Fat Friends

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Fat Friends
Genre Drama
Created by Kay Mellor
Starring Gaynor Faye
Composer(s) Mark Russell
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 25
Production
Running time 60 minutes (per episode)
Release
Original channel ITV
Picture format 16:9 (576i)
Original release 12 October 2000 – 24 March 2005
Midgley's fish and chip shop in Moor Grange, Leeds featured as 'Big and Battered'

Fat Friends was an ITV drama (made by Roll Em Productions in association with Tiger Aspect Productions and Yorkshire Television), following a group of overweight people, their laughter and pain and addresses the absurdities of dieting in our modern age. The drama looks at people and how they relate to one another and use body weight as an excuse for all sorts of failings in their relationships, or not living their lives to the full. Four of the cast, Ruth Jones, James Corden, Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman, went on to appear in Gavin & Stacey.

Plot[edit]

The premise of the programme is set around a slimming club in the Headingley district of Leeds. The club is run by the formidable Carol, who fruitlessly tries to persuade the members of the group to follow the 'Super Slimmers' diet. The characters who attend the club are from varied backgrounds and of varied weight. Whilst some plots continue throughout all four series, each episode focuses on one particular character.

Main cast[edit]

  • Lauren Harris - Gaynor Faye (series 1-4) - a Jewish actress of average weight. Lauren thinks she is a disappointment to her parents, not being married and struggling to get much acting work. In series 1, she has been dating a non-Jewish fitness instructor called Gareth but that ends when her younger sister announces her engagement to Ben. In series 2, she starts dating a vicar named Paul and later marries him, despite her parents' clear disapproval. Her father also disapproves of her making a living by holding Ann Summers style parties.
  • Kelly Chadwick - Ruth Jones (series 1-4) - Kelly works at her father's fish and chip shop and marries Kevin in the first series. Feeling broody at the sight of her much younger brother, Russell, she and Kevin begin trying for a baby almost immediately and go for IVF when unsuccessful. Kelly conceives naturally and gives birth to her son in series 3.
  • Rebecca Patterson - Lisa Riley (series 2-4) - Rebecca is a neurotic garden centre worker, who is scarred from a life of bullying. Aided by her boyfriend, she sees that everyone has slight body issues.
  • Betty Simpson - Alison Steadman (series 1-4) - mother of Kelly and wife of Douglas. Betty becomes pregnant while in her forties in the first series and discovers her adopted son in series two. She also meets her first boyfriend and father of the son she gave up for adoption - Douglas isn't happy about her seeing this man and so, to save her marriage, she agrees to stop seeing him. Lauren's boyfriend, Paul, helps her track down her son and they begin to build a relationship, despite jealousy from Simon's adoptive parents and Kelly.
  • Jamie Rymer - James Corden (series 1-4) - Jamie is fifteen and bullied at school in the first series; while at school, he looks after his depressed mother until school bullies push him to attempt suicide. Following this, his reasons for eating so much are revealed and his mother tries not to lean on him so much. Jamie inherits money from his Gran on his seventeenth birthday, only to be defrauded by a local spiv who poses as his friend. In series three, Jamie, now 20, meets a girl on the internet who lives in a ground floor council flat in Burmantofts. The flat is constantly under attack from local thugs and a jealous ex-husband. In series four, the young woman is killed by a hit and run driver, leaving Jamie to bring up her young child. Jamie is advised to hand the child over to her father but on seeing his violent behaviour, goes to court for an order giving him residency.

Episodes[edit]

Series One
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Love Me Slender" David Wheatley Kay Mellor 12 October 2000
2 "Fat Chance" David Wheatley Kay Mellor 19 October 2000
3 "Fat Free" David Wheatley Kay Mellor 26 October 2000
4 "Growing Pains" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 2 November 2000
5 "Face the Fat" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 9 November 2000
6 "When the Fat Lady Sings" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 16 November 2000
Series Two
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
7 "Full Belly" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 5 September 2002
8 "Peaches and Dreams" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 12 September 2002
9 "Forty and In-fat-urated" Tania Díez Jayne Daniel & Kay Mellor 19 September 2002
10 "Sweet and Sour" Dan Zeff Kay Mellor 26 September 2002
11 "Sticky Fingers" Dan Zeff Gaynor Faye & Kay Mellor 3 October 2002
12 "In Full Bloom" Tania Díez Lisa Holdsworth & Kay Mellor 10 October 2002
13 "Hunger Pangs" Audrey Cooke Kay Mellor 17 October 2002
Series Three
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14 "Eat Your Heart Out" John Deery Kay Mellor 1 January 2004
15 "Leggs Over Easy" Jphn Anderson Gaynor Faye & Kay Mellor 7 January 2004
16 "Food for Thought" Jphn Anderson Gaynor Faye & Kay Mellor 14 January 2004
17 "Bacon, Bagels and the Bishop" Lance Kneeshaw Katie Baxendale & Kay Mellor 21 January 2004
18 "Afters" Lance Kneeshaw Kay Mellor & Debbie Oates 28 January 2004
19 "Food of Love" Lance Kneeshaw Katie Baxendale & Kay Mellor 4 February 2004
Series Four
Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
20 "Enough to Go Around" John Deere Kay Mellor 17 February 2005
21 "Second Helpings" Lance Kneeshaw Gaynor Faye & Kay Mellor 24 February 2005
22 "Angel's Delight" Lance Kneeshaw Ruth Jones & Kay Mellor 3 March 2005
23 "Get Out of the Kitchen" Lance Kneeshaw Gaynor Faye & Kay Mellor 10 March 2005
24 "Healthy Options" John Anderson Kay Mellor & Debbie Oates 17 March 2005
25 "Icing on the Cake" John Anderson Kay Mellor & Debbie Oates 24 March 2005

Ratings[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers ITV Weekly Rank
1.1 12 October 2000 10,370,000 13
1.2 19 October 2000 8,660,000 16
1.3 26 October 2000 9,190,000 16
1.4 2 November 2000 9,140,000 15
1.5 9 November 2000 8,790,000 16
1.6 16 November 2000 9,610,000 16
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers ITV Weekly Rank
2.1 5 September 2002 7,810,000 16
2.2 12 September 2002 7,260,000 14
2.3 19 September 2002 7,280,000 12
2.4 26 September 2002 6,610,000 16
2.5 3 October 2002 6,450,000 18
2.6 10 October 2002 6,990,000 15
2.7 17 October 2002 7,020,000 16
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers ITV Weekly Rank
3.1 1 January 2004 6,470,000 23
3.2 7 January 2004 7,360,000 19
3.3 14 January 2004 7,470,000 18
3.4 21 January 2004 7,540,000 17
3.5 28 January 2004 8,690,000 22
3.6 4 February 2004 7,240,000 22
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers ITV Weekly Rank
4.1 17 February 2005 6,560,000 18
4.2 24 February 2005 7,510,000 15
4.3 3 March 2005 7,030,000 19
4.4 10 March 2005 5,600,000 20
4.5 17 March 2005 6,050,000 20
4.6 24 March 2005 5,790,000 19

Awards and nominations[edit]

Home media[edit]

Region 2

A VHS of the first series was release on 24 June, 2002. The first three series of Fat Friends have been released on DVD in the United Kingdom via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

  • Fat Friends: Series One (released 21 March 2005)
  • Fat Friends: Series Two (released 18 April 2005)
  • Fat Friends: Series Three (released 18 April 2005)
  • Fat Friends: The Complete Series 1, 2 & 3 (released 21 March 2005)


Region 1

  • Fat Friends: Season One (released 13 February 2007)

External links[edit]