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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Plug pulled on 'Fat Brother'
overweight people
Viewers were not interested in watching Big Diet
A German reality TV show which followed the exploits of a group of overweight people has been axed because of poor ratings.

Big Diet, described as a Big Brother for obese people, failed to ignite viewer interest from the outset and ratings continued to slide.

A group of six men and six women have lived under the spotlight of 42 cameras since May as they attempt to lose weight.

The first weekly show pulled in 1.27 million viewers but this dropped to 660,000 for the second programme and its first presenter quit after just two weeks.

Private TV station RTL-2 has announced the show will now end six weeks early, just over halfway through its run.

The company was also behind the German Big Brother, which was pulled because of poor ratings.

On 29 July two winners will be announced. They will win the amount of weight they lost in gold.

Great effort

Presenter Jenny Elvers said: "It was very difficult to turn around the ratings in such a short time.

"We all made a great effort, but in the end the viewer decides."

Big Diet follows 12 obese people battling to shed the pounds.

Staying in a luxury mansion, the group undergo gym sessions, medical examinations and lessons in healthy cooking.

They are allowed to consume only 1,200 calories a day.

Those who fail to achieve their weight-loss goal each week face the boot.

The German Institute of Dietetics criticised the show for encouraging dieters to lose too much weight too quickly.


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