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Interview


in health, no matter what the topic is. Topics are now often decided depending on what’s in the news. When the show fi rst started we


would select the health topics in advance, whereas now we are very news reactive. For example, I might fi nd myself talking about items that were in the papers this morning. In the beginning we would have experts on the show to talk about specifi c health conditions. The problem was they would talk in medical jargon and the viewers wouldn’t understand—I’d have to re- explain everything. The trick is to get key messages


across to the public without bamboozling them. It’s important to keep it simple, that’s why I go by the ‘10-year-old test’. I’m not insulting the intelligence of the public, but if a 10-year-old can understand it, everyone can, so that’s how we approach and explain medical topics.


You’ve performed medical examinations on live television, including breast and testicle examinations. Was this your idea and what was the viewers’ reaction? CS: The fi rst controversial thing I battled for, and for some time, was a live breast examination. At fi rst the editors and producers said no, but I battled and battled and eventually they said, ‘Okay then, as long as it’s done in the best possible taste.’ It was groundbreaking television,


having never been done before, globally. After I’d performed the examination we had all sorts of reactions. Some viewers called in to say how they found it disgraceful that we showed a bare breast on morning television, while others wrote in to thank us, saying because of the show they had done a self-examination and found a lump and caught breast cancer early.


What other live examinations have you 16 DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE


performed on the show? CS: Well, after the breast examination I said I wanted to do a testicular examination and I came up against a brick wall with that one! I kept asking and eventually they said yes, but there were very strict stipulations that we had to stick to. It had to be done in the best possible taste, we had to use a hospital-style screen so it looked clinical and the man was not allowed to show his penis, which I thought was funny considering we were going to be showing his testicles. We had to be very careful because we’d have been fi ned £30,000 if we’d broken the rules. After the show had taken place, an


old lady called in and said ‘I think it’s disgusting. I was sat at home eating my sausages and it put me right off my breakfast!’ Well, I had to laugh at that one! On the positive side, we had parents calling in to the show asking us to show it again so they could show it to their son, nurses using it in training


“The key to success in weight loss is to watch your mouth (and what you put in it) and use your feet”


and many, many viewers learnt how to check themselves properly.


Can you tell us about the weight loss system you applied to help This Morning’s super slimmer Charlie Walduck shed 30 stone back in 2004? CS: I said to Charlie, ‘I’m going to give you two things to do and that’s all.’ I told him to look at food labels, read everything on the label and not to eat anything that contains more than three percent fat. The second thing I told him was to exercise just by walking. At fi rst he had problems as he was


verbally abused in the street because of his size and weight, so he didn’t want


celebrityangels.co.uk


“It’s always


important to stress the importance of going to see


your GP if you’re worried about something”


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