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Five lessons we have learned from Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents

Emma Bradshaw

Editorial Curator

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Whether it’s in the sun, snow, or at a festival, we’ve loved seeing what happens when teenagers think their parents aren’t following their every move. With a new series of Festivals, Sex and Suspicious Parents coming up on BBC Three and in BBC iPlayer, we take a look back at what we’ve learned from four years of undercover snooping.


1. Never get naked in public. You never know who’s watching.
Unless you have a giant, foam heart to cover your private bits, in which case it’s absolutely fine and not in the least bit embarrassing. Carry on.

Charlie and his friends headed to a music festival in Austria, but we have a sneaking suspicion that they probably weren’t there for the wonderfully engaging musical experience.

A day’s activity generally consisted of drinking, talking to girls, drinking, talking to more girls, drinking – and then losing their clothes. But when getting naked in front of a few random strangers in the campsite just didn’t cut it anymore, Charlie aimed for a slightly bigger audience…

Watch this episode now on BBC iPlayer.


2. Always make sure you try out the local cuisine.
Unless the local cuisine looks like it might be able to hurt you. Then maybe just leave the local cuisine for the actual locals.

In an episode where we were introduced to the concept of ‘tactical vomiting’, we followed Eman and his friends who were tempted to try some of the local delicacies at a food stall in Thailand. But would eating a scorpion prove to be one step too far?


3. It’s ok to get dressed up and go clubbing with your mates.
But if your parents insist on coming too, make sure they’re not cooler than you!

For Sophie and her friends, there is nothing more fun than having a few drinks and going out clubbing – unless you add some foam to the party too! Unfortunately for Sophie, her parents not only wanted to spy on her antics: they wanted to get up to their own shenanigans too. Mum and Dad know where the real party’s at.

4. Make sure you bring home a meaningful souvenir of your time abroad.
And no, a dodgy tattoo doesn’t qualify!

There are lots of reasons you might want to indulge in a tattoo: an intricate design, a personal signature, a reminder of a meaningful life event. But getting a camel tattooed on your toe so you can chat up girls with the line ‘would you like to see my camel toe?’ is definitely not a good one.

Meet Max, who was on his first lads’ holiday to Kos before heading off to university. With his dad watching every excruciating moment from a hiding place nearby, what did he think of Max’s regrettable holiday souvenir?

5. Never attempt physical activity when you’re hungover.
Unless you count falling down a ski slope and ripping your trousers as ‘physical activity’.

After a heavy night of drinking, what’s the first thing you think of when you wake up? A glass of water? A coffee? A fry-up? Well, in Chase’s case, the first thing he wanted to do at the winter resort of Val D’Isere was to go skiing.

Keeping in mind Chase had never been skiing before, didn’t want to stick to the smaller slopes, and had a hangover, everything was sure to go exactly to plan. Right?

Festivals, Sex and Suspicious Parents continues on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC Three. Each episode will be available to watch in BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast on TV.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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