Heavyweights sought for next dose of reality

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 July, 2009, 12:00am

Yet another US TV show concept is headed for Asia. The Hallmark channel, owned by NBC Universal, will produce a regional version of the unscripted TV series (that's the new lingo for reality show) on extreme weight loss, The Biggest Loser Asia. For those who haven't had the pleasure of watching it, it's basically a competition involving obese contestants sequestered at a private camp, then encouraged and challenged to shed the kilos for a cash prize.

For the Asian version, the award is US$100,000. Along the way, there are rewards and temptations. Plus, those who lose the highest percentage of their starting body weight each week will vote others off the ... er ... fat camp.

Casting for the Asian version of the show has begun and Hongkongers carrying excess baggage can sign up for a bit of fame and better health. Heavyset hopefuls can find the application and rules at www.biggestloserasia.com. They also plan to have casting events in Asian cities, although the Hong Kong dates aren't set. Contestants must be aged between 18 and 55 and residents of Asia, and speak fluent English.

There's no specific size or weight you must meet. But given that many MTR billboards feature already slender actresses promoting slimming down to anorexic thinness, the obesity standard between Asians and Hollywood producers could be stones apart.