Jan 20 2017

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to unveil new challenge in Newcastle


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be in Newcastle on Saturday January 21st to announce a ground-breaking social experiment where he will challenge the people of Newcastle to lose a staggering 100,000lbs in a year.

He is asking the people who live, work and play in the city to commit to losing weight over the course of a year. Working in close collaboration with Newcastle city council, Hugh will encourage everyone to make changes to their diet; get involved in new and exhilarating physical activities; and, as a city, commit to losing at least 100,000 lbs.

Hugh will be at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre all day on Saturday to unveil his mission, which is called ‘Newcastle Can’ and will be getting people signed up to his new website. He will be on hand to answer questions and encourage people to join his challenge.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “The fact is that as a nation we need to do something about our increasing weight – it’s doing too many of us too much harm. I think that galvanising a whole city to take responsibility for their collective health, by coming together to lose weight, could be an amazing way to make progress in the fight against obesity. It’s not going to be easy but I am confident that the people of Newcastle are up to my challenge.

I have chosen Newcastle to take part in this experiment for two reasons – firstly because the number of people considered obese or overweight in the city is in line with the national average; and secondly – and most importantly – because looking around the city I see a fantastic community spirit that could inspire the rest of the UK. There are already some good initiatives in the city to help people improve their health, and I think that, together, we can take it to another level. Good luck Newcastle – you can do it!

Obesity is a nationwide problem, and statistics show that by 2025 Britain will be the fattest country in Europe – unless something changes. The ‘Newcastle Can’ website will contain a host of information about healthy eating and exercise to get the people of Newcastle motivated and help them keep on track. Hugh and the team will be checking in with the people who sign up at regular intervals throughout the year, keeping tabs on their progress, and providing additional advice and support where needed.

Hugh’s ‘Newcastle Can’ challenge is being filmed for the BBC and The Open University by Keo Films. You can find out more about Newcastle Can at