Peterborough grandad to star on BBC obesity show

Del (in the red turban) and the other participants in the show. (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Richard Ansett BBC Two
Del (in the red turban) and the other participants in the show. (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Richard Ansett BBC Two
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A Peterborough grandfather who lost 10 stone after having gastric surgery had his view challenged while taking part in a social experiment for a prime time BBC show.

Del Singh (57) had the surgery four years ago after suffering severe health issues.

He now takes part in marathons, and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Now Del, of Eastfield Road, will star in the BBC2 programme ‘Who Are You Calling Fat?’

The show sees Del and eight other strangers, all of whom are classified as obese, staying in a house together.

Del said: “All the people in the house had different views on obesity and what it meant for them. Some didn’t like the idea of having surgery.

“I told my story, about how I had surgery because of health issues, and how it had changed by life.

“Others had different views - some talked about being body positive, which was a very different view point to me. It is something I admire them for, and I think it has changed my view.

“I was one of the oldest taking part - most were in their 20s, 30s or 40s - and the message I wanted to get across was it is not too old to change.

“I told them that it is harder when you get older, with mobility issues.

“There was one man on the show who lived with diabetes, and had a leg amputated. He said ‘I thought I was invincible.’

Del said there was another reason why he wanted to take part in the show. He said: “In the Asian community, sometimes being fat is seen as a sign of being healthy. The first time I went to the Sikh Temple after losing the weight, people asked if I was ill.

“I learnt Asians are six times more likely to get diabetes than the Caucasian community.”

Del has turned his life around after having the surgery, and completed the Great South Run, a 10-mile event, at the weekend, and will also take part in the London Marathon next year in the race’s 40th year.

He completed the marathon for the first time earlier this year - and it was after the race when he was approached by the producers of the TV show, who saw an interview with Del as he was completing the course.

Despite having different views about the issue, Del said he was still in touch with a number of the other participants in the programme, who have their own ‘secret society,’ and speak using social media.

He said he would be watching the programmes with his family when they are broadcast next week. Who Are You Calling Fat will be shown on Monday and Tuesday next week, at 9pm on BBC 2. It will be available on the iPlayer after it has beenbroadcast.