Duo’s weight war is charted on TV

Despo Hawkins (left) and Marilla Miles-Wilson
Despo Hawkins (left) and Marilla Miles-Wilson

TWO friends were featured on national television as part of a fly-on-the-wall documentary charting their battle to lose weight.

Marilla Miles-Wilson, of Baldslow Road, and Despo Hawkins, of Sturdee Place, starred in the Channel 4 programme called Will My Crash Diet Kill Me? as part of a two-part series last week.

Mrs Miles-Wilson, 49, who works at Xtrax, said: “It was great and we both found it a very enjoyable experience. The crews came and filmed us for 10 days.

“I weighed more than 13 stone and have already lost nearly two.

“Over the 10 days the film crews filmed us at our respective places of work, walking up the West Hill, me jogging in the park, looking like a reject from the 118118 advert and Despo fighting temptation on a daily basis in her restaurant.

“Being on the programme really gave us a big incentive to lose weight. The weight is falling off me and I’ll definitely be able to fit in my bridemaid’s dress for my friend’s wedding in July. I’m sticking to the diet until April.”

As part of the documentary she chose to go on the lighter life diet, which involves four sachets of powdered drink a day and Mrs Hawkins, who owns Plato’s Restaurant in Sturdee Place, went on the dukan diet, a varied diet, which involves starting off by only eating protein-based and low-fat diary foods.

Mrs Hawkins, 53, was the one who emailed Channel 4 after seeing an advert asking for people to take part in the programme.

She said: “We did not think we would be selected as thousands had responded to the request. I have lost nearly a stone.

“The diet has been fantastic and it does not feel like you are on it as you already have 100 different foods to choose from. But you are constantly having to shop for food and there is a lot of cooking involved. The film crews absolutely adored Hastings and got fantastic shots of the West Hill, the beach, fish market and pier.”

Both celebrated their joint weight loss by having their hair dyed, cut and restyled at a local salon.