Thursday, 5 February 2015

Weighing up the Enemy- my Lucky Escape

A few weeks ago Weighing up the Enemy was launched on Channel 4. This was a programme that had the original working title of Fatonomics and I was asked to take part in it myself... I declined. I review the first episode here: At the time I suspected that if I'd agreed to join the cast they'd have put me up against an overweight Skeptic; they would have. His name is Kev and he competes against a man who is clearly my replacement, a practicing psychic medium named Kevin. It's spooky to watch my alter ego do battle with the powers of calorific Skepticism, as if I'm watching the programme from another dimension in which I'm in his place, as I so very nearly was.
It's currently available on 4OD, see: (This link will only be live for a limited time; if a more permanent link becomes available I'll edit it in; keep checking back.)

Kevin is a portly and softly-spoken former Kentish police detective whose passion for stir-fry meals, beer, wine and curry has caused his weight to blossom to twenty-three stone. His enemy in the pound-shedding wars is a Skeptic from Northern Ireland called Kev; did he shorten his name to avoid them being confused? He's a photographer by trade and not a professional scientist, but many Skeptics I know are also self-taught amateurs. He has several children and wants to be healthy so he can live to take care of them. If he wins, his woo-woo rival's money will go to Ciaran O'Keeffe who, unknown to me, is apparently a representative of the Irish Skeptics Society. O'Keeffe is of course very famous for being one of the presenters of Most Haunted. I've met Dr O'Keeffe, see:, and wouldn't describe him as a Skeptic. In fact he is kind of standing on the bridge being shot at from both sides. He's that bane of the Skeptisphere- an academic parapsychologist, but he has also been accused of faking many of the scenes in his TV show by fellow paranormal researchers. Kevin plans to rub Kev's nose in it by spending his winnings on hosting a psychic event at a theatre. The belt-tightening battle commences with the identical monotonous rigmarole that I detail in my review of the first episode. As a Skeptic about nutrition as much as he is a Skeptic about everything else, Kev believes in the simple calories-in-calories-out model and is eating the same food he normally does, but is reducing the portions. Kevin is more traditional. He's going all out in a very determined way, eating fresh salads and vegetables, working out at the gym and going on long brisk walks. However being too zealous can let cravings creep in. It takes a lot of willpower to beat them. In the end my prime time shadow Kevin the psychic wins by a big margin; would I have managed to do the as well as he did?... Do I give a shit?... I've made some bad decisions in my life, but refusing to be featured on Weighing up the Enemy was not one of them. As I said in my original review, I detect no direct conformist propaganda in this programme, but all the same, it is still distracting the people from what's important and focusing our minds on matters of no real importance, to quote Silent Weapons for a Quiet War. However I think there was an attempt at anti-benefit claimants incitement in Episode 3, but it didn't work. Debs ended up finding common ground with Wendy and they became close friends, see: I wonder who'll be in the fifth episode, probably a Glasgow Rangers supporter vs a Celtic fan; or is that the end of the series? 

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