers aren’t stupid. We don’t need to see flawless celebs peeling off and strutting their naked stuff in the middle of our otherwise-favourite telly show.
And don’t give me that rubbish that it’s all a vital part of the plot. Baloney.
It’s all about showing off how tanned, toned and perfect they are.
Telly bosses think we’re so desperate for a bit of a thrill that we’ll tune in our droves.
Once again, baloney.
Just a week ago BBC2 drama Murder launched to great fanfare and a whopping two million viewers.
And yet every time dangly bits appeared on screen, viewers switched off in their droves.
Just 20 minutes in to the episode, when a suspect was pacing around naked in a police cell – as you do – almost half had switched off.
You see? I know I sound like the late, great Mary Whitehouse, but it’s not just me.
In recent must-see TV shows – the likes of Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife – all the stars have stayed buttoned-up, covered up and perfectly decent, thank you very much.
Romance and seduction have all been about a look here, a hint there and a bit of a smoulder back here again.
Colin Firth would surely approve.
Chae Strathie says NO
I don’t get it.
All the hoo-hah over folk dropping their drawers or slipping out of their simmits on telly baffles me.
I don’t take sides either.
I’m as bamboozled by those overexcited types who have to plunge their nether regions into a barrel of ice cubes to cool themselves down as I am by prudes who turn purple with rage at the fleeting glimpse of a pimply bahookie.
I’ve been watching The Night Manager these past few Sundays and, the moment that’s causing all the fuss – Tom Hiddleston shedding his shirt – didn’t even register as a thing.
Maybe it’s because if I want to see an example of a chiselled, muscle-bound, Greek god-like body I just look in the mirror when I take my jerkin off at night.(That sound you can hear is my wife crying with laughter.)
But it’s all about context. In a post-watershed adult thriller these days it’s hardly a cause for fainting or fury if a character, male or female, shows flesh.
We’ve all got bums and bits and bobs, so it’s not a shock to discover other people have them too.
But an unexpected bout of full-frontal male nudity on Bargain Hunt would raise a few eyebrows. And if Huw Edwards performed a sultry striptease on the BBC News At Six I’d spit my chocolate digestive all over the screen.
The problem I have with the trend for semi-nude fit blokes in dramas is how predicable it has become.
When Aidan Turner wheeched his manky smock off in Poldark the internet almost dissolved.
Normally intelligent women (and some men) lost all sense of perspective. Twitter was aflame with tweets such as: “OMG my eyeballs have just melted #toohotfortelly” and “Just called the fire brigade to hose me down #turnertotty”.
IT’S JUST A BELLY BUTTON AND NIPPLES AND STUFF! Calm down, eh?
Now every TV drama has a scene where a smouldering hottie gets nekkid.
After years of women being the main source of telly nudity, this is redressing (or should that be undressing) the balance. So in that sense it’s fair enough that we should see a glut of unclad male skin.
But it’s really not worth shouting, or whining, about.
And that’s the naked truth of the matter.