Just as fat, but £14.99 lighter

May 24th, 2006 | By | Category: Personal Columns

Dara O’Briain, the Irish comedian, featured on Paul Merton’s Room 101 programme on BBC 2 this evening – I think it was a re-run, which would delight O’Briain because it means he gets to send his most hated things to Room 101 twice.

One of O’Briain’s candidates for Room 101 was one of the dieting gurus – who apparently earned £5 million last year alone from gullible people who bought her book. O’Briain pointed out the entirely vacuous nature of most diet writers advice and delighted in quotes from the book that were absolute drivel, to everyone except, presumably, the gullible person who has bought the book and is now afraid to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

Darragh O’Briain said he would write his own diet book, which would have two pages. On the first page it would say “Eat lessâ€? and on the second page it would say “Exercise moreâ€?. The audience laughed, but if one diet writer can earn £5 million in a year, presumably some of them had bought such books.

It’s strange that it takes a comedian to tell us the truth. Like the court jester in former times, perhaps we need someone to say awkward things in a gentle way.

Quacks and charlatans are not new – people who would take money for telling us what we already knew have been around for centuries. In Jesus’ time there was a woman who came to him because she had spent all her money on doctors and was still no better. The writer who takes £14.99 to tell people the obvious wrapped up in pseudo-scientific jargon is no more honest than the so-called doctors who took all of the woman’s money, knowing they could offer no cure.

You are what you make yourself.ave two pages. On the first page bly, the gullible person who has bo

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