Sunday, 29 December 2013

Letitia Dean - Lean Routine

So Christmas is over and it’s back to the humdrum routine that is normal life.

And you don’t get more humdrum than Letitia Dean’s workout featuring C-List Celeb’s favourite trainer, Dee Thresher. Dee is something of an expert at whipping Eastenders actresses into shape having previously worked her magic on Natalie Cassidy and Charlie Brooks.

As you know if you regularly consult your Workout-Releasing Eastenders Actors Knowledge Sheet. Which I'm sure you do.

And this is just more of the same really. Same skippety-hop dance moves, same celeb weigh-in, same stupid pointless diet plan. It’s fine. It does what you expect it to. It just seems like Dee found a formula that works and is careful not to deviate one tiny inch from it.

Pictured: skippety-hop dance moves

The only exciting variation on the previous workouts is the unusual decision to stage the whole thing in a hall somewhere which is apparently already furnished for a wedding reception taking place later that day.

"We need to lay the tables now but don't worry, we'll work around you."

Letitia Dean doesn’t have much to say during the workout although she sounds chirpy and disarmingly posh when she does say something. Safe to say that Letitia Dean is rather posher than Sharon Watts. Although, we’re not talking June Brown/Dot Cotton variation. They’re at opposite ends of the poshness scale, those two accents.

Posher than the Queen in real life.

Eastenders’ Sharon has been on the show since the very beginning so obviously the character has been through more than her fair share of drama, heartache and misery. Because Albert Square is positively drenched in gloom and suffering. It oozes out the cracks in the pavements. They have some terrible luck those residents - maybe the square was built on the site of an unconsecrated Pearly King graveyard. There’s definitely something up.

One of her most famous storylines was when her husband, Grant, found out she’d shagged his brother, Phil. Because you can’t just stop at one Mitchell brother, you know? They’re like Pringles. The affair was referred to as “Sharongate”, obviously. Odd to think that if Watergate happened now, we’d call it Watergategate.

Sharongate wasn’t the best Sharon-based storyline, though. You have to go way, way back for that. In 1986, the show’s producers decided what Eastenders really needed was a long drawn-out storyline featuring a battle of the bands competition and every single teenager in the cast creating a pop act in order to strive for music stardom.

You just don't get teens like this any more. I'm not sure you ever did.

It was a stupid decision, obviously. It’s a wonder that Eastenders ever managed to have itself taken seriously when entire chunks of episodes were given over to Letitia Dean and Paul Medford (Kelvin) singing the whole of their teen-tastic pop tune “Something outa Nothing”

You’d have thought they’d be a shoe-in with that number under their belts but artistic differences meant that Simon Wickes left the band (cunningly named “The Banned” – do you see what they did there?) and sang his own number “Every Loser Wins” which became an actual real-life hit for actor Nick Berry. He didn’t have all the glory, though. Berry may have reached the showy heights of Number 1 but Letitia Dean managed to reach a very creditable No.12 with “Something outa Nothing.”

Another example of a big chunk of a prime-time BBC show being used to showcase a pop release. 
Simon Cowell is clearly missing a trick, here.

So Letitia Dean’s not just an actress and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, you know. She’s also a One Hit Wonder.

She has very square knees.

I suppose I should return to talking about the workout DVD in question but I’m really not sure I can be bothered. Maybe it’s a post-Christmas thing. Life has been too damn exciting lately. The decorations are still up. There are Quality Streets in little festive bowls. I am now the owner of a FREAKING LED JELLYFISH MOOD LAMP.

Behold the amazingness!

I have been spoiled by awesomeness. Perhaps next week, when the dull drudgery of real life has fully kicked back in, I will appreciate the craftsmanship of a DVD in which two women jump around a bit. But today is not that day. Sorry, Letitia. Blame those Cockney Ghosts.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hey you, CLCW reader, Have a super fantastic amazing Christmas*! Whatever you do and whoever you do it with, may it be full of cheer and goodwill and refreshingly free of exercise workouts unless, you know, you're actually into that stuff.

