Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Fat Lot of Good

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Fat Lot of Good

Article excerpt

Byline: By Beth Neil

Best thing on telly this week by far: Fatlands (Tues, ITV1). Pure TV gold.

Five wibbly wobbly Brits jetted out to Mexico for a holiday in a resort designed especially for fatties.

Industrial-strength sun loungers, reinforced chairs and supersized beds. Oh, and not forgetting the all-you-can-eat buffet.

After a day of waddling round the bar and slobbing out by the pool, Mel, Wayne, Steven, Mandy and Helen were introduced to Marilyn Wann, American author of Fat? So! and lovechild of Sue Pollard and Elton John. Actually, that last bit was a lie and I'm sorry if that thought repulsed you.

Marilyn was stark raving bonkers. She spoke like she'd swallowed a self-help book, liked to paint `I am cool' on her considerable belly and said "flab-ulous" a lot. She didn't believe in weighing yourself. Instead she owned a set of homemade Yay Scales. One by one the fatties climbed on the scales and watched the dial turn as Mad Marilyn told them: "Wow! You yay `wonderful'."

"Flab-ulous! You yay `sexy'."

She claimed her way of thinking "makes people open their eyes". Yeah, and no doubt their wallets too, keeping your fridge stocked up with pies and cakes, Marilyn.

The Brits were cynical. "I just don't really relate to her," said Mandy tactfully.

"She just talks b******s," said Helen, getting straight to the point.

Marilyn preached Fat Liberation. Fat or thin, everyone had the right to be happy. She protested (perhaps a little too much, methinks) that she was ecstatic in her 20 stones of flesh.

"So you choose to be fat?" questioned Wayne.

Marilyn stumbled on her words. "Erm... I... I... choose to be me." Ok, we get it.

After an embarrassing synchronised swimming session, Marilyn held a flirting workshop. She told the assembled group that before she leaves the house to go out and flirt, she likes to sing the Junior Birdman Song. Marilyn then proceeded to sing the song, complete with actions and make a complete fool of herself. Again.

Wayne was unconvinced. "You actually sing that before you go out?" he asked, twisting his face.

Marilyn was backed into a corner and forced to admit that, no, actually she didn't. Marilyn was a fraud!

After the session she removed herself from the group and sat alone on the beach. It had all been an act. Marilyn, the happy, bubbly, confident in-yer-face fatso with her Yay Scales and flab-ulousness, had crumbled. And all it had taken to shatter her was the teeniest bit of criticism.

"Whatever you say, Marilyn," said Helen to the camera at the end of the holiday, "We know you want to be thinner really."

You knew she was right.

NO CHANCE of Conrad Gates having to go to one of Marilyn's Fat Lib sessions. The Footballers' Wives (Thurs, ITV1) actor is looking more anorexic by the episode. …

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