Phone-in producers are usually scratching around for subject matter at this time of year — the silly season. You only have to have listened to the amount of airtime to the ‘controversy’ over Fabio Capello’s pronouncement that David Beckham’s England days are over.
The latter’s absence from the World Cup squad was a bit of a giveaway.
So what a gift were Andrew Lansley’s thoughts on obesity, especially his plan to pass a law to make restaurants to include the calorie count for each meal on the menu, although he later denied it. I suppose he was hoping to repeat the success that putting alcohol units on bottles and cans has had on binge drinking.
The story got even better when a GP claimed that obesity should be considered a terminal illness and that the grossly overweight should be treated with palliative care, rather than bariatric surgery. Radio Five were quick off the blocks with an hour long phone-in.
One of the callers had quite a novel solution to the nation’s obesity crisis — by banning the sale of outsize clothing. It was hard to hear his reasoning for the hoots of laughter in the office, but he seemed to be saying that loose-fitting tracksuits etc actively discourage weight-loss.
Now we all know that our government hates banning things and prefers a more positive approach by making things compulsory, so how about this. Mandatory one-size-fits-all outfits for everyone, but made of really stretchy material so that any overweight wobbly bits are apparent to all.
Or perhaps compulsory burkas for the obese to spare the rest of us.
I didn’t catch his name. Come to think of it, maybe it was Andrew from Cambridgeshire.