Mr Motivator makes TV return on BBC to keep Britain fit in lockdown

Fitness star says he is ‘very different’ to Joe Wicks as he returns amid Covid-19 crisis

Mr Motivator has said he does not feel threatened by the success of Joe Wicks, as the pioneering fitness star prepares to return to the nation’s television screens on a new BBC One programme designed to keep the nation healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The presenter, best known for his appearances on GMTV in the 1990s, and his brightly coloured Lycra outfits, told the Guardian he was confident that the public appetite for his broadcasts had not diminished: “Motivator – you mention my name, and everybody knows Motivator. Walk down the road right now – well, not right now – and they know Motivator.”

Motivator, real name Derrick Evans, praised Wicks’ success in reaching millions of viewers every day with his livestreamed YouTube workouts for schoolchildren. “It’s his time now, he’s great, he’s very different to me. I’m still doing what I do and I’m 67. Joe is coming from the children to the family; I’m going from the older people to the family. I use music all the time; Joe doesn’t use music. So we’re very different.”

In recent years Motivator has increasingly focused on mental health issues and a more holistic approach to wellness, rather than the exaggerated personality known to viewers in the past. “I’m not prepared to just come on and jump around, that was just part of what I’m about. Television was interested in the entertainment side of me, not what was deep inside of me ... Physical fitness is only part of the pillars that hold up our wellbeing. Are you in love? Are you out of love? How are you going to cope with everything that life throws at you? It’s a bit deep but that’s where I’ve always been.”

Motivator will be appearing to offer his tips on the newly commissioned HealthCheck UK Live, airing on weekdays at 10am on BBC One from Monday. The show is being launched to directly address the concerns of viewers who are in self-isolation, offering tips, especially to older viewers, on how to keep healthy and happy. It will be hosted by Michelle Ackerley and Dr Xand van Tulleken, along with Angela Rippon, who is currently self-isolating.

In addition Motivator is launching a short daily livestreamed workout at midday every day, titled the Daily Dozen, on his Twitter and forthcoming YouTube channel.

Motivator said his childhood in Jamaica experiencing extreme weather had shaped his approach to the lockdown. “You learn from a hurricane: you need your health, you need food in the fridge, and we need each other. Hurricanes have a really cleansing effect on us in the Caribbean – you wave to the neighbours and see if they’re all right. In this case we’re going to have to learn a different kind of language and some positive short-term things we can do to reduce stress levels. Even if it’s just putting a sign in the garden saying ‘do not disturb’ and going to the garden shed.”

Asked for his advice for Guardian readers who are self-isolating, Motivator said: “Every morning when you get up, you should do it with purpose: don’t keep your pyjamas on all day. Get dressed. Put your trainers on. Every hour my alarm clock goes off and reminds me to get up and do something.

“Then there’s always music on in my home. Right now every one us should be dancing like there’s no tomorrow. So put that combination together.”

Contributor

Jim Waterson Media editor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Joe Wicks ends live PE lessons after helping millions keep fit
Fitness guru who made his name online during lockdown has donated £580,000 of advertising revenue to NHS charities

Jim Waterson

22, Jul, 2020 @6:58 PM

Article image
Average Briton spends 26 days a year watching on-demand TV
Adults spend eight times longer watching Netflix and iPlayer than exercising, survey reveals

Frances Perraudin

23, Sep, 2018 @9:00 PM

Article image
BBC likely to make cuts to output with £125m fall in income forecast
Boss Tony Hall says licence fee and commercial revenues are being hit by Covid-19 pandemic

Jim Waterson Media editor

29, Apr, 2020 @5:26 PM

Article image
BBC could launch Bake Off rival before Channel 4 show, source says
Source at BBC close to show says ‘lots of ideas’ are being discussed by corporation, after Channel 4 bought Bake Off format

Alexandra Topping

25, Sep, 2016 @1:59 PM

Article image
A million people livestream Joe Wicks online 'PE lesson'
Parents seeking activities for children out of school due to Covid-19 turn to fitness guru

Lanre Bakare

23, Mar, 2020 @1:34 PM

Article image
SS-GB viewers listen up! Actors should be allowed to mutter as well as shout
The BBC’s Nazi drama has drawn complaints about mumbling but TV shows would lack realism if every line was delivered for maximum audibility

Mark Lawson

20, Feb, 2017 @4:41 PM

Article image
Alan Bennett's advice to students: treat me like a dead author
As new series of Talking Heads monologues begins, writer reveals what he told inquiring A-level pupils

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

16, Jun, 2020 @5:00 AM

Article image
Reeta Chakrabarti rejects Jeremy Paxman’s claim ‘any fool’ can read news
The BBC presenter did not agree that newsreading is a job for ‘an articulated suit’

Jim Waterson

13, Apr, 2021 @5:01 AM

Article image
A Very English Scandal review: funny and confident – like Jeremy Thorpe
Hugh Grant has the time of his life as the former Liberal leader who faced trial for conspiracy to murder

Lucy Mangan

20, May, 2018 @9:00 PM

Article image
BBC biggest winner at Baftas as Happy Valley and Damilola head award roll call
Comedy laurels go to newcomer Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag, as The Crown fails to live up to expectations for Netflix

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

14, May, 2017 @9:40 PM