Sacked Weight Watchers coach becomes Aldi ‘Easter egg tasting officer’


A former TV weight-loss guru who once said he had been sacked by Weight Watchers has found a new role as an “Easter egg tasting officer”.

Jody Bunting, who used to run Weight Watchers’ Stretton classes, said he was sacked and apologised in December 2019 after a “mental health incident” that saw him attack a male nurse.

But the 43-year-old dad of one – a self-proclaimed “holistic lifestyle coach” – has now taken up his new tasting role with German budget supermarket giant Aldi.

It comes decades after Jody, born in Burton and grew up in Hatton, shot to fame on the Lose it With Jody feature on The Big Breakfast in the 90s.

Having appeared on the Channel 4 show, he lost more than half his body weight, having previously tipped the scales at 31 stones.

Talking of his friends’ reaction when he told them about his new role, Jody said: “They, and my slimming clients, were horrified at first, as they know I love chocolate a little too much.

“But after the initial shock, they all volunteered to be my chief Easter egg tasting assistants. In my opinion, Aldi’s Dairyfine chocolate is the most delicious-tasting chocolate in the world, so the chief Easter egg tasting role felt like the perfect job for me.

“I’ll be rating each egg based on its appearance, sweetness and creaminess; I can’t wait to try all the different products available this year.

“I used to weigh 31 stone, so with my love for – and experience with – food, I am the best man for the job.”

Jody beat more than 300 applicants to land the Aldi role, along with two other “specially selected” members of the public.

The position sees each officer receive free Aldi Easter eggs in exchange for providing feedback on the range.

Jody Bunting performing a fitness class in his younger days

Review videos aired across Aldi’s social media channels will also help inform the firm’s chocolate buying team when planning for the their 2022 Easter eggs.

Judges found Jody’s application video “charismatic and “engaging” – and he showed “an obvious passion for chocolate”.

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “We worked hard to ensure this year’s Easter egg selection at Aldi was its most innovative yet, but ultimately, it’s the opinion of our customers that we value most.

“We’re delighted to have recruited Jody as one of our chief Easter egg tasting officers, to help share his thoughts on the range.

“His passion for chocolate definitely came across in the video, so he was an obvious choice.

“I’m sure our buying teams will find his reviews helpful. Hopefully others find the feedback useful when deciding which Easter egg to buy ahead of the big day too.”

Easter has become a key date for Aldi and last year the supermarket sold more than seven million Easter eggs.

This year it includes the blonde chocolate “specially selected exquisite beehive egg” with honeycomb pieces, as well as the brand’s “giant dragon egg”.

Weight-loss coach, Jody Bunting, 43, from Hatton, Derbyshire, who recently lost 15-stone in weight, wins national competition to become one of Aldi’s three Chief Easter Egg Tasting Officers.
Jody Bunting with his Aldi Easter eggs

What Jody said about the how his Weight Watchers job ended

Jody said drinking four bottles of an “artificially flavoured wine” left him in a “state of confusion” for two weeks.

A “flurry of complaints” were made about his subsequent conduct, he said, including making “childish jokes” and walking around the room “wearing other people’s shoes” at a dieting meeting in September in Derby.

After that meeting, according Jody, he was taken to Royal Derby Hospital, where he was arrested and cautioned for assaulting a male nurse.

He admitted himself to A&E at Royal Derby again the following day, this time with what he described as “pains caused by a dangerously high blood sugar level”.

Jody says he then upset hospital staff again with an online video about “how he was feeling” and “how he did not know what was wrong with him” – made while locked in a toilet.

He claims to have cured his type-two diabetes in 2015 through fitness and dieting, but drinking the wine triggered diabetic symptoms again.

After a week on medication to balance out his blood sugar, he says he was “back to his usual self”.

In a statement released at the time, Jody said: “I would like to say how very sorry I am for upsetting any of you, and assure you this was never my intention.

“The illness I had, the last time most of you saw me, in the last week of September, has now been given a working diagnosis of depersonalisation/derealisation disorder (DPDR), which may have been brought on by a high blood sugar level.

“I would like to apologise for my behaviour and, although I don’t want to simply blame the ill health, please believe me that the person many of you witnessed in person/online that week was not the real me.

“Not only was it not me, but someone I have never seen before and someone I never want to see again.

“I am soon to start talk therapy to try to understand where the things I said and felt came from and make sure this will not happen again.

“I have also started nutritional therapy to ensure I am always now at optimal health.

“Never would I even dream of upsetting anyone on purpose, especially slimmers, as I understand the daily struggle we go through.

“The bizarre things I was talking about in the online video I made on that Sunday morning were not true; I was just saying what I was thinking at the time I was ill, not actual life events that had happened in reality.

“I would please like to thank all of you for making my year working at WW such an outstanding success.

“A massive thank you to all of my lovely members, many of which I now call friends.

“Also thanks to the whole WW team for their kind support, and training me to become a world-class weight-loss coach.

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“Special thanks to my mentor and personal coach, Diane, who I’ll always remember, after all the cheer and laughter we discovered together.

“My workshop team volunteers have been really exceptional and I really could not have done it without you all.

“I’ll miss so much the fun and achievements we shared.

“I still adore and highly recommend the WW holistic programs, products and brand, so please use all the tools available to assist you, believe in yourself and you will get to your ‘happy weight’ goal.

“My mission in life for the last 25 years – to help people lose weight and get healthier – will continue with my new community fitness classes and one to one lifestyle coaching, as I still remember how hard it was to eat better, be active and change my lifestyle back when I weighed 31 stone in 2001.

“For anyone who would like to keep in touch with me, please join my free emailing list at JodyBunting.com.

“My sincerest apologies again, thank you to everyone, and I do wish you all the best for the future.”

A spokesman for Weight Watchers said they were legally unable to comment on a confidential matter relating to an ex-employee.

Derbyshire Police and Royal Derby Hospital were asked for a statement about Jody’s alleged arrest and caution, but did not provide one.

Staffordshire Live Newsletter March 29 2021

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