EastEnders star Clair Norris on tackling obesity for Panorama

EastEnders star Clair Norris, aka Bernie Taylor, on her obesity investigation for BBC1's Panorama.
EastEnders star Clair Norris, aka Bernie Taylor, on her obesity investigation for BBC1's Panorama. (Image credit: BBC)

Clair Norris is on a new mission. The actress who has played Bernadette 'Bernie' Taylor in EastEnders for over five years is appearing on BBC1's flagship news show Panorama: Obesity: Who Cares if I’m Bigger? on Wednesday April 20 2022 to investigate what is being done to tackle Britain's major obesity crisis. 

Eighteen months after Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched his strategy to help the nation lose weight, EastEnders actress Clair, who is overweight herself, wants to know if it is really working. One in four adults in the UK are currently living with obesity, a health risk particularly highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

For her Panorama investigation, Clair meets teenagers on a weight management scheme in Sheffield, then goes to visit a man-versus-fat football team in Norfolk. She also meets a dancer running classes for plus-size women. 

The further Clair delves into the complex reasons why some people find it difficult to lose weight she asks if you can be overweight and stay healthy.

Clair admits she's been on a 'journey' herself while filming the documentary over four months and promised she will share experiences she has until now 'kept to herself'. "This has been a chance to show ME!" she says No character and no acting. I have been on a journey, meeting new people, going back to my childhood and sharing my own personal experiences which most of the time I have kept to myself."

Clair has had to deal with some negative comments on social media in the past. On an Instagram post she said: "Don't normally react, but I have seen some really nasty comments on pictures from soap awards regarding my size… I could get upset but when I put it into perspective I just laugh."

Clair recently spoke on BBC1's Morning Show about why she wanted to take part in the documentary (also see on Twitter clip below).

"I was approached by Panorama in November, and it came off the back off the diet pill story I was doing in EastEnders," she explained. "I found it really interesting and it was a chance for me to be me, no acting, no characters, I wanted to know what help there is for young people. I go on a journey to see what I’ve learnt and hopefully people can learn from it too."

* Clair Norris and her important obesity investigation can be seen on Panorama: Obesity: Who Cares if I’m Bigger? on BBC1 on Wednesday April 20 at 8.30pm.

See more

Bernie Taylor has found it difficult since giving up baby Roland

Clair as Bernie Taylor in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

Clair Norris who plays Bernie Taylor in EastEnders on the red carpet

Clair Norris, who plays Bernie Taylor in EastEnders, hitting the red carpet. (Image credit: Getty)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.