OFCOM, the broadcasting watchdog, is to launch a full-scale inquiry into televised nipples, it emerged last night.
The regulator said it was deeply concerned after more than 38 people complained about almost seeing some nipples on the ITV talent show Britain's Just Awful.
Angry viewers contacted the channel after 35 year-old contestant Fabia Carrera removed her clothes to reveal a pair of tassels covering what experts said were almost certainly nipples of the female persuasion.
A spokesman said: "Of the 39 complaints, 34 were from people who feel that nipples are inappropriate, especially when perched precariously at the out-most extremities of a female bosom.
"The remaining five were from men who have recently lost their jobs and have been forced to cancel their subscription to Red Hot Dutch and now require access to as many free nipples as is humanly possible."
Mrs Margaret Gerving, director of the Anti-Nipple League, said: "Am I French? Is this France? At the very least they could ensure the nipple-coverings are in the shape of Sir Winston Churchill or Jesus."
The Ofcom inquiry is expected to be wide-ranging and will consider proposals for a 60% increase in the statutory Prime-Time Nipple Exclusion Zone.
A spokesman added: "We really must think about raising our complaint investigation threshold to more than 0.004% of the viewing audience."