TV appearance helps Barnard Castle family get into great shape
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A BARNARD Castle family’s bad eating habits were viewed by more than three million people when a television programme they featured in was shown.
Fiona, 53, and Dan Bassett, 34, along with their daughters Jeshika, 12, and Amy, 8, featured in an evening, prime time consumer programme, Eat, Shop, Save presented by Ranvir Singh, to learn how to save money and eat more healthily. But the family, who live at Mayfield, in Barnard Castle, have no regrets that their unhealthy lifestyle was shared with so many viewers as they have managed to lose a combined total of three stones in weight and learned to save pounds on their shopping bill in the process.
Mr Bassett, whose predilection for eating kebabs up to four times a week featured heavily in the show, said although he has endured constant ribbing from work colleagues at North Yorkshire Timber, where he is a picking manager, the experience has been a positive one.
Mr Bassett, who was diagnosed with an under active thyroid three years ago, said: “I’ve always found it difficult to lose weight, but I got into a rut and although Fiona would have made something for dinner, I would just go and get a kebab. It started as maybe one a week, but before I knew it, it was sometimes four times.
“It was difficult getting used to having the film crew about. Sometimes they were here one or two days every week.
“But we got so used to them being here every week they became a bit like part of the family. When the filming stopped, we all thought ‘what are we going to do now’?”
The film crew visited the family every week for eight weeks. And on four occasions presenter Ms Singh, who also stars in the popular lunch time show Loose Women, came along to see and film the progress the family had made.
With help from the expert co-presenter, chef Dale Pinnock, the family ditched their junk-food diet in favour of healthy, freshly cooked meals. Sweet treats and snacks were also binned in a bid to live more healthily.
During filming Mr Bassett said he had managed to shed two stones in weight and has since dropped a further stone. Mrs Bassett also managed to lose stone. He said: “IThey taught me exercises so I can do bits and pieces when I’m watching television.”
Mrs Bassett, who works at the Co-op Garage, in Barnard Castle, said the filming experience was difficult on their daughters to begin with as they have cut out a lot of treats from their diet including crisps, pizzas and sweets. However, she is delighted with the tips received on saving money. She added: “I didn’t think they would be able to teach me anything about how to save money on the shopping as we have a fairly tight budget anyway, but it’s been amazing. We’re able to make so much more out of less.”