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The Fat Friends Of Headingley

Author : James JR Robinson


Headingley in west Yorkshire, England, is a town near Leeds. In recent years the town has become known through the ITV television series, Fat Friends, which was set in Headingley. The series ran successfully from the year 2000 to the year 2005 to great acclaim from both television critics and members of the viewing public. The Fat Friends of Headingley as depicted in the television programme are a group of people who are, in modern day politically correct parlance, weight challenged. In non politically correct, old fashioned terminology they would be described as overweight, or fat.

The thesis of the Fat Friends who live in Headingley is the way that such people relate to their compatriots in their day to day lives. Much of the action is set around their local slimming club in Headingley, where the boss of the club tries to encourage her members to lose weight by participating in the Super Slimmer's diet. Is it worth it? Can I do it? Why should I put myself through all this? Is there any point? These are typical questions that the members of the slimming club ask themselves, over and over again.

There is a philosophical thread running through the series, which often verges on existentialism, as these particular residents of Headingley tend to use their excessive weight as a rationale for the various misfortunes that befall them. Viewers of the series may think that they are attempting to add too much significance to their weight in relation to what happens or does not happen in their lives. After all, these things happen to slim people as well, don't they? It is true that the Fat Friends do think seriously about dealing with their weight, and attempt to seek dietary assistance in the health shops of Headingley. But usually such schemes do not work out for various reasons, which provides further food for thought.

When the Fat Friends meet up in their respective homes, at the slimming club and on the streets of Headingley, they often talk with passion and eloquence about their wish to live their lives to the full. They also go to great lengths to try to explore the many different reasons why they are not managing to do so at the moment. Some of the episode titles are amusing puns about the plight of being weight challenged. The titles include: "Forty and In-Fat-Uated", "Eat Your Heart Out", and "Bacon, Bagels and The Bishop".

The Headingley heroes who made the Fat Friends television series such a success enabled the show to thrive and prosper. The show won many awards and achieved critical acclaim and huge recognition from the public all across the United Kingdom. In the year 2001 it was nominated for a BAFTA television award, and an RTS television award. In the same year the show won a Television and Radio Industries Club Award and a TV Quick Award. Headingley provided to be a good setting for the Fat Friends, and the series went on to become Gavin and Stacey which was even more successful than Fat Friends.


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Submitted : 2011-02-09    Word Count : 614    Times Viewed: 267