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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: ‘Britain needs to be put on a diet as a matter of urgency’ –

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:47 am

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has just been for a swim. Not in a heated indoor pool, silly - those are for wimps, and anyway theyre still closed due to Covid. Instead, the celebrity chef-cum-television star-cum-campaigner has become one of those cold water swimming people.

He started two years ago with the gateway drug of cold showers and baths, and has since graduated to the real deal.

Ive already been in the pond this morning, which is currently about seven degrees, he tells me over Skype from his East Devon home. Its quite nippy.

I am happy to take his word for this. Hes now wrapped in a chunky cardigan and thermals, thawing out near the wood burning stove in his garden office while evangelising about how his morning ritual provides a connection with nature as well as this extraordinary buzz.

He adds: Ill be shedding my thermals at some point shortly.

Whether or not cold water immersion appeals (it doesnt), the Fearnley-Whittingstall pandemic set-up sounds enviable. Beneath beautiful big skies, hes been growing his own vegetables, rearing livestock and exploring wild flowers, while the rest of us dragged ourselves daily around the local park with grim determination before returning to our screens. He even makes home-schooling the youngest of his four children, aged 11, sound fun.

Its been great, he says.

Sorry, what?

Im perhaps slightly guilty of tailoring lessons to some of my own passions and pleasures, but I got stuck into the maths homework as well.

Hes been good about the drinking, too, avoiding alcohol two or three nights a week (sometimes even more), and has managed not to gain any lockdown weight (nor, he admits, lose any).

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: 'Britain needs to be put on a diet as a matter of urgency' -

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