*If you don't celebrate Christmas, please feel free to bank my good wishes and redeem against the next relevant festival of your choosing.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Festive Workouts

Wait, there are two Santas? How is that even possible?

You can hardly have failed to notice by now a little smattering of something festive in the air. 

Shops are playing Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you" on a continuous loop, John Lewis are playing your heart strings like a fiddle and money is cascading out of your bank account with a will seemingly all of its own.

Christmas is coming! Don't try and fight it!

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to drop any kind of pretence about giving a fuck about exercise and slip into a comfortable fug of Quality Streets and TV compilation shows.

Not so for some crazy fools on the internet, however. For some people, apparently, Christmas is just synonymous with fitness workout.

First off, there’s John Chase Bolingbrook’s “12 Days of Christmas” where a man in comedy antlers takes us through a festive themed workout where the likes of Lords-a-leaping and Swans-a-swimming are replaced with Prisoner Squats and Medicine Ball Goalies.

How Rudolph prepares for the big night.

He doesn’t sing it which is a missed opportunity, I feel.

Next we have Ms. Lynn's “Shape It Up Christmas Workout!!” And yes, those exclamation marks are all her own.

Ms Lynn clearly likes to add a little drama to the proceedings by having her crew walk off on her resulting in a frantic cry of “Where ya going? Wait for me!” that’s not quite Oscar-worthy.

It moves swiftly onto a dance workout to “Jungle Bell Rock” taking place in what is presumably Ms Lynn’s back garden which is liberally festooned with inflatable snow globes, polar bears and a life-size effigy of Father Christmas sitting on a  chair.

Except it turns out it’s not an effigy after all! After remaining motionless for the entire workout, Santa then gets up and wishes us a happy Christmas. It’s just like “Saw”. Or that horror movie with Danielle Lloyd and the life-size Clown doll.

Santa puts in another appearance in Home Physique’s Christmas workout. At first I was a bit sceptical that it was the real Santa what with all the weight-lifting and shouting “Ho ho ho Motherfuckers!” and all but then at the video, Santa tells us to “Have a laugh and be grateful that you’re here, know what I mean?” and to be fair, that sounds like exactly what the big guy would say.

The ‘Christmas Winter Workout’ consists of a bunch of young men doing pull-ups in a snowy landscape – all with no shirts. I have no idea why they do this, but I for one am not about to judge them.

Well at least his head won't get chilly.

Not least because this was the only one of these videos where there didn’t seem to be any expectation of me joining in.

Which, at this time of year, is about as sporty as I plan to get.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Fame Dance Workout

I was particularly excited about reviewing ‘A Fame Workout’ for you guys because in a departure from CLCW’s usual practise of procuring its workouts from bargain bins, charity shops and roadside hedges, I am in possession of a preview copy of this DVD due to be released on 9thDecember. CLCW is going up in the world.

Or so I thought. To be fair, if I had a more inquiring nature, I may have wondered why a ‘Fame’ themed workout was hitting the shops now when it’s been over 4 years since even the shitty remake was released.
Shitty remake.

Turns out that the DVD has been released before in 2009 which is a little disappointing although it does take the pressure off me having to avoid spoilers.

The 2013 edition comes with a companion book though which sets it apart from its predecessor. It’s incomprehensibly called “Little Book of Fame Dance Workout” because fuck the rules of sense and grammar.

The workout is fronted by one “K Knight”. That’s clearly all the name he needs as the dancers refer to him only as ‘K’. Any brief theories  I may have had that K here was modelling himself on Will Smith in Men In Black were squashed when I checked and found out Will was J. K is the other one. This dude is apparently modelling himself on Tommy Lee Jones.

Quite Right too.

