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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 01:09 GMT
ITV signs duchess as 'fat guru'
Sarah Ferguson
The duchess has been staying in a B&B in Hull while filming
ITV has signed up Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, as a fat-fighting guru for a new programme.

Provisionally titled The Duchess In Hull, the duchess will attempt to improve the eating habits of an unhealthy family on a council estate.

The two-part show will be broadcast on ITV1 this summer.

The duchess, a WeightWatchers ambassador, said: "This programme is an attempt to explore solutions to the growing obesity problem in the UK."

'Weight issues'

"I want to see whether we can help families all over the country, no matter what their budget, to improve their lifestyles through using what is already available to them in their community.

"Weight issues affect all sorts of people from all walks of life. The family I met in Hull live in a way that I hadn't experienced - feeding six on a week's benefits."

An ITV spokesman said the duchess would use her experience of eating disorders, low self-esteem, family conflict, financial crisis, divorce and bereavement to help the Sargerson family improve their lifestyle.

Parents Tonia and Mick live with four of their children, aged seven to 16. They also have a 24-year-old daughter who lives nearby with her boyfriend.

Locals have spotted the duchess shopping with the Sargersons in budget supermarket Netto.

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