You can take the boy off Instagram but you can’t wrestle Instagram off the boy. Producers of Joe Wicks: The Body Coach (Channel 4, 7pm, 29 August) no doubt tried, one group prising the fitness guru’s fingers from his phone as another distracted him with turkey burgers. “We’ll let you HIT (high intensity training) us as much as you like if you’d just stop shouting recipes into your phone and screaming ‘Naughteee’” they no doubt pleaded.
Wicks didn’t listen. And why would he? This Jamie Oliver-on-steroids has made millions playing to self-obsessed social media where his boundless energy is dialled down into 90-second recipe vlogs.
But it simply doesn’t translate to the TV screen. An hour of Wicks’ screeching about the ‘D-word’ (diet) and chucking out the ‘sad step’ (scales) in between ‘slow mo sizzles’ and a dose of burpees in a Heathrow terminal is exhausting.
His ‘eat more, exercise less’ pledge works for a Facebook promo but here we needed more bulk, more back-up and, dare I say it, a little bit of science. Without that it came across like pure puff, even with all the impressive transformations.
His 90-day dieters keen to ditch ‘mummy tummies’ or squeeze into bikinis were chocoholics one minute and lean fitness fanatics in the blink of an eye. Where were the tears, the resentment and the abject failure before the big reveal we’ve come to expect?
Wicks gets rid of all that for straightforward before and after shots with only his eggy brekkies in between. Instagram gold. But utterly forgettable TV.