WATCH: Mark Ta' Xarabank Visiting Paceville's Strip Clubs Is This Weekend's Essential Viewing
The spot, which even shows the TV crew enter a private room, has already sparked controversy online
Last night's edition of Xarabank saw the popular weekly TV discussion show touch up on taboo subjects such as sex and prostitution, so it was only a matter of time until the issue of Paceville's gentlemen's clubs was brought up. And who better to delve into it all, than renowned virgin Mark?
"In the last couple of years, a lot of gentlemen's clubs have been opened across Malta," Mark Laurence Zammit started off the Friday programme. "A lot of Maltese people have seen them spread across the island, but the majority of the population has never managed to go in, because of embarrassment, fear or different principles. We went in to several of these clubs with hidden cameras."
What followed was an eight-minute investigative spot which saw Mark and Andrew Borg Carbott break down the patterns behind the several clubs that they visited. This started off with similar furniture and procedures which they met at the entrance, to the workers and clients themselves.
The video has, as expected, proven to be very divisive online.
Some people have already expressed their outright disapproval of the show's intrusive and secretive acts, while others have been willing to look at the lighter side of things... like all the compliments Mark kept getting for his 'sexy hair', and some of the more outlandish things him and Andrew were told, such as '"Ejja Għall Madoffi, come with me, I'll show you something nice, come to mama in paradise!"
While the crew met no dancers that were of a Maltese nationality, they did report coming across a "considerable amount" of Maltese male clients, most of which were middle-aged.
The investigative spot also saw Mark ask a number of questions to the dancers, from their nationality and how long they'd been working there, to their future plans. The crew met a large number of Romanian or East European dancers, including a 23-year-old woman who had been in the business she was only 15 years old. Many workers expressed their hopes of eventually being able to afford leaving the job for good and settling down in a couple of years, with one young dancer saying, "I hope to find somebody with whom to make a baby."
Of course, to be able to not attract too much attention to their investigative work, Mark and the Xarabank crew even ended up going into a private room at one of the clubs.
Here, they revealed some of the prices they came across, such as managing to get a private room for €50 for the first 10 minutes of a topless lap dance, and having to fork out a good €400 for the full, one hour experience. One dancer told the crew that a good week can see her making anywhere close to €10,000. Another said that after seven years in the business and before she even hits 30, she could very well retire for good with the money she's made.
The crew reiterated that what was happening is entirely legal and that the clubs hd all the required permits. They were even given VAT receipts for every single thing they paid for, from drinks to the services themselves.
As expected, the issue of abuse was also eventually raised, with dancers telling the Xarabank crew that some paying clients would feel entitled to do anything wished to them, even leading to violent acts.
All the dancers that were 'interviewed' confirmed that they see a great deal of Maltese clients, from managers and business owners to people in 'high ranks'. They also said they get married men way more than single men, with one dancer saying, "You know how it is... You cannot eat all the time only soup, soup, soup... sometimes you need a fresh meal."
Last night's spot was uploaded onto Facebook shortly after the episode aired, but it's already gained a considerable amount of traction online with over 30,000 views. And with those views also came a level of controversy, with dozens of people condemning the footage and telling Xarabank to not secretly 'trespass' onto these people's workplaces.
One other comment simply read, "A lot of men seem displeased that Xarabank revealed what's happening in Paceville's gentlemen's clubs... I wonder why."