The jolly, rotund, ale-drinking and pie-scoffing food enthusiasts from the North East are not the type of blokes you can imagine munching listlessly on a Ryvita and a slice of cucumber in an effort to become more svelte. But perhaps BBC2 are trying to safeguard their successful culinary duo from the perils of high cholesterol by commissioning the ‘Hairy Dieters’ series, in which Si and Dave are set the challenge of trying to lose at least a couple of stones each in three months.
The Bikers are the first to admit that they could do with losing a few pounds. Dave, the shorter one with the specs, is one of those men who has average sized arms and legs, but sees all of his pie and ale consumption manifest miserably on his stomach and upper torso.
‘It’s like wearing a gilet full of lard’, he says glumly.
Perhaps describing our wobbly thighs and arses with disgusting similes is actually good motivation to help us do something about them – pants full of offal, shorts full of brains, etc. Urgh.
Anyway, allegedly this diet is going to involve minimal changes to the Bikers’ usual menu. Excellent! Pints of Hobgoblin and pork scratchings all round, right?
Well, not quite, but this sounds like a weight loss regime that people can get behind. But in order to work it out, we need to see what they actually eat on a daily basis, so they’re asked to keep a food diary for a week.
It isn’t good.
One of them manages to eat a thousand calories just for breakfast. Si gets so pissed on wine at a barbeque that he forgets to record what he’s eaten (and drunk) that day: you can see why they’re a bit chunky. But at least we can relate to them, unlike virtually any other dieting guru on telly.
So, it’s clear that this sort of diet isn’t going to sustain any weight loss at all, and that the Bikers need to look at ways of adapting it. They recruit several local foodies who also want to shift some pounds and use them as guinea pigs for their recipes, the first of which involves making ‘pasta’ out of leeks by rolling them flat and layering them like lasagne. Yep, you did read that right, but it fools pretty much everyone.
They also discover that a lot of the good old British staple foods, like hotpot, are not actually that high in calories if you ditch extras like black pudding (which let’s face it, is a bit rank anyway) and don’t go back for seconds. Or thirds.
All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty inspiring series full of handy hints and tips for normal, non-moronic people who want to lose weight without making their lives utterly miserable in the process. There is no need to eat cereal for every meal except dinner, no horrible food supplements, no disgusting combinations of things for breakfast and no menu so bizarre that it rewards weight loss with extreme flatulence.
However, the true test will come when we see if the Bikers have lost any weight. Let’s hope they don’t resort to shaving off all of that hair in an effort to help the scales.