The former world's fattest man who lost three-quarters of his weight, only to pile on 20st during lockdown, has sparked a mixed response from TV viewers.
Paul Mason, who once tipped the scales at 80st, is back on telly in a new documentary by ITV called The World's Fattest Man: 10 Years On that aired on Wednesday (November 3).
The 61-year-old from Ipswich was famous for his hulking frame and how his extreme eating disorder left him disabled and forced to rely on carers to sponge bath him.
As shown in one of the clips, it takes two carers to lift up sections of his skin and clean under the creases where they notice blisters from the friction.
He had admitted to eating 20,000 calories a day at his heaviest but had a gastric band fitted and managed to shrink down to 20st.
Paul even found love and got married to an American woman called Rebecca, who got in touch and began video chatting with him after watching one of the documentaries about his weight struggles.
Graphic footage then shows surgeons cut off slabs of his excess skin, which Paul says was tearing due to it not being able to support its weight, and put them in a bin.
Former fattest man in the world bemoans regaining 20st during lockdown
Paul then delves into his broken heart after he and Rebecca broke up two years into their relationship.
For the first time in the documentary, he is seen seeking psychiatric help and was filmed opening up to a therapist about a traumatic childhood in which he was sexually abused.
He also broke down when he talked about his horror at finding out what would happen to his body if he'd died while he was an in-patient at a hospital for three years.
He explained: "If I died in hospital they wouldn't be able to deal with someone my size so they made a form up to say that if I died in hospital they’d have to take me to an abattoir to where the large animals go to and die…
"And I’d be cremated in the animal cremation. I thought it was disgusting. I couldn’t believe they were doing that."
The documentary divided viewers, with some finding it "shocking" and others saying they felt "sorry" for him.
One viewer commented on Twitter: "Watching the World’s Fattest Man: 10 Years On.
"Some lovely footage already of bloody subcutaneous fat deposits being dropped into a bucket."
Another person wrote: "So the world's fattest man.. got thin, weight loss, 60st less (probably thru a bypass) and now is putting weight back on and is again housebound.
"I’m not gonna express my real opinion on this."
"Mrs P just turned the TV over at exactly the wrong time and observed the world's fattest man getting his crevices cleaned by two carers. I think she has actually gone into shock," someone else said.
A fourth viewer wrote: "Felt sorry for Paul when his lover Rebecca said she devoted two years of her life for this man.
"This man…that kind of sums up her attraction for Paul as though he was some sort of project for her and not true love."
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