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Fat Chance

Radio 4
1999 (five episodes)

Jenny McDade’s daft but warm-hearted comedy-drama about the members of a slimming club run by Wendy Bottomley (Janine Duvitski).  The young hero and narrator, Graham Pitscottie (Gareth Corke), is the club’s only male slimmer.  Weight loss is a bit of a secondary issue for Graham: his main ambitions in life are to become the first overweight Blue Peter presenter (hence the engaging addresses to his self-proclaimed “imaginary viewers”) and, if possible, to reveal his homosexuality to his mother, fellow slimmer Soo (Anne Reid).  The remainder of the club was made up of assorted sympathetic grotesques, including the timid, quavering “Jelly” Kelly Chambers (Tilly Gaunt) and the abrasive Tina Tattersall (“Mrs”), played by Julia Deakin, who was afflicted with an unfaithful husband.  Wendy Bottomley herself had trouble with her other half Clive (Michael Troughton), who saw his wife’s weekly absences as a threat to his promising career in the toilet paper industry.

© JB Sumner 1999. Created 11/4/99