Jimmy Tarbuck: I lost 9lb to beat diabetes

By Neil Bowdler
Health reporter, BBC News

media captionJimmy Tarbuck talks about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and his efforts to combat the disease

Jimmy Tarbuck's dad Fred had diabetes, but he never really expected to get it himself.

"My dad had it slightly," he says, sat besides a putting green at the Surrey golf course he calls home (his house is literally next door).

"He was a big beer drinker, Fred, bigger man than me, big guy and yeah he got it and of course the first thing it affected with dad was his eyes."

When Tarbuck's own vision deteriorated, he "put it down to a bit of old age creeping up on you". Only when his insurance company requested a check-up did the diagnosis come.

Diet remedy

"What happened in my case was I wasn't feeling too good and I went for a check up along with a medical check up for an insurance policy and they went - you've got minor diabetes," he says.

"I was in my middle 50s. I'd been very lucky 'a propos' feeling good, being in the open air a lot with golf. But it came as a surprise you know - me? So I went along and saw people."

He was prescribed tablets initially but it was in diet that he found the remedy.

"I was told to lose some weight, and I've tried to do that.

"It's very difficult when you get to a certain age but I have done that and just recently I've taken nine pounds off by just being sensible and you do feel better. There's no doubt about it when you're a porker like I am you do feel better.

"It's like everything isn't it? If you're told early enough, you can adjust and fight back."

image sourcebbc
image captionYoung and diabetes-free: Tarbuck and Basil Brush in panto in 1969

Now aged 70, Tarbuck requires no medication for his type 2 diabetes and his blood sugar and cholesterol levels are in check. But that doesn't mean he lives the life of a monk.

He likes a glass of wine with his dinner. It adds to the taste, he says. Nor does he deny himself the odd food treat.

"The emphasis is on living a normal proper life with lots of fun, lots of exercise," he says, a putter in his hand.

"But just don't get gorging which isn't good for you in the long run, and it can go from diabetes to weight on the heart, which just isn't good."

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