The Great British Germ Hunt, Channel 4, review: ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria made for great TV
Review by Jeff Robson on iNews website on Sunday July 8th 2018:
The Great British Germ Hunt was a dream or a nightmare depending on your fascination with/aversion to the trillions of bacteria that live in our skin and share our environment. Kate Quilton had assembled the usual Channel 4 team of telegenic enthusiasts, including John Simm look-and-soundalike Dr Joe Latimer, who were clearly in the “fascinated” camp and keen to share the secrets of the microbiome – the unique combination of organisms in our body.
Its conclusions – “good” and “bad” bacteria both play a part in our overall health; exposure to a bit of dirt might be better than over-reliance on antibiotics – weren’t exactly groundbreaking. But this was more an excuse for some fun experiments with a high “eeuggh!” factor. There was “before and after” testing of festival goers to show how many species could be acquired over a three-day period in which personal hygiene took a back seat. A “kissing booth” to show Salford University students how many bacteria were exchanged during the average (and indeed above-average) smooch. A swabathon of Britain which revealed Swansea to be the “good bacteria” capital. And (my favourite) the Fantastic Voyage-style journey of a miniature camera pill to one guinea pig’s gut biome which yielded images “like abstract art”. I feel a Tate Modern installation coming on…