Kicking up
a Stink to Save
The Planet

Tom O’Brien, Creative Director of Fremantle’s UK label Naked, has fun putting big-name celebrities through their paces to front up the climate and waste debate, writes Karen Hockney.

Stand by for the most audacious social experiment on television, as TRASH MONSTERS makes three celebrities wear every scrap of rubbish they produce in a battle to quell their excessive consumer habits.

With the average UK household producing over a tonne of waste each year, the show could not be timelier.

During lockdown, people reduced their global carbon footprint significantly by using leftovers more, being eco-conscious and driving and travelling less. Major change was accomplished, yet the flipside was more online deliveries and takeaways than ever before. “It feels like a good moment to dive into what can be done while these conversations are fresh,” says Tom

Former England footballer and supermarket addict John Barnes, pop star and takeaway devotee Kerry Katona and supermodel-turned-restaurateur Jodie Kidd, are challenged to change their ways by donning plastic trash suits displaying every piece of waste they produce over the course of a single week.

“The concept is simple – these super-wasteful celebrities turn into giant bulbous trash monsters,” says Tom O’Brien.

“Then they begin a race to reduce their waste to as little as possible while learning about the impact and how to adapt their behaviour – and having regular weigh-ins – along the way.“

The show will create a carbon footprint reading for each of them, and the two most wasteful competitors will experience a horrible punishment – working at a waste disposal centre for a day – while the one who has changed the most takes the Trash Trophy.

An app which allows families to log the trash they create and compete against their friends to reduce their carbon footprint is also in discussion.

The 90-minute special, presented by comedian Jon Richardson, airs in prime time this autumn on Channel 4 on the run up to the UK-hosted COP26 climate change summit, and talks are well underway with other territories.

Alongside a good narrative, there’s slapstick comedy with celebrities walking around in trash suits, knocking things over and being told by their family that they stink!

“The show’s instant appeal lies in watching privileged people being put through something disgusting and uncomfortable,” says Tom. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before on TV.”

Want to hear more? Then watch the video below.

“Making people talk about meaningful stuff under the cover of entertainment is always what we’re aiming for. At the very least we feel confident that it will start a conversation.” – Tom O’Brien, Naked, UK