CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: I’d turn off this TV fitness class – if only I could reach the remote

The Truth About Getting Fit At Home


Grand Designs 


A couple of years ago, a fitness show claimed anyone in good health ought to be able to sit cross-legged and, with ankles still crossed, stand up.

My left knee hurt for eight months. Entirely my own fault, of course. I’m fairly stupid sometimes.

If I’d stopped to think, I would have realised this gymnastic feat was not to be attempted by people unable to get out of an armchair without groaning. Telly fitness tests are not aimed at old crocks.

The Truth About Getting Fit At Home (BBC1) certainly had no thought for the over-50s.

Self-proclaimed ‘Instagram queen’ Mehreen Baig had lots to tell us about her daily exercise routine and her goal of ‘relentlessly pursuing a beautiful body’.

She pumped weights, tried high-intensity aerobics and yoga, went for runs every day without fail and was obsessed with something called a ‘booty workout’: it involved kneeling on all fours and cocking her leg.

Instagram influencer Mehreen Baig (pictured)  led the hour-long programme and  pumped weights, did aerobics and yoga during the BBC’s The truth about getting fit at home show

She even wondered whether it was possible to exercise so much that the workouts became counter-productive.

Yes, Mehreen, we get the message — you’re in danger of becoming simply too fabulous.

During the entire hour there was nothing of any use to older viewers. Some of the recommended moves and stretches looked downright hazardous.

I’ve no intention of bending double and lifting dumb-bells — discs would pop from my spine like slices of bread from a toaster.

That wouldn’t occur to Queen Mehreen. As she flicked through social media images on her phone, she was only interested in photos of youthful flat abs. Oldies don’t exist in her world.

But they do make up the majority of the BBC’s audience. According to the corporation’s own figures, 92 per cent of over-50s in Britain watch the Beeb every week.

Compare that with 16-to-34-year-olds, who watch an average of just two-and-a-half minutes of BBC output in a week.

Sticking an ‘online influencer’ in front of the camera, to offer exercise advice for people who don’t need it, won’t improve those viewing figures.

You could do your back in watching the labour that went in to Grand Design’s barn conversion

It’ll just make the rest of us switch off . . . if we can manage to find the remote without pulling a muscle.

You could do your back in just watching the labour that went in to a barn conversion on Grand Designs (C4).

Publican Greg was rising at dawn, digging foundations and building a roof himself, before an evening spent pulling pints at his Brick Works freehouse in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Grand Designs can sometimes be a depressing watch, full of grimly modern architecture and DIY projects that are destined to fall apart slowly. This one, though, was an inspiration in every sense.

Greg met his wife Georgie when he was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour. She was fighting multiple skin cancers.

The energy they poured into building a home was a symbol of their determination to live life to the fullest.

The energy Greg and wife Georgie poured into building a home was a symbol of their determination to live life to the fullest after they met when they were both fighting cancer

Every obstacle made them more determined. Wherever an unseen pipe might lurk or a measurement could be out by a couple of inches, you knew luck would be against them.

By the time their central heating contractor went bust, swallowing a £5,000 deposit they simply couldn’t afford to lose, the couple seemed to be positively relishing their setbacks.

At the end, their reward was a home with stunning rural views and a front porch like an airport runway.

Quite how Georgie let Greg get away with a pool table as the centrepiece of their sitting room, goodness knows.

She must really love him.

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