Prime-time cannibalism a TV first

TWO Dutch TV presenters will claim to be making broadcasting history Wednesday when millions of viewers tune in to watch them eating flesh surgically removed from each other's bodies in an unprecedented act of prime-time cannibalism.

The pre-recorded stunt - which one Dutch newspaper suggested could be an elaborate hoax - was pulled off by Valerio Zeno and Dennis Storm in a new science programme called Guinea Pigs, showing on the Netherlands' BNN television channel.

"The idea of the show is to provide really simple answers to stupid questions such as 'can you shave with tomato sauce?' or 'can you drive blind?'," Storm said yesterday.

"We also wanted to find out what human flesh tasted like."

To create what the producers evidently felt was the appropriate ambience for cannibalism, the set was equipped with a chef, candelabra, white linen and wine.

The two presenters "dressed for dinner" in suits and ties and sat patiently as the chef sautEed a small piece of Storm's buttock and a chunk of Zeno's abdomen in a frying pan greased with sunflower oil.

To ensure that the taste of cooked human flesh remained unadulterated, the chef insisted that salt, pepper and other condiments remained off the menu.

"We went to the butcher, the surgeon and the studio, then we looked at each other and just ate it," Storm said.

"Nothing is really that special when you're talking about the taste of meat but it's weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly."

Storm said it was worth undergoing surgery in order to carry out the stunt.

"It was just a few centimetres of meat and now I have a good story to tell about the scar," he said.

Cannibalism is not a punishable offence in the Netherlands.

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