Best known for shaking a maraca and freaky dancing as a member of the rock band Happy Mondays, cult hero Mark “Bez” Berry has admitted he has been “mainly sitting on the sofa” during the pandemic.
But now he is getting back on his feet and, from 17 January, his stage will be his own YouTube classes, Get Buzzin’ With Bez, a bold bid to help himself and the public “get fit and mentally happier”.
“I’d like to think I’m somewhere between Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator,” Bez told the Sun. “I’ve started this new year seriously unfit, with a fat belly and creaky hips, and I can’t stop eating chocolate. Last lockdown I got unfit, fat, lazy and into some seriously bad eating habits. This year, this lockdown, I need to sort it out sharpish.”
He said that people could join him “on this mad journey or just sit on the sofa and have a good laugh at me … At the very least, I know I’ll be making people smile, at best I’ll be helping people get fit and mentally happier alongside me.”
The dancer said he normally burns calories by dancing on stage during live shows, but cancellations left him sitting idle and he was not keeping active.
“Since we went into the first lockdown I’ve mainly sat on the sofa,” he said. “I have special pants I wear at Christmas, this year they didn’t fit for the first time.”
Bez won Celebrity Big Brother in 2005 and in 2015 stood against Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey in Salford for his own “We are the Reality” party on an anti-fracking ticket, coming sixth and receiving a little under half of the votes gained by the Liberal Democrat candidate.
“It shouldn’t be my responsibility, I’m doing the job of the politicians and standing up for the people and bringing attention to the horror of fracking,” he told the BBC. “If I ever do get in charge, I’d completely end the banking system too. There would be expenses but they’d be bus and train passes. You’d behave like the people, you’ll be in touch with the people and you understand what the people want.
“You don’t live in a cocoon of your own making, of luxury, wealth and total disregard of everyone else … It’s my duty as a conscious warrior to try and make change.”