Last chance to enter Fit Factor 2013 competition

TOMORROW is your last chance to enter Fit Factor 2013 – and change your life for the better.

Fit Factor 2013 launch at Real Radio
Fit Factor 2013 launch at Real Radio

TOMORROW is your last chance to enter Fit Factor 2013 – and change your life for the better.

The Journal and Real Radio’s exciting annual competition aims to transform the lives of six out of shape people in just 12 weeks – and give them the skills and mindset to keep the weight off for life.

The programme involves a ‘lean and clean’ healthy eating programme and four training sessions per week in Tyneside, including two gym sessions, beach bootcamp and activities such as power yoga, paddle boarding, rugby, football, volleyball, badminton and Zumba.

This intensive health and fitness programme is worth around £2,000, but you could also win a holiday at a five-star resort in Malta that’s a favourite with celebrities if you impress the judges with your weight- loss, commitment and motivation.

All six will get free VIP entry (plus a guest pass) to the Great North Swim on June 14-16, the Bupa Great North 10k in July and Bupa Great North Run on September 15.

Last year the group, dubbed the Active8, lost more than 30 stones between them in 12 weeks, and have continued to shed the pounds. Our biggest loser, Port of Tyne director Ian Gibson, hadn’t run in 25 years and was a whopping 28 stones. The 46-year-old from Wardley, Gateshead, has lost 10-and-a-half stones in 10 months while his body fat has dropped from almost 50% to just 26%. Now it’s your turn to follow in their footsteps.

I’ll be reading every entry along with Fit Factor trainer David Fairlamb and Real and Smooth Ltd’s programme controller Jon Kirby. Together we’ll be drawing up a shortlist of candidates to invite for pre-selection interviews.

John Kirby explained: “We didn’t quite know what to expect this time last year. David, Karen and myself had worked through the hundreds of applications and invited around 20 people in to Real Radio for interviews. And it was tough, as everyone who came in had an emotional and desperate story to tell and every one of them deserved to be in.

“In the end we found a great blend of contestants each fighting their own personal battles for a variety of reasons. And that’s really what we’re looking for again this time – not simply the biggest people in the North East, but a mix of people with different lives, careers, challenges and ambitions across a range of different ages so that as many people as possible can identify with them and follow their journey.

“Last year was incredible, it was genuinely life-changing for the Active 8 and inspiring for all of us who were part of it. This year’s aim is to change lives again. We have a brilliant team in place who will support this year’s contestants all the way. All we need is their commitment and determination to succeed.”


Click here to fill in the form online. The closing date is tomorrow and the Fit Factor 12-week challenge will start on Monday, March 4. Participants will be featured in The Journal each week and interviewed on Real Radio Breakfast with Gary & Lisa, so must be willing to disclose their vital statistics.


The winner of Fit Factor 2013 will fly from Newcastle to the five-star Fortina Spa Resort in Sliema, Malta, for a week of relaxation.

Already a favourite with top footballers, the resort is working in partnership with Sunderland AFC and provides the perfect backdrop for training. Celebrities such as Madonna, Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks have all stayed there too.

The resort is built around a central tropical garden and looks across the sea to Valletta, a World Heritage Site. It features the world’s first therapeutic spa bedrooms and wellness rejuvenation rooms. The winner will get seven nights’ accommodation for two people sharing a five-star bedroom on a half-board basis, plus two thalasso pool treatments, one session in Spa Sante and a Valletta harbour cruise. Visit


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer