Britain's Got Talent stars Stavros Flatley are among the faces faces taking part in the new series of Sugar Free Farm. And it seems that for father-son duo, Demi and Lagi, the experience has had a lasting impact...
Demi Demetriou and son Lagi – better known as Britain’s Got Talent dance duo Stavros Flatley - are among a host of famous faces forced to live without sugary foods as Sugar Free Farm returns to ITV this week. But it seems their new diet has had a lasting impact…
Why did you want to take part in Sugar Free Farm? Demi: "I wanted to do this show because I felt I was getting a little bit overweight and I thought it would be good to see if I could stop all the sugar. But when I got on the scales and saw I was nearly five stone overweight it scared the living daylights out of me." Lagi: "Mine was just to try and find a farmer's daughter to marry! Just kidding. No, for me, although I go to the gym and stuff, the hardest part is getting your diet right. That's the downfall of my gym life."
Demi and Lagi with their fellow Sugar Free Farm celebs: comedian Joe Pasquale, Doctor Who legend Peter Davison, This Morning presenter Alison Hammond, TOWIE star Gemma Collins and former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe
At the Sugar Free Farm, all the celebs have to live entirely without sugar, refined carbs, cheap meat, bad fats and all processed foods for 15 days. Nutritionist Hala El-Shafie shows you all food towers she's created to illustrate how much of these forbidden foods they consume in a year. Were you shocked? Lagi: "My carb and fat intake wasn't too bad, but I was eating too much meat. I haven't really got a sweet tooth – but I didn't realise there's so much sugar in EVERYTHING!"
We see you eat really healthy food and drinking kale, carrot and celery juice. What’s that like? Lagi: "That's the worst thing ever. I will never drink kale again in my life!"
We also see you working on the farm. Was that hard? Demi: "No it wasn’t, really. It was like a holiday, honestly. I swear to you, we loved every minute of it. We had fun. My wife has got a stable yard so lifting muck and spreading horse poo everywhere is what we do." Lagi: "I don't like it. It's disgusting." Demi: "Nah, it was brilliant. You were told what to do, what to eat, it was great. It was like one big holiday camp! And we kept expecting this sugar crash and it didn’t come."
Some of the celebrities really struggled with the sugar withdrawal though, don’t they? Demi: "There was the odd occasional thing but that had nothing to do with us being off the sugar. We all helped each other. Lagi had one bad night and I warned him beforehand. I said you're going to be ill tomorrow. He ate too much of something and the next morning he was ill. But he's learned his lesson now cos his dad told him!"
Nutritionist Hala El-Shafie puts the celebrities through their paces
We know that Doctor Who star Peter Davison has to quit the process early on for medical reasons. What was the mood like at the farm once he'd gone? Demi: "That's one of the worst things that could have happened to someone and we felt really bad for him. He's a really lovely, down-to-earth geezer, really nice. That was really hard for him."
Do you think you may have found the process easier because, unlike the others, you had each other there for support? Lagi: "I couldn't stand him! Just kidding. Yeah, it was easier because you have someone to lean on. I did feel like I could go and speak to Joe Pasquale and that he could help me, but I'd only really just met him. But having dad there, he knows me inside and out, so you haven’t got to say so much in words." Demi: "Sometimes it was a bit of a curse because I tended to worry about Lagi thinking is he gonna be OK, is he gonna struggle, freak out and try and break out of the house. I can come across as a little bit overprotective of him. I know that he’s 20 years’ old, I do get it. But in my eyes he’s always gonna be that 12-year-old kid."
So have you both stayed on your healthy diet since leaving the house? Demi: "I've lost three stone and I swear I've got a six-pack now." Lagi: "Oh God. He comes down to my barber's shop, right, and he'll walk in and stand under a light, and be like: 'Look at this, look at this, you can see the six-pack!' But it has to be at a certain angle… apparently."
So are you following a really strict diet, Demi? Or are you just making healthy choices now? Demi: "That’s the thing, it doesn’t feel like a 'diet'. I’ve just cut out white bread and pasta and I’ve stopped having doughnuts and coffee in the morning – in fact I’m a green tea maniac now. I feel healthier and I’ve got loads more energy. This show has really changed my life."
Stavros Flatley appearing on Britain's Got Talent in 2009
Did it ever cross your mind, though, that if you lost too much weight, your dance act wouldn’t be the same? Demi: "Listen, there is nothing funnier than a half-naked fella with a blonde wig on running out on stage and then his son comes out. That is still hilarious. I’m never gonna be stick thin." Lagi: "Yeah, we're never gonna be body builders! That’s not on the cards." Demi: "As long as we feel healthy, we eat healthy and we are healthy, then we’re happy."
So we’re not going to get a skinny Stavros Flatley any time soon? Lagi: "Ha, ha! Never. Unless I get too old and hire someone else to do it."
What are Stavros Flatley up to at the moment? Demi: "The act is still going strong. At the end of last year, we danced in a Greek restaurant for a billionaire, we turned on some Christmas lights in West Bromwich, and we did some Christmas shows. We just keep going. It's just mad. When it's over, it's over. We'll take a bow and say thank you very much, see you later. But, at the moment, the phone's still ringing."
Sugar Free Farm starts on Tuesday January 10 at 9pm on ITV.
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!