Get Fit With Brittas (BBC1, 1997)
The Brittas Empire was one of my favourite sitcoms of the 90s. There were seven series with lots of memorable moments, even though the final episode really did have the most awful cop-out ending. But this wasn’t the last that we would see of the leisure centre manager Gordon Brittas, as played by Chris Barrie. There was actually one more series after this, although it is little-remembered by comparison now.
Get Fit With Brittas was a six-part series shown on Friday nights where every edition was just ten minutes long. This was a part-comedy part-education series where Mr Brittas offered advice on various types of fitness. A few of the other cast members also appeared, including the hapless Colin, along with various celebrities who spoke about what they like to do to keep themselves fit.
So for example, Lesley Joseph of Birds Of A Feather fame was rather keen on aerobics, and encouraged Brittas to join in as well, so he got his leotard on. Also taking part in the series were various sportspeople who told us why running, jumping and so on, was rather a good idea too. And there were also features from various people on how they changed their lifestyle which helped them to get fitter.
The basic idea of the show was to encourage viewers to have a go at trying something themselves, whatever level of skill and fitness they were at. And well, why not try going to a leisure centre. Preferably not the one run by Brittas though, where it was chaos. There were so many people running around at some points, that I got exhausted just watching this. It was proof that it was good to have a hobby.
There was also a tie-in book released which offered more advice on information on how to get moving. Unlike the regular series, Get Fit With Brittas wasn’t ever released on VHS or DVD. There have been a lot of rumours, especially in the past few years, that The Brittas Empire will return to the screen one day. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but until then, this is the closest that we’ll get to an eighth series.