Celebrity Fit Club (UK) Reality TV Series Overview (2002-2006)


Introduction

Celebrity Fit Club is a reality television series that follows eight overweight celebrities as they try to lose weight for charity.

Refer to the US version of Celebrity Fit Club here.

Outline

Split into two competing teams of four, each week teams are given different physical challenges, and weighed to see if they reached their target weights. They are monitored and supervised by a team that includes a nutritionist, a psychologist, and a physical trainer, the latter of which is former US Marine Drill Instructor Harvey Walden IV.

The series originated in the United Kingdom on ITV between January and February 2002 as Fat Club, with members of the general public taking part. The show then switched to celebrity participants (first announced in April 2002), and continued until 2006, with Dale Winton as host from series two.

Fat Club (2002)

You can read about one of the participants, Simon Payne, here, and view contemporary pictures of Simon and other participants here.

Celebrity Fit Club: S01 (2002)

First aired on Friday 27 September 2002.

  • Jonathan “Jono” Coleman (radio DJ).
  • Nicola Duffett (actress – Family Affairs).
  • Ian McCaskill (weatherman).
  • Coleen Nolan (singer and presenter).
  • Kay Purcell (actress – played Cynthia Daggert in Emmerdale).
  • Rik Waller (former contestant – Pop Idol) (the first celebrity to leave the show).
  • Tommy Walsh (celebrity builder – Ground Force).
  • Ann Widdecombe (Conservative MP).

This series was the only one in which celebs were not competing in teams or the episodes were filmed around the weigh-in; instead the weigh in occurred near the end. There was also no host as such, although comedian Jenny Eclair provided a voiceover with the filmed advice of nutritionists Dr Adam Carey and Matt Lovell throughout the series.

Celebrity Fit Club: S02 (2004)

First aired on 20 January 2004. Presented by Dale Winton, with hypnotherapist Marisa Peer joined the panel.

  • Vanessa’s Team (winners):
    • Vanessa Feltz (team captain) (presenter).
    • Lowri Turner (presenter).
    • Jonathan “Jono” Coleman (radio DJ).
    • Amy Lamé (comedian and radio DJ).
  • James’s Team (see note):
    • Freddie Starr (original team captain until 3rd weigh-in, after which he was demoted for not taking the exercise regime sufficiently seriously) (comedian).
    • John Forgeham (2nd team captain from 4th to 6th weigh-in) (actor – Footballer’s Wives).
    • James Whitaker (Final team captain) (royal correspondent) (Mr Fit Club 2004).
    • Alison Hammond (former Big Brother contestant, and television presenter).

Note: James’ Team was known as John’s team from weigh-ins 4 to 6 and Freddie’s team from weigh-ins 1 to 3.

Celebrity Fit Club: S03 (2005)

First aired on 04 January 2005, Ann Widdecombe, a participant from Series 01, returned as a member of the judging panel.

  • Aldo’s Team (lost 13.2% of their starting weight) (lost 7 stone, 9 pounds, or 107 pounds (49 kg), together):
    • Aldo Zilli (team captain) (celebrity chef) – lost 2 stone 6 pounds (34 pounds (15 kg)).
    • Julie Goodyear (Original team captain quit role at weigh-in 6) (actress – played Bet Lynch in Coronation Street) – lost 1 stone 10 pounds (24 pounds (11 kg)).
    • Ken Morley (actor – played Reg Holdsworth in Coronation Street) – lost 1 stone 12 pounds (26 pounds (12 kg)).
    • Lizzy Bardsley (former Wife Swap contestant) – lost 1 stone 9 pounds (23 pounds (10 kg)).
    • Note: Team known as Julie’s team from weigh-in 1 to 6.
  • Paul’s Team (lost 12.3% of their starting weight) (lost 9 stone 4 pounds, or 130 pounds (59 kg), together):
    • Paul Ross (team captain) (presenter and brother of Jonathan Ross) – lost 2 stone 1 pound (29 pounds (13 kg)).
    • Andy Fordham (darts world champion) – lost 3 stone (42 pounds (19 kg)).
    • Kym Mazelle (singer) – lost 1 stone 10 pounds (376 pounds (171 kg)).
    • Tina Baker (soap opera critic) – lost 2 stone 7 pounds (35 pounds (16 kg)) (Miss Fit Club 2005).
    • Julie Goodyear decided that she no longer wanted the responsibility of the role of captain, so Aldo Zilli was appointed captain in Julie’s place.

Andy Fordham, who weighed 30 stones 8 pounds (428 pounds (194 kg)) at the beginning of the series and suffered from various long-term health issues, was struggling to walk more than a hundred metres before almost collapsing, but with help from drill instructor Harvey, Andy was eventually able to run short distances.

Aldo’s team (formerly Julie’s) won the series by a very small margin in the end, with a mere 0.4% greater loss than Paul’s team.

Celebrity Fit Club: S04 (2006)

First aired on 10 January 2006. In this series, former Fit Club participants joined the judging panel, with a different ex-contestant appearing each week, including Amy Lamé, Aldo Zilli, Jonathan “Jono” Coleman, Paul Ross, Alison Hammond, James Whitaker, Lowri Turner, Ann Widdecombe and Kym Mazelle. The final episode was a 90-minute mini-Olympic event in Sheffield, where Channel 4’s The Games took place, with past celebrities joining the two teams.

