The old ones are the best: boy meets girl. Boy meets several more girls. Boy discovers he has contracted chlamydia. Boy has to revisit each girl in turn to warn them they may have contracted it too.

This is the premise of ‘Scrotal Recall,’ a six-part romantic-comedy series starring singer Johnny Flynn, which makes its debut on Channel 4 tonight.

It could be the first example of an STI-rom-com to grace British screens, but those tuning in hoping for humour along the lines of The Inbetweeners – or Embarrassing Body-style scenes of a graphic nature – will be sorely disappointed.

As writer Tom Edge puts it, “the STIs are not the burning issue here.” While each episode begins with the same 30-second scene of Flynn’s character Dylan being diagnosed in a sexual health clinic, this is the only mention of chlamydia in the show.

The diagnosis is a conceit for this single 20-something to revisit his past relationships and work out where he has been going wrong – in alphabetical rather than chronological order, meaning that we sometimes get to see the end of one relationship before we understand how it began, overlapping with another.

It’s an interesting way of avoiding the classic rom-com structure in which we know it’s only a matter of time before the leads get together – though Flynn’s character does have an ambiguous relationship with best friend Evie (played by Antonia Thomas, who starred in Misfits) which runs throughout the series.

But if this is a sensitive, realistic and often very funny take on a modern man’s search for love, how did it end up with such an – ahem – balls-out title? “When I submitted the draft there was a long list of possible names,” says Edge, “all of them quite vanilla. Then at the end I wrote, in brackets, ‘Scrotal Recall – only joking’.

“Of course that’s what they liked so we had ‘Scrotal Recall – working title’ for a long time, and then the working title bit seemed to just dissolve.” There might be a disconnect between the tone of the title and the show, but it does get across the central themes of sex and memory – and has got people talking.

It is a long way from how Edge first came up with the idea for the series.

“I was spending a week with some of the world’s leading genomicists in Cambridge for another project,” he explains. “They told me about being able to trace human history through the disease markers on the genome.

“That’s obviously a very dry beginning for a story but the idea of mapping someone’s personal history through a strain of bacteria stuck with me.”

After this initial idea, Edge and a couple of producers started sharing anecdotes from their own 20s which provided much of the material for the episodes.

“It feels very like a lot of people I know,” says actor Johnny Flynn, 31, who is now married and has a young son. “Some of it is like looking back on my own life a few years ago.

“The whole show is like Woody Allen for the Girls generation. It’s about people who graduated and went into work straight after the financial crash – they’re not where they thought they would be, either emotionally or financially, and there’s a lot of witty dialogue about relationships.”

And what about the title? “My mum didn’t say very much when I told her I was filming Scrotal Recall,” says Flynn. “She lives in a fishing community in rural Wales and her immediate thought was probably ‘What am I going to say to my friends down the pub?’

“I had an older friend who had heard about it somehow and wrote me a letter saying: ‘It’s wonderful you’ve got the courage to do a show called ‘Scrotal Rectum’ and engage in those issues’. I’ve no idea what she thought it was about.”

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