Search on for NZ naked news anchor

Articulate, presentable, comfortable in your own skin? The latter is vital for New Zealand's independent TV channel Alt which plans to screen a naked news bulletin nightly from late April.

Alt is calling for applications for a news anchor.

Applicants should have "no inhibitions on reporting on the facts that matter, delivering hard hitting commentary and showing their 'assets' in front of a large news hungry audience," the channel said today.

It has invited "young women with the ability to speak clearly, articulately and confidently, are well-presented and comfortable in their own skin," to apply for a live audition.

It's going to be tough for the auditioners. The channel said today it would have a "four week search" to get the right person to front Naked News Flash.

Applicants aren't asked for a tape of previous newsreading stints, but they are asked to provide a topless photo. They must also prove they are 20 and give details of previous experience.

Naked fame might be fleeting though. The successful newsreader will have a contract for three months.

The idea behind the show comes from Alt's creative director Oliver Driver, though it is borrowed from Canada, where the website began in 2000 and at the height of its popularity was receiving six million hits a month.

Driver said that although there might be critics saying objectification would overshadow news content, "integrity will not be sacrificed for flesh.

"Naturally there will be a strong sense of newsworthiness on the show with highlights from the daily news. "But there will of course be that little bit of titillation to draw in the viewer's attention."

The first broadcast of the naked news is due on April 28.

Bob McCoskrie of lobby group Family First NZ told the Herald on Sunday it seemed like another case "of pushing the envelope" over good taste and decency on television. "Most people would be horrified," he said.