2000s and Celebrity Boot Camps

Celebrity Fit Club was a reality television series that followed eight overweight celebrities as they tried to lose weight for charity.  Celebrity Fit Club aired in the UK from 2002 to 2006 and in the US from 2005 to 2010; the US version was called Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp from 2008.

Split into two competing teams of four, each week teams were given different physical challenges, and weighed to see if they reached their target goal weights.  As part of the process participants were monitored and supervised by a team that included a nutritionist, a psychologist and a physical trainer; the latter of which was former US Marine Harvey Walden IV.

The series originated in the UK on ITV in 2002 as Fat Club, with members of the general public taking part.  The show then switched to celebrity participants, and continued until 2006.  The celebrities (aka recruits) faced the drill instructors from the 2001 series ‘Boot Camp’ and underwent a week-long military training programme.

A closer relation to boot camps was the US TV reality game show Boot Camp that aired on Fox in 2001.  The show, apparently, drew a lawsuit from Mark Burnett due to the similarity to his reality show Survivor, which apart from the participant elimination aspect was distinctly different, and ceased production after the first season aired.

The show involved 16 civilian contestants, known as recruits, over eight weeks who participated in a real life military-style boot camp 24 hours a day.  Four, real-life, drill instructors put the recruits through special training activities and obstacle courses to prepare them for the ‘missions’ which they took part in.


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