K is joined by six dancers: Michelle, Tisha, Janine, Lauren, Rie and Nellie and a whole host of other lovely ladies who watch from the sidelines. Wait, why is K the only guy there? I know Fame, I watched the 80s series and if I remember rightly, there was more than one guy in it. It wasn’t just about Leroy Johnson running a harem.

Although I would have watched that, too.

I discovered from watching the “Making of” featurette on the DVD (and seriously, who else apart from me and possible some of the performer’s family, are ever watch those?) that the director is Steve Kemsley. It turns out that Kemsley has directed millions of celeb workouts. Geri Halliwell, Ann Diamond, Jade Goody, Beverley Callard, Nell McAndrew, you bloody name it.

Steve is, apparently 'wacky'.

The Fame Workout  doesn’t seem to warrant a mention on his IMDB page which is odd because he admits involvement in Nadia’s Latino Dance Workout which may be the shoddiest piece of shit ever cobbled together and flogged to people as fitness instruction.

If it weren’t for Steve, we’d probably all be twiddling out thumbs here at CLCW Towers. I’m not sure how I’d occupy my time. I ought to send him a muffin basket or something to say thank you.
C-List Celebrity Workouts: Past Present and Future.

The DVD cover is at pains to point out that this DVD is an unofficial product “inspired but not endorsed by either movie”.
It doesn’t matter, really. I don’t feel the same sense of disappointment as when I found that CD:UK or Pussycat Dolls workouts were only tangentially linked to their titles.

Frankly, if I’m watching a Fame Fitness DVD there’s only one question that I need answering...

Does it have the Irene Cara ‘Fame’ song in it?

And if the answer is “Of course it does! What kind of cretins you take us for?” then I’m happy. Thankfully, in this crucial regard, the Fame Dance Workout delivers


I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly


I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry

Best Bit
The best thing about watching the workout, is keeping your eyes on the performing arts “students” lolling around on the benches. 

They’re clearly under instructions to look as though they are having the most fun ever. Watching the dancers doing the workouts, whooping, nodding along, occasionally pretending to chat to one another. They have a much harder job than the main dancers, to be honest but they make an excellent job of it. Especially the girl in the orange cardigan and green socks. She’s displaying in some expert sprawling skills, right there.

It seems a little unfair that the dancers don’t get shuffled around at all. After doing the warm-up, I expected to see some different dancers showing us the moves for the dance sections. But no, it’s the same six dancers (and K) every time. I bet they were all hoping that someone would twist an ankle or something.

Still, you needn’t fret too much. Sure, they’ve probably all got pins and needles from artfully lounging about the set for an hour and a half but then near the end of the “Fame Freestyle” segment something amazing happens. K invites them to come join him and his A-Listers on the dancefloor. 

It’s beautiful, man. Seeing those all those wannabes twisting and twirling their little hearts out in a desperate attempt to catch the eye of the cameraman by any means possible.

You go, orange cardigan girl. I believe in you.

Difficulty Level
This was incredibly difficult not least because nothing was explained properly. Although that’s obviously why you get the book now. If I’d done my research properly beforehand I probably would have been OK.

Would I do this workout again?
You know, I’m not going to live forever; I’m unlikely to ever learn how to fly (High!). Some people are meant to catch the moon in the hands and light up the sky like a flame (Fame!), and some are just supposed to loll around on benches pretending to be vaguely interested in stuff.

I consider myself very much part of the second group. I can’t see myself ever revisiting this workout.

Obviously I recommend each and every one of you rush out and buy it of course. It’s the perfect Christmas present – being as it is very easy to wrap.

Of course, if any of you were planning to purchase this for your very own, I do now have a copy going spare. Barely used at all. I’ve watched the DVD and thumbed through the book but it’s not I’ve drawn moustaches on any of the dancers or anything. Tell you what; send an email to with your address in it and the first one I receive will be sent a copy of this DVD and book set*. Don’t say I never do anything for you.
You know you want it.

* UK only, I’m afraid. I’m not made of money.