  • Jeff’s Team (lost 18% of their starting weight) (lost 12 stone 13 pounds, or 181 pounds (82 kg), together without Anne’s weight):
    • Jeff Rudom (team captain) (actor and ex-professional basketball player) – lost 6 stone 8 pound (92 pounds (42 kg)).
    • Mikyla Dodd (actress, formerly on Hollyoaks) – lost 3 stone 2 pound (44 pounds (20 kg)).
    • Russell Grant (astrologer, television presenter, author) – lost 3 stone 3 pound (45 pounds (20 kg)).
    • Anne Diamond (Original team captain demoted for walking off) (presenter) – lost 1 stone 2 pounds (16 pounds (7.3 kg), left programme before the 7th episode).
    • Note: Jeff’s team was originally known as Anne’s team for the first 4 weigh-ins of the series.
  • Carole’s Team (winners) (lost 19% of their starting weight) (lost 12 stone 6 pounds, or 174 pounds (79 kg), together):
    • Carole Malone (team captain) (journalist) – lost 3 stone (42 pounds (19 kg)).
    • Bobby George (darts player) – lost 2 stone 13 pound (41 pounds (19 kg)).
    • Sharon Marshall (television expert – This Morning) – lost 1 stone 13 pound (27 pounds (12 kg)).
    • Mick Quinn (former football player) – lost 4 stone 8 pound (64 pounds (29 kg), Mr Fit Club 2006).

The panel for this episode saw US drill instructor Harvey Walden again joined by nutritionist Dr Adam Carey. Each week Harvey and Adam were joined by Fit Club past masters. The first show saw the return of Amy Lamé.

The Anne Diamond Saga

Anne Diamond, who was team captain, walked off during a training session in week 4. The UK soldiers who replaced Harvey failed to gel with Anne Diamond, who said “I’m not going to have a stupid, spotty, pubescent little youth yelling at me!” As a result of her outburst in training, Anne was relieved of her captaincy by Harvey. The following week, she was angry that Jeff was made team captain instead of Mikyla.

The following week, Anne Diamond revealed that she had a gastric band fitted. This garnered much press attention, making the front pages of the Daily Mail, Express and Mirror. Fellow contestant Carole Malone branded Anne “a cheat”, and she was subsequently banned from the team weigh by the other celebrities. Later Carole and her team decided to include her in all aspects of the programme regardless of previous disputes, but she chose to leave the show.

The Sheffield Events 2006 and the Final Weigh-in

The English Institute for Sport in Sheffield was the venue for the series’ final competition, and the two teams fought head to head for the inaugural Fit Club Champions Trophy, with Aldo, Amy, Coleen and Harvey joining Jeff’s team, and Tina, Kym and Lowri joining Carole’s team. After the long jump, sprint, shot put and hurdles, the fate of each team rested on the relay race. It was a fast and furious race but Mick emerged victor, making Carole Malone’s team the winners.

At the weigh-in, Dale dealt some bad news: as he approached the finish, Mick had thrown the baton before he had crossed the line, thus disqualifying him from the race, and giving the win to the opposing team. Captain Jeff decided that in the interest of competition both teams should share the trophy. Later Mick was made Mr Fit Club 2006, with a reduction of nearly 25%.

The teams took to the giant scales and with a 19% reduction of their total weight Carole’s team won the series, just putting them ahead of Jeff’s 18% team effort. The overall result could barely have been closer.

Celebrity Fit Club (UK) Series

  • Fat Club: Series 01 (2002):
    • General public as participants.
  • Series 01 (2002):
    • ?
  • Series 02 (2004):
    • ?
  • Series 03 (2005):
    • ?
  • Series 04 (2006):
    • ?

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s):
    • Jessica Brohn (Fat Club).
    • Veronika Hyks (Celebrity Fit Club).
  • Presenter(s):
    • Dale Winton (Celebrity Fit Club from Series 02).
  • Director(s):
    • Chris Carey (Fat Club).
    • James Dean … (1 episode, 2002).
    • Riffi Khan … (1 episode, 2004).
  • Producer(s):
    • Chris Carey … producer (Fat Club).
    • Lee Servis … associate producer (Fat Club).
    • James Allen … executive producer (Fat Club).
    • Denise Seneviratne … series producer (Fat Club).
    • Jennifer Ducker … associate producer (10 episodes, 2005-2006).
    • Eric Rudnick … segment producer (9 episodes, 2006).
    • Jason Wisch … associate producer (1 episode, 2002).
    • Riffi Khan … producer director (1 episode, 2004).
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Granada Television.
    • London Weekend Television (LWT).
  • Distributor(s):
    • ITV – Independent Television (2002) (UK) (TV).
  • Release Date:
    • Series 01: 01 January 2002 to February 2002.
    • Series 01: 27 September 2002 to 2002.
    • Series 02: 20 January 2004 to 2004.
    • Series 03: 04 January 2005 to 2005.
    • Series 04: 10 January 2006 to 2006.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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