TV critic review column: Wright Way Has a Fat Chance of Slimming Kids
Author(s): Paul English
Copyright holder(s): Derek Stewart-Brown: on behalf of The Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd
14 September 2006
Ian Wright's Unfit Kids Channel 4, Wed
IT'S Jamie Oliver's fault. The chef with the thick-cut lips made a hero of himself with his one-man campaign to get gruel out of school. Now everyone's copying his telly technique, almost as enthusiastically as they mimic those supermarket recipes he endorses with his tongue hanging out like an auld dug's.
Feta cheese with mint and snow peas, anyone? Or will we just have another Pot Noodle?
Step up chief copycat Ian Wright, the unwitting court jester of footie punditry ("I've got passion but no idea of tactics. I'm the black Kevin Keegan," was just one of his commentary gems) who's shaping up to tackle more than 100 stone of lard.
No, not John Hartson, but instead, eight grossly obese teens. Ian Wright as the saviour of the slovenly? Aye, right (Wright, Wright).
It could be an interesting transformation on his part, as much as the lardy lads and lassies. Now that the former Arsenal legend is no longer telling us he feels like Chicken Tonight (well-known for its low-calorie count...), he's taken to chiding chubby children and their horse-cheeked excuses for parents to get off their vast a**** and do 20 star jumps in the living room.
"I don't know anyfin' now wot is more important than wot I'm doing," says Ian.
Learning to speak proper is a close second.
Like Jamie before him, Wrighty embarks on his mission to get the fatboys slim by visiting an English comprehensive, where the lads get boobs before the girls.
Turning the childhood terror of "last to be picked" on its head, he chose his chunks first and introduced them to a new world of exercise, with all the success of that man who led a horse to water...
The joker's efforts are commendable, but let's not kid ourselves. He's no more likely to change the bigger picture than Tony Blair is to fulfil his promise to cut childhood obesity by the turn of the decade.
Take 13-year-old Jerome, a sorry 14-stone soul locked in a life of lard, with a mother whose idea of progressive parenting sounds something like: "Stop stealing my money to get food. If you wanna die, I'll just throw you under a f****** car."
In the mouth of Roseanne Barr, this would be funny. But, in reality, it's far more worrying than a diet of pizza and PlayStation.
At least Wright shows an attempt at child psychology with Jerome. "There was a time when I didn't want to play football or stuff either," he says. I'm sure some Celtic fans remember that too, Ian...
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TV critic review column: Wright Way Has a Fat Chance of Slimming Kids. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1625.
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